The St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche have had some battles together. For awhile, the Blues were wishing the franchise had stayed in Quebec.
The St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche have flip flopped regular season success in recent years. Right now, the Blues are on top. The question would be for how long?
Colorado is going through some transition, both on and off the ice. The Blues may be able to hold onto their position for awhile longer, but the Avalanche aren’t incredibly far off.
Colorado won the Central Division in a surprise in 2013-14. They then regressed in 2014-15 and a bit further in 2015-16.
Whether it was injury, lack of talent or simply the fiery nature of Patrick Roy wearing thin, the Avalanche could not capitalize on that division win. They lost in the first round that season and have not been back to the playoffs since.
They did not fall off the face of the planet. The Avs only missed the playoffs by five points in 2015-16.
Colorado’s problem is they seem unable to string together stretches of wins. They went 2-8 in their last ten, including losing six straight to miss the postseason.
Now, things are different. The Avalanche added Jared Bednar, one of the top up and coming coaches, to take the spot behind the bench.
How much of a difference he will make is yet to be seen. However, as long as management gives him the tools, don’t expect it to take long to bring the Avs back to prominence.
The situation was quickly souring and many thought Barrie was going onto the trade block. Instead, Joe Sakic got the job done and did not let one of the league’s good, young defenders onto the market.
Bednar is also a huge addition. Though he does not have a ton of NHL experience, he is a winner. He is just coming off an AHL championship, so he knows how to craft a championship team.
Colborne is a big bodied center, with just enough skill to make the most out of the minutes he gets (averages around 15). Colorado shouldn’t expect a lot of offense from him, but his size should protect some of their more skilled guys.
Tyutin is definitely on the back side of his career. At 33, there are fewer years in front than there are behind.
He had one of the worst years of his career in 2015-16, from a production standpoint. Colorado is mainly bringing him in to be a veteran presence though.
Wiercioch is what he is. At 26, he hasn’t made a huge impact with any team. 56 games with the Senators is the most he’s ever played in the NHL.
It will be up to him to make the most of this opportunity. At this point though, it seems he was brought in for depth, because he is only costing $800,000 and is a restricted free agent.
Berra has been unable to impress in either Calgary or Colorado. His stats aren’t terrible, but he’s never come even close to a .500 record and only had quality starts in around 40% of his games.
Matthias and Colborne are almost the exact same player, with Colborne being a little younger. They’re around the same size and average about the same production.
Boedker might be the biggest loss. Not because he did much with the Avs, but because of what he can do. Boedker scored 51 points in two of the last three seasons and the one he did not was the lockout year.
Boedker and Matthias might hurt because the Avalanche picked them up at the trade deadline. Any of those moves are always risky, but when players leave straight away, it makes it feel like an empty haul.
If you look at the team on paper, it doesn’t seem much better than the previous year. So, why would you expect them to make the playoffs?
You would not. That is not to say they can not.
Bednar is going to be the joker in the deck when it comes to the Avalanche this year. If he can work his magic, then this team has enough talent to at least be in the wild card mix.
More from Bleedin' Blue
- St. Louis Blues Prospects Shine And Fizzle In Prospects Showcase
- St. Louis Blues Giving Nick Ritchie A Look Is No Lose Situation
- St. Louis Blues Torey Krug Already Injured Before 2023-24 Season
- St. Louis Blues Need Kasperi Kapanen To Be On Best Behavior
- Former St. Louis Blues Forward Going Into Hall Of Fame
Any time you have talent like Nathan McKinnon and Matt Duchene, you have a chance to win. Jerome Iginla is closing in on 40, but even if the legs aren’t there any more, scorers rarely forget how to score.
Colorado only finished five points behind Minnesota and Minnesota’s additions were quite similar. They added a new coach and some uninspired pieces, so it isn’t beyond the realm of possibility for the Avalanche to get into the wild card picture.
The Avalanche need to clean things up on the defensive end. They scored the same amount of goals as the Wild, but allowed 24 more.
If Semyon Varlomov stays healthy and the Barrie contract settles down the defense, the Avs could return to the second season. There’s a few too many ifs to declare them a contender though.
The record between these two franchises has gone back and forth just like their playoff success. The Blues might wish they were still playing the Quebec Nordiques.
The Blues have been owned in Colorado. In this century, the Avalanche have had the best of the Blues overall as well.
St. Louis is behind in the overall race 58-62-11. The Blues have had the better of the Avs the last three seasons though.
The Blues were 3-1 and 4-1 three and two years ago. The Avs came back with a 3-2 record over the Blues last season though.
There is a big cluster of games with Colorado this season. The first is at home Sunday, November 6. Then, it’s a big chunk at the end of the year. The Blues are on the road Sunday, March 6, another road game Tuesday, March 21, one more road game Friday, March 31 and then a home game Sunday, April 9.
It seems a bit unfair to both teams to smash their games so close together. Three road games straight in Denver seems a bit much as well.
These are the breaks of the schedule though. It’s up to the Blues to deal with it, overcome it and win.