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Blues at Avalanche Preview: Hoffman expected to join team

Hoffman’s visa issues should be settled by tonight.

NHL: JAN 13 Blues at Avalanche Photo by Dustin Bradford/Icon Sportswire via Getty Images

The Blues 4-1 win over the Colorado Avalanche in Wednesday night’s opener sent a message (at least to Blues fans) that maybe the West won’t be the gimmie for the Avs that pundits expect it to be. The strength of the Blues’ team ethos was apparent on the score sheet: two goals from Oskar Sundqvist, one from Jordan Kyrou, and one from new arrival Kyle Clifford. There’re assists from Zach Sanford, Sammy Blais, Ivan Barbashev, Tyler Bozak, Robert Thomas, and Jaden Schwartz.

If those names don’t scream “team effort,” I don’t know what does.

Tonight against the Avs, the team and the scoresheet will look a little different. Sammy Blais will be sitting in the pressbox tonight and Monday night due to a two game suspension resulting from a hit to the head on Devon Toews. This should be irrelevant to the team as a whole, not that Blais is irrelevant, but because Mike Hoffman should be able to play tonight.

One area tonight that the Blues could tighten up on is their faceoff percentage. Colorado led in that category 54% to 46%, with Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Nazim Kadri, and Mikko Rantanen dominating in the circle. Adding the extra work of gaining possession of the puck on top of dealing with Colorado’s power play, which the Blues got a taste of, is not a recipe for success.

Tonight’s game is an 8:00 puck drop on FSMW, if you can get it.