The punishment continues for the Blues, as they immediately get back on a plane and head to Denver to face the Avs. Even though Coach is right in not blaming the SJ loss on the travel foul ups, it had to be a factor. Hopefully, a shot of routine (coming so soon after a road trip) will help the boys right the ship. The Sharks were better than their recent record indicated, so there's no shame in losing to them. Tonight's opponent, though, is a beatable team, even with the schedule and travel oddities. Our friends in the Rocky Mountains are still in the rebuilding stage, and aren't quite there yet. They seem to be going about it in an odd way, with the whole Ryan O'Reilly situation.
Is there ever a bad time for Led Zeppelin?
The Enemy: As mentioned, the Avs are still in rebuild mode, and are also dealing with injuries. They are essentially missing one of their top lines: Gabriel Landeskog (head and leg injuries), Steve Downie (out for the season with a bad knee), and Ryan O'Reilly (RFA contract dispute). Add to that the absences of Ryan Wilson and some guy named Erik Johnson, and it's a wonder that the Avs have even the 6-7-1 record that they've managed so far. One bright spot is Matt Duchene, who leads the team with 17 points (6G 11A), although one of those is considerably suspect. A recent development for them is former Blues prospect Aaron Palushaj - 4 points in 4 games since being picked up on waivers from Montreal Feb 5.
It's looking like Colorado will be starting Semyon Varlamov in net (or is that how it's spelled?). His numbers so far this year are a pedestrian 3.00 GAA and .905 SV%. His partner is Jean-Sebastien Giguere, with a better stat line (2.48 / .919).
Official Media Notes (from Avs website, in PDF form)
Final Verse: Back in Mountain Time, the game starts at 9:00 St Louis time. The TV Broadcast is once again on NBC Sports Network, and the radio call is on KMOX 1120 AM. The GDT will drop shortly ahead of the puck. Until then, here's your warmup. Talk about last night's game, the horrible officiating we've seen so far, and re-hash the Johnson/McClement - Stewart/Shattenkirk trade one more time...
Hell of a debut, eh?