The NHL is set up with another great night of action on Wednesday night. Six games are up on the board throughout April 14. One of these games will be between the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues. These two teams have been strong throughout this season and will look for a big win in this one. This matchup will drop the puck at around 7:30 PM Eastern time on NBCSN.
The Avalanche have put up a record of 29-9-4 throughout this season, which has them sitting in the top spot of the West Division. Colorado has won three games in a row and sixteen of their last nineteen. The Avalanche have been the hottest team in the NHL as of late and will look to keep it going in this one. I expect Colorado to set up early in this one.
St. Louis has earned a record of 19-16-6 to this point in the season, which has them in fourth place of the West Division. The Blues have earned three straight wins to get back into a playoff spot. St. Louis has struggled at times this season and are looking to hold on for a win in this one. The Blues will look to hold on to their lead in the standings with another win on Wednesday.
These two teams have been solid throughout this season, which should lead to a great game on Wednesday night. Colorado has been quite a bit stronger this season as they lead the NHL in points. The Avalanche will look to keep this streak going as they near the postseason. St. Louis needs a big two points at home as they look to hold on to the final playoff spot in the West.
The Avalanche and the Blues have met up four times so far this season. Colorado hosted the first game on January 13. Andre Burakovsky opened up the scoring, but it was not enough. Oskar Sundqvist had a two goal night to lead St. Louis to the win. Jordan Binnington finished with 26 saves on 27 shots as the Blues won 4-1 on the road.
The second game of the season series stayed in Colorado on January 15. Nathan MacKinnon had a goal and two assists, while Cale Makar had three assists. Gabriel Landeskog had two goals. Andre Burakovsky, Nazem Kadri, Mikko Rantanen and Devon Toews all had a goal and an assist to help lead the Avalanche to a dominant 8-0 win. Philipp Grubauer stopped 21 shots to shutout the Blues.
Colorado hosted the third game of the season series on April 2. David Perron had a goal and an assist for St. Louis, but it was not enough. Nathan MacKinnon had two goals on the night, while Gabriel Landeskog had two assists. Jonas Johansson stopped 25 of 27 shots for the Avalanche to help Colorado earn a 3-2 win at home.
The fourth and most recent game of the season series stayed in Colorado on April 3. Ryan O’Reilly scored for the Blues in the first, but it was not enough. Nathan MacKinnon and Cale Makar both scored for the Avalanche in the win. Philipp Grubauer finished with 27 saves on 28 shots as Colorado earned a 2-1 win.
Colorado has been really strong on both sides of special teams throughout this season. The Avalanche have capitalized on 37 of their 158 power play opportunities, which is a 23.4 percent success rate. Colorado has given up 22 power play goals on 135 penalties against, which is an 83.7 percent kill rate. The Avalanche will look to stay strong on special teams in this game.
The Blues have not gotten much going on either side of special teams this season. St. Louis has scored on 22 of their 119 power play chances, which is an 18.5 percent power play. The Blues have killed off 99 of their opponents 130 power play attempts, which is a 76.2 percent penalty kill. St. Louis needs to step up on special teams in this one.
The Avalanche have a clear edge on special teams entering this matchup and will look to use that to grab a win. The Blues will look to stay out of the penalty box to avoid Colorado’s dangerous power play. St. Louis needs to switch things up down the stretch as they try to hold on to their playoff spot. If the Blues can step up in this one, they could pull off the upset against the Avalanche.
I expect Philipp Grubauer to get the start in the crease for the Avalanche in this one. Grubauer has played in 34 games this season, going 25-8-1. He has put up a save percentage of .920 and a 2.00 GAA through his games played. Grubauer’s last start was against the Arizona Coyotes where he stopped 35 of 37 shots in the winning effort.
Jordan Binnington will likely get the nod in the net for St. Louis on Wednesday night. Binnington has earned a record of 12-11-5 through his starts this season. He has posted a .910 save percentage and a GAA of 2.65 throughout this season. Binnington finished with 24 saves on 25 shots against the Minnesota Wild in his last start, which was enough for the win.
These two goalies have been solid throughout this season. Grubauer gives Colorado an edge in this one with how he has played this season. Jordan Binnington has been strong as of late in this winning streak and he will look to keep up these numbers. If either goalie can have a hot start in this one, it could be enough to lead their team to the win.
The Avalanche have been the better team throughout this season, but I think St. Louis can bounce back with a win in this one. This will be Colorado’s first game in St. Louis this season and the Blues will look to win at home. St. Louis has been up and down this season and will look to keep this winning streak going. If the Blues can put pressure on the Avalanche early, it could be enough for the win.
BetOnline has Colorado listed as a -182 against the money line in this one. This implies that the Avalanche will win this game around 64.5 percent of the time. I think that this line is right with how hot Colorado has been. As big home underdogs though, I think there is a lot of value on St. Louis. If the Blues can keep up their recent play, I think they can pull off the upset in this one.