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Colorado Avalanche At St. Louis Blues Preview: Yak’s Back

After being a healthy scratch on Saturday, Yakupov is back in the line-up for today’s game.

NHL: Colorado Avalanche at St. Louis Blues Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

Last night’s 2-1 overtime win against the Columbus Blue Jackets featured a goal by Jay Bouwmeester. The Blues’ defensemen have been more potent than their offense recently, scoring a bulk (if you want to call it that) of the goals during the Blues’ scoring drought. Somehow or another, over the last nine games, the Blues have scored one goal or fewer six times. Somehow, they’ve managed to accumulate points and are in second place behind the Blackhawks in the Central Division by just three points.

I won’t pretend to understand this young season.

Nail Yakupov sat last night, giving Ryan Reaves a chance to return to the line-up. The fourth-line was one of the better lines, giving the team spark and helping to set-up Bouwmeester’s goal. Yakupov’s return marks an opportunity to further spark the offense. He’s been getting good chances, but like much of the rest of the team, has been unable to capitalize on them. Shots on goal have not been the problem. Scoring chances haven’t exactly been the problem either. Getting the puck into the back of the net, however? That’s been an issue. The Blues have scored one regulation goal against luminaries such as Peter Budaj and Curtis McElhinney.

This afternoon they will, more than likely, see Semyon Varlamov in net. Varlamov has one win in his last five games, has a 3.30 GAA, and a .891 save percentage. The Avs haven’t done much to bail their goalie out, scoring only 2.18 goals a game on average this year.

The Blues? They have scored 2.17 goals a game on average this year.

Don’t expect a barn-burner this afternoon, folks.