By Patrick Kelly
After quite the exciting ending on Saturday, the Blues are right back to work on Monday with a big task: A matchup at home against the Colorado Avalanche, who currently sit a point behind the Blues in the division with two games in hand.
The Avalanche are currently on a nine-game point streak, winning eight of those games and dropping one in overtime to the Flames. The Blues have played very well against the Avalanche going 12-3 in their last 15 games against them.
The biggest piece to the Avalanche success as of late has been Nathan MacKinnon, who is continuing to make a case as one of the best players in the league, already racking up 50 points in 32 games played this year.
The Blues do get some relief tonight though because the Avalanche will be without their rookie defenseman Cale Makar, who has missed seven games with an upper body injury which is also what defenseman Erik Johnson has been sidelined with as both players did not travel with the team to St. Louis.
The Blues won’t be getting much relief from the injury bug either as both Carl Gunnarsson and Ivan Barbashev will be out of the lineup tonight. Gunnarsson was placed on injured reserve by the Blues on Saturday and the team called up Niko Mikkola from the San Antonio Rampage. Mikkola was drafted by the Blues in 2015 and is currently in his second season with the Rampage, registering two goals and six assists in 26 games this season. Barbashev left the game on Saturday with an upper body injury. With Barbashev out tonight, Zach Sanford will be back in the lineup playing on the second line with Ryan O’Reilly and David Perron.