DENVER – Game 1 was classified as a playoff game, but it wasn’t classically a playoff game.
“I don’t know if it was that physical, to be honest with you,” said Justin Faulk of the Blues.
To win Game 2, the Blues must establish the environment for a playoff game. To win Game 2, shoot, the Blues have to do a lot of things. But one thing they can improve on is playing opportunistically physically. To set up a fight in this series, the Blues don’t need to fight, but they need to perform a tactical check and a strategic forward check.
“Maybe we have to get in there and be a little more physical so that we can do our check before and get a little more into our game…” said Faulk on Tuesday of Ball Arena, as the Blues, down 1-0 in the series, set for Wednesday’s Game 2 in Colorado. “If we run with the puck, especially coming out our side and through the neutral zone, that sets up our forward failure. When you get that, it allows us to go on the offensive. And then, even if your forward check goes in the right direction and (the Avs) pulls the puck, (our defender) is generally tight or has better spreads. This allows us to close them and create turnovers on our end, and then start that cycle over again. “
It seemed doable on Tuesday; we’ll see if that happens on Wednesday. The Avalanche has a crazy talent. The Blues know it, they’ve seen these guys nine times. Nine times. And in those nine games against Colorado, St. Louis has won just three. The Blues know this won’t be one of those series of bruises we saw in the Stanley Cup race in 2019. They are well aware that the Avalanche is playing a game of speed, a game of transition. with a style that doesn’t blink, both for the opposition and for the fans. And the Blues know the Avs finished last in the National Hockey League for hits.