After receiving our first home loss of this young season, the Colorado Avalanche looked to truly bounce back in the third and last game of this homestand. The team heading into Ball Arena was none other than the St. Louis Blues. This was a Division Rivalry game, and the Blues were in their first full season after the teardown that happened in the middle of last year. So the Blues were a wild card. The Avs' recent history with the Blues had been a good one, but this was a new season series. Even so, it is often fun when the Blues and Avalanche get together.
And then the game started.
It was a disaster from jumpstreet. St. Louis had two shots within the first minute, and in the second minute, they were up 1-0 after Brayden Schenn put one in. Blues had a power play (more on that later), it was killed off, but later on, Schenn struck again. For the first time all season, the Avs were down 2-0 at home. That's a damning deficit, but it can be erased. It looked like we would head to the locker room down 2-0. Torey Krug changed that. Barely over a second in the opening frame, and Krug made it 3-0. Oh no!
We needed something. Fast! We were on the power play in the 2nd period! That's what we needed! However, the Blues would take control. The Blues would have a near 3-on-1. And finally, the Blues would score shorthanded. Pavel Buchnevich made it 4-0 on our power play! That was it, in my eyes. The game was done. Mikko Rantanen did end the shutout bid of Jordan Binnington (or as I called him that night, "pre-bubble Binnington"), but we were still down 4-1 in the 2nd period, and even worse, we would be shorthanded entering the third.
Buchnevich scored on the PP early in the third, and after the Blues received another PP, it was Schenn completing the hat trick. That did it. I promised more talk about the Blues power play. It was DEAD LAST in the entire league!!! They had only ONE power play goal all season! They scored TWO within the first three minutes of the third period! That is absolutely unacceptable! Even worse, Buchnevich added his second shortie of the game, so now two Blues players had hat tricks.
The Avalanche went on to lose, 8-2, at home. Oh boy. What happened? Remember when we were 6-0? It seems like a distant memory now. Colorado has lost five of seven now, with three of the losses being shutouts, the fourth was the heartbreaker to the Kraken, and then there's this. Being a devout optimist, there were a few positives. For one, I finally got Avs Twitter Psychic right this season. My pick to score the Avs' first goal of the game was Mikko Rantanen. Also, Jack Johnson scored the other goal, and Jonathan Drouin received his first point since Game 1 of this season. I still say Drouin picks it up.
There's one more silver lining to this whole thing: it's early. The Avs have 69 games left. One thing I know about the Avs is that we often turn it up during the heart of the season; it's been like that ever since this window opened six years ago. The Avalanche are due for that big winning tear. We fans just have to be patient.
The Avalanche will head to Seattle on Monday, for our final meeting with the Kraken. Again, this schedule is weird. Not even American Thanksgiving yet, and we'll already be done with Seattle.
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