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Blues at Avalanche Preview: It’s finally opening night

This has been a long wait.

NHL: MAY 23 Stanley Cup Playoffs First Round - Avalanche at Blues

Let’s get one thing out of the way early: after this week, you can never call Blues fans impatient.

The Blues, Bruins, Flames, and Sharks are the last four teams who haven’t gotten a chance to hit the ice yet this season. After five days of play, some teams in the Central Division have already had the opportunity to lose twice.

The Blues have been itching to play the Colorado Avalanche again since they were swept out of the playoffs by the Avs last post-season. They played Colorado without David Perron, who was a point per game player last season. In the middle of the Perronassaince, the team lost him to the Covid-19 protocol list when they needed him most.

Unfortunately, they may be without Perron again tonight. Perron sat out yesterday’s team skate, and coach Craig Berube was a bit cagey regarding his status for tonight’s game. Let’s just say that Perron is a game time decision.

The Blues aren’t the only team who will be short key players. Nathan MacKinnon will remain out tonight due to (thankfully) asymptomatic Covid-19. Avalanche captain Gabriel Landeskog is also out tonight, though more as a self-own than anything else. He was suspended two games for a dangerous hit on the Blackhawks’ Kirby Dach. Factor in losing Valeri Nichushkin to injury, and the Avs look like a very beatable team tonight.

If you look at yesterday’s Perron-free lines and power play units, they look good. It might not be an earth-shattering, superstar laden lineup, but this should be a team that can compete, compete hard, and get the job done. It’s worth noting that tonight is Brandon Saad’s first game against his old teammates, so there should be some extra pep in his step.

Puck drop is at 8 PM Central tonight and will be broadcast on Bally Sports Midwest, ESPN+ for out of market folks, and the Bally Sports App. The radio call will be, as always, on 101 ESPN and available on the NHL app.