DENVER - NOVEMBER 15: Matt Duchene #9 of the Colorado Avalanche and Vladimir Sobotka #17 of the St. Louis Blues have words with one another just before they started fighting in the third period at the Pepsi Center on November 15 2010 in Denver Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Blues 6-3. (Photo by Doug Pensinger/Getty Images)
The Avalanche have a seven game home winning streak on the line tonight, while the Blues need to piece together points in seven straight road games to keep on climbing the standings.
The Blues as of late have had fits against the Colorado Avalanche in the past few seasons. Even after Blues-killer Chris Stewart was traded as part of the deal that saw Kevin Shattenkirk come to St. Louis in exchange for Erik Johnson and Jay McClement, the Blues still can't solve them. It's going to be even harder tonight, since the Avalanche have been outstanding at home as of late. If they win tonight, it will be win number seven in a row for them at the Pepsi Center. As tough as the Avs have been to score on at home, that's how hard it is to net one against the Blues. They have a seven game road points streak on the line tonight with one of the best defenses in hockey keeping them in games. When you score only 12 goals during a seven game point streak, you need a good defense to bail you out.
That excellent defense worked in the Blues' 2-1 shootout loss to Nashville on Saturday night, but the Preds' victory proved what the Blues' problem is: goal scoring. The six goals netted against Columbus were more of a fluke than a norm, and were probably aided by Steve Mason's struggles in net. Semyon Varlamov hasn't had that problem lately, and especially not against the Blues, who have never beat him.
The guy in the Blues' net is no slouch either. Brian Elliott is still leading the league in GAA (1.43), save percentage (.948), and is tied for the lead in shutouts with four. He should be good to go as Ken Hitchcock had Jaroslav Halak in net for both Saturday and Sunday's games.
Tonight's game has a later puck-drop of 8:30, so get ready to stay up late.