Tonight is key matchup for the Colorado Avalanche and the St. Louis Blues. Both teams currently are fighting for a chance at the 2nd Wild Card spot but the Blues have a 1 point lead over the Avalanche.
The way the Avalanche looked last season made it seem like they would be rebuilding and wouldn’t make the playoffs for a couple of seasons, but as you know a year after they went 22-56-4. Quickly the Avalanche turned it around and within a year have a chance to play in the post-season. With a win tonight they can forget about the 48 point season they had exactly a year ago.
The winner of tonight’s matchup will determine who the Nashville Predators will play in the first round.
The Avalanche had a chance to clinch the playoffs during their recent stint in California when they went 0-2-1 against the Ducks, Sharks and Kings. On Sunday night the Avalanche blew a 2 goal lead and ended up losing in overtime as well as losing 4-2 against the Sharks on Thursday night.
If Colorado can win in regulation they will take possession of the 2nd wild card spot with 95 points.
Key to an Avalanche Victory:
MacKinnon. MacKinnon needs to continue to ignite the offense. During the season, he has 38 goals and 57 assists. If the Avalanche play aggressive enough to win face-offs and get shots on goal early, then they have a chance to enter the postseason quicker than many expected.
ST. LOUIS BLUES
The St. Louis Blues need to find a way to make it work again tonight after a 4-1 win over the Blackhawks Friday night. The Blues had a chance to clinch it after that game but managed to give up a 3-1 lead and lose with 10 seconds left in regulation on Thursday night. If they could have forced the game into OT they would have gained at least a point
The Blues were out of the playoff picture for a short stint but quickly climbed back into it after winning 8 out of 9 games in the end of March but quickly dropped in standing as they lost the following 4 straight.
Carter Hutton had the start on Friday night which allowed Jake Allen to rest and start against the Avalanche. Hutton had 19 saves and helped the Blues jump into the 2nd Wild Card spot.
Key to a St. Louis Blues Victory:
Avoid losing in regulation. The Blues need to play defense throughout the game and force the Avalanche to take tough shots. If the Blues can at least earn a point and stop the Avalanche from winning they will have the advantage and will play the Nashville Predators in the first round. St Louis currently holds the tie breaker if they do end up having the same amount of points in the standings due to the season head to head matchup.