GameThread for St. Louis Blues at Colorado Avalanche, Mar 8, 2014

Dilip Vishwanat

It's an afternoon tilt in the Mile High City. Will the Blues continue their winning streak and open up a gap over the Avalanche and Blackhawks in the standings?

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Afternoon games, especially afternoon road trip games, make me nervous. Hockey players are notorious for getting into a rhythm and a schedule, and starting a game at 1:00 in the afternoon Mountain Time seems like a recipe for disaster.

Sure, they're professionals and they're prepared for stuff like this, but that doesn't mean that weird, slow, sluggish games can't happen - and the Blues have been very good this year at either finishing slow or starting slow.

But hey, Umlaut is kicking ass and taking names recently. It's good to see him wake up a la Patrik "I'm an Enigma" Berglund. As Ken Hitchcock tells Jeremy Rutherford, Magnus Pääjarvi has -- wait for it -- bought in.

"He's really improved," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said. "He's bought in to the way that he needs to play to be a really good pro. He's become a really, really good player for us. I think everybody is excited for him. He's such a great team guy. Just to see him improve like he has throughout this year, this is a perfect example of young guy really growing into a role and into a game. He's got great hands and now he's got that work ethic and determination to go with it."

He's still going to be on the fourth line though - but the Blues fourth line seems to be very effective as of late, and PRV has a decent bit to do with that.

Ryan Miller has never beaten the Colorado Avalanche - he's lost all three games that he's started against them, and let in five back in February. Hey, small sample size and a different team. Don't get worried.

Well, worry a little bit. A Colorado win might knock the Blackhawks down to third in the division, but it places the Avalanche just a point behind the Blues.

This is your GameDay Thread. Comment like you really really hate the time change tonight.

Let's do this. Let's Go Blues.

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