The Colorado Avalanche came into the 2021 Stanley Cup Playoffs as one of the overwhelming favorites. The Blues didn’t present much evidence to the contrary, and the Avalanche took care of business in Game 4, completing a First Round sweep.
In Game 4, the Avalanche beat the Blues 5-2.
On one hand, the Avalanche didn’t totally dismantle the Blues in Game 4. The two teams were tied 0-0 through the first period. When Vladimir Tarasenko scored an all-too-rare power-play goal in the third period, the Avs’ lead was down to a manageable 3-2. Once Nathan MacKinnon drew a penalty and then scored a dagger of a PPG, it was clearly over.
But maybe the sweep was more or less a formality after the Blues couldn’t quite get it done vs. the Avalanche in Game 3? To an extent, those felt like the last gasps of a St. Louis team that just didn’t really have it this season. At least not to the scale of really pushing the Colorado Avalanche.
Blues simply didn’t “have it” vs. the Avalanche
You could just see the exhaustion on Blues players, particularly Ryan O'Reilly. They were simply overmatched, and Philipp Grubauer was game for just about any big push.
When the Blues received that major penalty after Nazem Kadri delivered that suspension-worthy hit in Game 2, they could’ve rallied against the Avalanche. Instead, they could only score one goal, and ultimately only barely budged Colorado out of its comfort zone.
Now, this is worth mentioning: the Blues might feel a little bit better about getting swept by the Avalanche once this postseason moves along. It might turn out that no one can regularly keep up with the Avs.
Right now, though? It’s got to be dispiriting, and that 2018-19 Stanley Cup might feel distant.
Meanwhile, the Avalanche get to watch the Golden Knights and Wild battle it out, and maybe see if Nazem Kadri can appeal his eight-game suspension down to something that will affect the Second Round a bit less.
AVALANCHE SWEEP BLUES: RECAPPING THEIR PLAYOFF SERIES
Game 1: Avalanche 4, Blues 1
Game 2: Avalanche 6, Blues 3
Game 3: Avalanche 5, Blues 1
Game 4: Avalanche 5, Blues 2
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.