The St. Louis Blues take their win against the Detroit Red Wings on Wednesday night and try to build on it against the Colorado Avalanche tonight. The Blues successfully defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins and Montreal Canadiens before that as well, so they will be looking for their fourth win a row tonight. It has been another solid regular season for the Blues, who will be looking to improve to 29-15-5-2 with a win over the Avs. The emergence and health of Paul Stastny is important for the Blues moving forward deeper into the season. The Blues didn’t pay him to come over and sit out with injuries. The team that the Blues lured Stastny away from was the Colorado Avalanche. The Avalanche would have liked to keep him around, but they simply couldn’t afford to keep Stastny on the roster and afford other players. In turn, he departed for St. Louis. As you can see, the Blues have been playing good hockey lately with Stastny healthy. He was responsible for a goal and 3 assists the other night in the 5-2 win over the Pens. The Blues’ success will be dictated by his ability to stay on the ice.
Tonight is the big homecoming for him, as he’ll be front and center against his former team, the Avalanche. Times were better in Colorado when Stastny was there, as the Avalanche had that breakout year in Patrick Roy’s rookie campaign as head coach. It was due in part to Stastny, now the Avalanche have been trying to build around Matt Duchene. Duchene isn’t in the upper echelon of talent like say a Alexander Ovechkin, Pat Kane, or Sidney Crosby, but he is definitely just below that tier of players. The Avs are 24-21-3 and will be at that make or break point when we return to action following the All-Star break. The Avalanche are on a small run of their own, as they entering with two straight wins against the Jets and Sabres.
St. Louis Blues vs. Colorado Avalanche NHL Pick
The Avalanche rode solid defense in their past two games, as both resulted in 2-1 victories. The Blues played some solid defense as well in their last two games, allowing 3 goals to the Red Wings and Penguins. The Blues have gone 5-1 in their last six games. They have been clumped in the group of teams who have been able to play well during the regular season but fail in the playoffs. The Blues have been up and down, but it seems like they come and go with Paul Stastny. He on the ice certainly makes a big difference. The Avalanche have found out the hard way, as they haven’t looked the same way without his services.
Stastny would love to come back to Colorado and escape with a win. I suspect that he will be extra motivated for tonight. The Avalanche didn’t want to give him the money, the Blues thought he was worth it. This will actually be his second return to Colorado of the month, with the Blues falling 4-3 in overtime a couple weeks ago. The Avs have gotten the better of the Blues the last two meetings, but I think St. Louis rides their confidence and puts on a better display tonight. The Blues are the play.
PICK: BLUES TO WIN -111