The Colorado Avalanche entered round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs as the most talented offensive team in the NHL. Game 1 was an impressive, dominant performance by Colorado crushing the Blues in shots, shots on goal, faceoff wins and hits. If not for the Blues’ decisive advantage in blocked shots, the Avalanche would’ve topped 60 shots on goal.
St. Louis Blues Keys to Victory
- Jordan Binnington needs to continue to be superhuman and minimize rebounds, much like he did, in game 1.
- The Power Play must be at its best. When you are at a disadvantage in most areas, you must be your best when you have the man advantage.
- Play disciplined hockey and minimize penalties. The Avalanche will undoubtedly rule the shots stat. Giving Colorado an extra man is a recipe for disaster, as Binnington can only manage so much.
- Blues coach, Craig Berube needs to pair a hitter with Vladimir Tarasenko. Ivan Barbashev is the ideal player for this. Tarasenko is a sniper, and needs someone physical to create space and opportunities.
Colorado avalanched the Nashville Predators in an impressive sweep in Round 1 and they continued that same momentum into Round 2. While everyone expected the Avs to advance, not many expected a dominant sweep. The Avalanche were the favorites entering Round 2 of the Stanley Cup Playoffs versus the St. Louis Blues. Nothing has changed.
Colorado Avalanche Keys to Victory
- Play their game – continue to put shots on goal, and chase rebounds. They are the more talented team. Not many changes are needed, if any.
- Stay out of the penalty box.
- Be cautious with defensemen pitching in and getting too deep. Skilled defenseman like Cale Makar love to jump in on the offensive side. His speed allows him to recover quickly, but if he is not careful this could open up odd-man breaks for St. Louis.
Once in the opponent’s zone, Colorado is the best team in the National Hockey League at getting quality chances and clean shots at goal. Led by a plethora of a skilled offensive players, true to form once Colorado starts pouring it on it is an avalanche. The game can get away from the Blues quickly if they are not careful. St. Louis’ best chance to steal a game in Colorado is to win the neutral zone. That, coupled with 2019 Jordan Binnington make anything possible. The Blues must be better on the faceoff as well. Colorado won 64% in game 1. St. Louis will not beat a team this good like that. This is not an impossible mountain for St. Louis to climb, but they will need to be much better in game 2. Colorado just needs to play the same game they played on Monday night.