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Avalanche at Blues Game Six Preview

Raise your hand if you expected a game tonight.

NHL: MAY 23 Playoffs Round 2 Game 4 - Avalanche at Blues

Tyler Bozak’s overtime winner on in game five was a Wednesday Night Miracle. After clawing back from a 3-1 deficit to tie the game twice in the last half of the third period, the Blues pulled off a win that nearly no one expected. After rolling over in games three and four with the worst example of an “emotional response” the loss of a player that fans have seen from a team, it stood to reason that they wouldn’t display fight in Denver, either. After all, if they can’t do it in front of their own fans, why would they do it in front of Colorado’s?

Maybe they took a page from Nazem Kadri’s playbook: draw on the home crowd’s energy and shut them up. Blues fans gave Kadri the business all night through game four, and he responded with a hat trick. Avalanche fans expected to be awaiting the winner of the Oilers/Flames series (congrats to Connor McDavid for making it to the WCF), not preparing to watch another game broadcast live from the Enterprise Center tonight.

Just be careful drawing comparisons between Wednesday night and the Monday Night Miracle. The game after the 1986 win against the Flames was... it was not a win. The Blues lost 2-1, missing the Stanley Cup Final. The momentum carryover wasn’t there on that night, but it’s tough to see how, 36 years later, the Blues’ can’t carry over Wednesday night.

How did they win? They kept their heads. There wasn’t any retaliation against Kadri or anyone else on the Avalanche. No stupid penalties, no playing with an edge to make up for the fact that the team just wasn’t playing period.

“You’ve got nothing to lose, so you might as well throw it all out there,” Robert Thomas said. “I think that was our mentality. It seemed to work.”

That’s the mentality that the Blues need to have. Just get down to business and play your game. If you lose, you lose, but if you win you survive another game. A win tonight would force a very unexpected game seven in Denver, where the Blues have shocked the crowd twice.

If the Blues start solidly - and this doesn’t go back to scoring early, but actually maintaining pressure past an early goal if one happens - they will go a long way to pushing this series back to Colorado and into a game seven. If they take their foot off of the gas at any point, Colorado will make them pay.