Colorado Avalanche Advance to the Conference Finals For the First Time in 20 Years

Colorado Avalanche vs St Louis Blues
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The curse has been broken. For the first time in 20 years, the Colorado Avalanche have finally made it past the second round of the playoffs. After three consecutive second-round exits, even being the favourites in most of those, the Avs defeated the St. Louis Blues to punch their ticket to the Western Conference Final. But for now, let’s look at how this Colorado Avalanche vs St Louis Blues series unfolded.

Colorado Avalanche vs St Louis Blues Series Ends In Six Games

This was an obvious ending to a really good series between two really good teams. The Avalanche were the better team but the Blues are not known for backing down when things get hard. They fight back and that’s exactly what they did. It was a hard-fought series for both teams and either team would have been deserving to win. But in the end, a few factors were key for the Avs to take this one home.

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Every Line Matters For Colorado Avalanche vs St Louis Blues

Something the Avalanche has and it’s unquestionable is a complete team. Everyone, from top to bottom, does their job well. And this was incredibly important against the Blues. Nazem Kadri and Nathan MacKinnon led the team in this series with seven points each, Kadri with four goals. Next were Mikko Rantanen with six and Gabriel Landeskog with five points. Valeri Nichushkin had four and Artturi Lehkonen three. This can continue but the list is available for everyone so this is enough to prove a point: everyone contributed offensively. Out of the 21 skaters that dressed for this series, only four were held from the scoresheet. Their offensive depth is incredible.

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Offensive Defencemen Step Up

One player that stood out against the Blues was the 20-year-old rookie Bowen Byram. After struggling with injuries and concussion symptoms since last season, he is starting to settle and find his game, which is great news for the young Canadian. In the last three games against St Louis, Byram had two multipoint games and finished the series with five points. He led all defencemen in points, being followed by veteran Josh Manson. The Blues did a good job at slowing both Cale Makar and Devon Toews down, holding them with only six points combined.

Kuemper Continues Collecting Wins

Darcy Kuemper is definitely the star of the show for this Avalanche season. And he continues to collect important wins for Colorado. Throughout the playoffs, he has a 6-2-0 record with 2.44 goals against and a .904 save percentage. Against the Blues, he had a .892 SV% but what truly matters is that they made it. He was a key factor in the Avalanche vs Blues series and helped the team secure the four necessary wins to advance. After a tough Game 5, he bounced back and helped secure the series in Game 6.

What to Do Against The Oilers

Now that they will move on to face the Edmonton Oilers, the Avs have some homework to do. The Oilers are a much more offensive and well-structured team than the Blues. They’re less physical but every chance they get they will try to score – which makes them a very similar team to Colorado.

Something to watch is their power play. Throughout twelve games, Edmonton had a 28.2% success rate, which guaranteed them a lot of the offensive power they had against the Kings and the Flames. Defensively, they’ve also been pretty decent, holding the Calgary Flames back to win their series in five games – something no one saw coming.

Connor McDavid is playing the best hockey of his career and so is Leon Draisaitl. Zach Hyman is also playing really well and Evander Kane continues to prove he was a good addition to the team. For this series, Colorado will have to be extra careful and stay out of the box, doing what they do best: controlling plays and dominating in the offensive zone. Much like the Colorado Avalanche vs St Louis Blues series, this should be very interesting.

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