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Fire On The Mountain: Blues At Colorado Avalanche Preview

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The Blues hit the road, goal-digging in the hills out west

There's something that I never get tired of seein' ...
There's something that I never get tired of seein' ...
Chris Humphreys-USA TODAY Sports

This would be a great opportunity for me to tell you all how to fix the Blues, but then I realized that the Blues have already been "fixed" a thousand times over online after Monday's game. The Blues need to get things back on track, and their next opportunity will be tonight against Colorado. Whatever might be wrong with the team didn't happen overnight, and it surely won't be fixed in one game either. Right now, I'd just like to see progress - a step in the right direction.

Had dreams about the west and started to roam

Playing a team like the Avalanche should afford the Blues the opportunity to demonstrate what they do right. The Avs are the 2nd-worst team in the ultra-tough Central Division (cliche, but true). Now, their 41 points would be 3rd place (and home ice in the playoffs) in the Pacific, but in the Central it isn't even a wild-card spot. Not only that, but then later this week, we get to travel to the Pacific to play the Kings and Ducks. You can't underestimate any of these teams, but these are opportunities that should not be squandered.

They say heaven's at the end
But so far it's been hell

I think everyone had expected the team to be further along than this, but yet the team has struggled. The Blues have never done anything easy. If the Blues come out of this westerly trip with a couple of wins, it would go a long way to getting the Blues fanbase off of the ledge.

And there's fire on the mountain

As luck would have it, we go to Denver at a time when the Avs are heating up. They've gone 6-2-2 in their last 10 games, and most recently put up 4 on the Kings in a 4-1 win on Monday. They've played several high-scoring games lately. Since beating the Blues on 12/13, they scored 5 goals on Edmonton, allowed 7 to Toronto, put up 6 against San Jose, and allowed 4 to Chicago and Calgary. Overall, there's been big swings in the Colorado performance.

Lightening in the air

Could an almost-new Jonathan Drouin be coming to the Central? It's pure fantasy, but you have to believe every team in the league will be ringing up Stevie Y to ask.

The Avs could be more in the market for defense than O, however. They've already made a waiver claim this week, picking up defenseman Andrew Bodnarchuk from the Columbus Blue Jackets on Tuesday. That can't replace Erik Johnson, who is going to be out for a week or two with a lower-body injury. He is a lynch pin to that defense, and they'll be sorely missing those 23 minutes a night he usually plays. Again, this presents an opportunity for the Blues, should they seize it.

Sinning was the big thing Lord

Let's stay out of the box too, eh? The Blues are still middle-of-the-pack in terms of overall penalty minutes, but they've had an uptick lately. Some of the comebacks that the Blues have tried to mount were stifled by PK situations. In fact, the Blues have given opponents 16 power play chances in the 6 games since Christmas. They can't afford to keep doing that.

Expect Jake Allen in net for the Blues, and the Avalanche will probably (not confirmed) start Semyon Varlamov in theirs. Varly is .913 (Sv%) and 2.67 GAA for the year. I'm not sure that it matters who the Avs start, to be honest.

Further Reading:

Mile High Hockey

Blues vs Avalanche coverage

GameDay Twitter Feed:

Final Verse: A later than usual start tonight: the puck drops at 9 PM St Louis time, with the GDT dropping shortly beforehand. The TV broadcast is on FoxSports MW, and the radio call is on KMOX 1120 AM. Come on down and join us for some nightcap hockey. This will mark Paul Stastny 's 100th game as a Blue tonight. He's played the Avs before, but has yet to register a point against them. No time like the present! Speaking of milestones, Jarome Iginla just scored his 600th career goal in that LA game:

LGB!!!