3 Takeaways From Blues’ 4-1 Win over Avalanche in Game 2

The St. Louis Blues bounced back in Game 2 against the Colorado Avalanche, posting a 4-1 win on the road to tie the series at one.

2022 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs Colorado Avalanche St. Louis Blues Round 2

The Blues needed to prove that this wasn’t the same team from 2020-21 that got swept by the Avalanche, and they did so. They showed that they could hang with them and even control the game’s pace, as it isn’t easy to win in Colorado with the altitude and atmosphere at Ball Arena.

Blues Played Their Game

For most of the first and second periods, the Blues controlled the pace of play and played their style. They can’t get into a track meet with this Avalanche team, as they already lost a game while allowing that to happen in Game 1. It helps that they have gotten brilliant goaltending from Jordan Binnington, but this was a team effort.

David Perron St. Louis Blues
David Perron, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Two big takeaways from this game were the Blues being 61 percent in the faceoff circle and throwing 38 hits. Justin Faulk threw six, while Niko Mikkola had five to finish first and second respectively for the Blues. Ryan O’Reilly had an assist, was 62 percent on his faceoffs, and covered Nathan MacKinnon with great success in this game. This game was the polar opposite of Game 1, which is all Blues fans can ask for.

Related: 3 Takeaways From Blues’ 3-2 Overtime Loss to Avalanche in Game 1

The lineup changes that head coach Craig Berube made were another stroke of brilliance. There is an argument that his impact as a coach has been the largest in the playoffs, as his adjustments in both series have led to wins. He also trusts his team to bounce back and make their own adjustments, and a veteran team like this did so in Game 2.

Perron and Kyrou Score Big Goals

The Blues should make no mistake and re-sign David Perron this summer, I officially have no doubt that it must happen. He scored two more goals in this game to make it seven for the playoffs in seven games. He is a St. Louis Blue through and through, and it’s showing in this current playoff run. Jordan Kyrou also had a tremendous game, scoring a big goal to break the ice in the second period.

Jordan Kyrou St. Louis Blues
Jordan Kyrou, St. Louis Blues (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

Kyrou had three shots on goal and showed off his speed while making less soft plays with the puck that he frequently made in Game 1. I believe that the line with Kyrou, Robert Thomas, and Brandon Saad can be the most important line for the Blues moving forward. The reason that I say that is because of the speed and playmaking ability, they continue to look more comfortable together.

Two others that should be mentioned are Brandon Saad and Ryan O’Reilly, they’ve been so consistent and good for the Blues in these two games. The team needs more contributions from Vladimir Tarasenko and Robert Thomas as they have lacked some confidence to start the series. Perron and Kyrou got a couple of bounces and capitalized on them to lift the Blues to a Game 2 win.

Binnington Continues to Shine

It was another strong start for Binnington, who stopped 30 of 31 shots and got his fourth win in five games. He’s completely changed the trajectory of this playoff run for the Blues, as I’m convinced that they would not be in this position with Ville Husso in net. That also isn’t a knock on Husso, who had a fantastic regular season.

Jordan Binnington St. Louis Blues Stanley Cup
Jordan Binnington #50 of the St. Louis Blues hoists the Stanley Cup (Photo by Dave Sandford/NHLI via Getty Images)

Binnington now has a save percentage (SV%) of .947 in five playoff starts this season, along with a record of 4-1. The most improbable stat is that the only loss was in Game 1 against the Avalanche where he had a whopping 51 saves. His ability to get out of the crease and play the puck has changed everything the Blues do. It brings a different dynamic to the team as Husso just can’t do that kind of stuff.

Either way, the Blues needed to prove that they could hang with the Avalanche and they did so in Game 2. They must withstand the inevitable push in Game 3 from them, as it will be a fast and furious start. It’ll be interesting to see if the Blues make any more subtle adjustments to avoid the Game 3 blunders that they had against the Minnesota Wild in the first round of the playoffs.

Substack Subscribe to the THW Daily and never miss the best of The Hockey Writers Banner