Stanley Cup Favorite Colorado on Verge of Eliminating Blues
Things didn’t go well for the team favored to represent the Eastern Conference in the Stanley Cup Finals as the Florida Panthers were swept in four games and managed to score just three goals in the series. There are no such issues with Western Conference favorite Colorado. The Avalanche went on the road and outscored St. Louis 11-5 after the Blues evened the second-round series. Those performances factor prominently into the Blues vs Avalanche game preview.
Colorado held St. Louis to just 20 shots on goal in what had to be viewed as something close to a must-win game for the Blues. If losing the pivotal fourth game wasn’t enough, seeing Nazem Kadri doing much of the damage with three goals and an assist was like pouring salt in the wounds of St. Louis fans.
The Avalanche have lost their second playoff series six times in a row but can end that streak as early as Wednesday’s Game 5 in Denver.
Colorado is the overwhelming favorite to win the NHL title according to the Stanley Cup betting odds. The odds moved up slightly from +175 following the Game 4 win. The odds for St. Louis fell from +3300 to +8000.
Blues vs Avalanche Game Information
- Game: Blues (49-22-11 in the regular season), Avalanche (56-19-7)
- Location: Ball Arena
- Day/Time: Wednesday, 8:00 p.m. ET
- Television: TNT
Time Running out For Blues
Coming into the series, it seemed like the only chance for the St. Louis Blues to eliminate the favored Colorado Avalanche would be if goalie Jordan Binnington stole a game or two in the series.
With Binnington ruled out of the series after a collision with Colorado’s Kadri and St. Louis defenseman Calle Rosen, the pressure fell to Ville Husso. Husso is 0-2 with a 4.99 goals-against average and a save percentage of .847 in this series since coming in for the injured Binnington. Husso will need to rediscover his regular-season form and that is a key piece of the Blues vs Avalanche game preview.
Now the attention falls to the veteran St. Louis forwards.
David Perron continued his hot play with two goals in the Game 4 loss. Perron has four of the Blues’ 11 goals in the series. Ryan O’Reilly and Jordan Kyrou have two goals each, however, they need some assistance. Colorado has outshot St. Louis 91-45 in Games 1, and 4 – and the Avalanche’s goal totals have increased with each game in the series.
St. Louis has been outscored 11-5 since the series was notched at 1-1. Not having Binnington, who has the best goals-against average in the Stanley Cup Playoffs, hasn’t helped. Ville Husso started the playoffs as the No. 1 goalie for the Blues before giving way to Binnington during the series against Minnesota.
With those numbers in mind, the Blues will need to get its offense going to have a chance to extend the series.
Four forwards have appeared in every game in the series and have no points to show for it. Not having an injured Torey Krug, the team’s best puck-moving defensemen, hasn’t helped. St. Louis defensemen have a goal and four assists with a defensive rating of -11. Colorado defensemen have eight goals and nine assists and are a combined +15 in the series.
Kadri Steals Show for Avs
About the only thing worse for fans of the St. Louis Blues than seeing their team fall at home in a crucial Game 4 was seeing Nazem Kadri be the star of the game for Colorado. The red-hot Kadri will be front and center in the Blues vs Avalanche game preview.
All of Kadri’s past postseason transgressions have been revisited since his collision knocked St. Louis goalie Jordan Binnington out of this series. While Blues’ defenseman Calle Rosen played a role in the events leading to Binnington’s injury. Kadri went into Game 4 as Public Enemy No. 1 in the eyes of the Blues fans. In the ultimate bit of irony, Rosen and Kadri were traded together from Toronto to Colorado in 2019.
Kadri was suspended in the 2018, 2019, and 2021 playoffs with his team being eliminated each time. There were no such issues this time around. Kadri not only played in the crucial Game 4, but he scored three goals including twice during a four-goal second period as Colorado went up 3-1 in the series.
Kadri had four goals and two assists in the two games played in St. Louis as the Avalanche is on the verge of advancing to the Western Conference Final for the first time since 2002.
Kadri has been subjected to racist death threats on social media and a water bottle was thrown in his direction, allegedly by Binnington, during a live television interview. Having let his teams down before with questionable on-ice plays, Kadri wanted to make headlines in a different way.
“I wanted to come out tonight and really put a mark on this game, especially after what happened,” Kadri said after the Game 4 win. “I tried to do that as best as possible. I was able to strike early in the second period and was able to get the mojo going.”
Blues vs Avalanche Betting Preview
St. Louis has proved it can win in Denver with an impressive win in Game 2, however, the Blues didn’t put up much of a fight after scoring first, once again in a Game 4 loss.
Colorado is 12-2 in its playoff history against St. Louis including 7-1 at home. Perhaps the players who helped the Blues make a surprising run to the 2019 Stanley Cup title will find a way to have the series return to St. Louis for Game 6 but it is not looking good.
According to the NHL betting tips, the Avalanche is at -260 to win Game 5.
Colorado has won the last six postseason games against St. Louis featuring at least six combined goals.
St. Louis will once again be without defensemen Torey Krug and Marco Scandella. They finished third and fourth among St. Louis defensemen in ‘time on ice’ during the regular season and haven’t played yet in the series. Colorado will be missing defenseman, Samuel Girard. Andre Burakovsky, a 22-goal scorer during the regular season for Colorado, he missed Game 4 and that didn’t slow the surge of the Avalanche.
The total for Game 5 is 6 1/2 goals. It would benefit the Blues if the game went under that total because matching the high-powered Avalanche ‘goal for goal’ seems unlikely.Follow us on Twitter