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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 10:39 am 
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The St. Louis Blues are starting to feel like the Pepsi Center is their home away from home.

The Blues face the Colorado Avalanche on Friday night, marking the third time in 26 days the teams will play in Denver. The first two worked out pretty well for St. Louis: a 3-0 win on March 5 and a 4-2 victory on March 21.

If that pattern holds Friday, the Blues (42-28-6) will be able to celebrate clinching a playoff spot. They enter the game with 90 points, one ahead of Nashville for third in the Central Division, with a game in hand after the Predators lost to Toronto on Thursday.

The Blues are also 11 points up on Los Angeles, the only Western Conference team not in a playoff spot that hasn't officially been eliminated from contention.

The most points the Kings can earn is 91, so a St. Louis win would clinch at least the second wild-card position in the conference.

It is hard to imagine the red-hot Blues losing their six remaining games in regulation, so the only question left is whether they will be a wild-card team or finish in the top three of the division and avoid the No. 1 or No. 2 seed in the West.

Coach Mike Yeo said the most important thing is finishing strong. St. Louis is 11-1-1 in its last 13 games, so it has momentum going into the last 10 days.

"We want to make the playoffs, but we want to make sure that we're a good team going in," Yeo told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch after a 3-1 win over Arizona on Wednesday. "The same focus for us: We got the win (Wednesday) and obviously there are some areas we have to be better at going into our next game."

A quirky schedule had the Blues and Avalanche playing only one time before March. St. Louis beat Colorado 5-1 at home on Nov. 6 and has a chance to sweep the season series with a win Friday and another on the last day of the season in what will likely be a prep for the playoffs.

The Avalanche (20-53-3) have long been eliminated from the postseason and are in the midst of a seven-game losing streak, all in regulation. Two more losses and they would match their longest losing streak of the season, although there was an overtime loss in that Jan. 12-Feb. 4 stretch.

Colorado doesn't have much to look forward to, but there was excitement surrounding the team Thursday. Tyler Jost, the 10th overall pick in the 2016 draft, arrived a day after signing an entry-level contract, and the hope is he will be able to play Friday.

The only thing that could hinder that is paperwork. Jost is from St. Albert, Alberta, and officials were dealing with his work visa and issues that might not be cleared up before the game against St. Louis.

When and if Jost, 19, is able to play, it will add a spark to a team that has gone 11-44-3 since Nov. 23.

Jost just finished his freshman year at the University of North Dakota, where he had 16 goals and 19 assists in 33 games. General manager Joe Sakic dubbed him one of the untouchables before the March 1 trading deadline.

Jost is just as eager to get on the ice as the organization is.

"I want to be a part of the rebuild and I want to do whatever I can to help this team in that rebuild stage," Jost told HockeyBuzz.com. "Obviously, they're struggling a little bit, but I think I can bring some energy and some pace into this lineup. I'm still very honored and happy to be part of this organization."

If he gets on the ice Friday, he will probably witness St. Louis clinching a playoff spot and putting the Kings behind.

"We can't control what L.A. does, but we can control what we do in this room," Blues goaltender Carl Hutton told the St. Louis Post-Dispatch.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 11:16 am 
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Love that Nashville lost yesterday. Let's get these two points tonight so that we're 3 points up on the Preds when we meet them on Sunday.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 5:12 pm 
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Am going, sitting in lower bowl, made signs.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 6:51 pm 
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Perron saw my "bring back white skates" sign during warmups and cracked up. Guess I can go home!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:23 pm 
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The Blues are using much more energy in dominating play and getting off a lot of shots. But, they'd better get a few goals out of it. Otherwise, as they are less used to the high altitude than The Avs, they might find themselves out of gas in The 3rd, and The Avs able to skate around and by them, and have a lot of operating room to score.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:31 pm 
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Great tip in by Reaves of Upshall's shot! Blues lead 1-0!!!

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 7:36 pm 
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Get 75 a hatty tonight.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:02 pm 
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The Blues played well and dominated in The 1st. But, they need to score a few more, to get rid of the opportunity for The Avs to steal a win this game.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:13 pm 
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There's a dude here ((among many blues fans) wearing a "clown" red bottom jersey with reaves number :cry:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:35 pm 
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The Blues had better get the lead back before the end of this period on this pp.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 8:42 pm 
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I'm neither happy nor confident with The Blues going into The 3rd at 5000 ft. only tied at 1-1. They should have been ahead 3-0 after The 1st, and The Avs would have mailed in the rest of the game.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:07 pm 
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The Blues need to score on this power play.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:15 pm 
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The defence will be very tired being down to 5 players for 6 positions for 80% of a game at over 5,000 ft. altitude.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:31 pm 
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Blues win the one point that puts them in the playoffs. It'll be nice if they can win in OT, but, with all that open ice and McKinnon and Landeskog vs. a very tired Blues team, I'm not very optimistic.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:38 pm 
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The Blues had several chances in OT to win. They should have put it away. Including the easiest one with 5 seconds left!!! Booo! :cussing:

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:40 pm 
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The Avs looked like the better team for most of the 2nd and 3rd periods. I think we're lucky to escape with one point.

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PostPosted: Fri Mar 31, 2017 9:46 pm 
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Very disappointing game against a 20 win team. They were right in front with an open net several times in the last 1.5 minutes. One of them should have gone in. They'll need to take out their frustration on The Preds, Sunday.

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PostPosted: Sat Apr 01, 2017 5:50 am 
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Blues looked tired in 2nd and 3rd. Stastny was missed on face-offs in this one. Steen and Schwartz were a combined 31% in this area and if your top line isn't winning face-offs, your starting behind the curve on offense every time after play stops. MacKinnon and Duchene just owned those two. This face-off issue beared out in the strong play of the 4th line with Brodziak winning 59% of his draws.

Yakupov still drives me nuts when moving the puck up ice if he chooses to carry it, because as soon as he hits that mindset of carrying it to the zone, it appears as if there is no other option. Result - pucks don't get deep, he gets knocked off the puck, and it's going the other way. This is a major weak point in his game and have no idea why it's still there, considering it's a fundamental. Just because you can skate fast, doesn't mean you will always skate past someone.

And God, No, Lehtera is skating again - with the FSMW crew talking like this is a positive :doh: :facepalm:

This is only the 3rd time the Blues have lost under Yeo when they've scored the first goal - the others being to Edmonton and Buffalo.

All that being said, Blues are still on pace for winning 14 of the last 22 at 11-4-2, so far. They weren't going to win all the games against the bottom of the league.

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