The Colorado Avalanche is on a three-game trip before the NHL All-Star Break over the weekend. The Avs makes their first journey to Canada with a back-to-back set against the Original Six Toronto Maple Leafs and Montreal Canadiens before finishing the trek in St. Louis against the division-rival Blues.
ColoradoAvalanche.com is writing and taking photos of the trip.
It is the last day of the Avs' road trip, and they have some business to take care of this evening against the St. Louis Blues before the players get some time off for the NHL All-Star Break.
It was a typical game day for Colorado, with the team having two buses to Scottrade Center for morning skate. Before going to the rink, the players had breakfast at the hotel restaurant. Most of the players were on the second bus that left at 10 a.m.
The Avalanche didn't have a practice on Wednesday, so everyone on the team should be rested for the game. Colorado's morning skate began at 11:30 a.m. and lasted for 25 minutes.
There will be a few players missing from tonight's lineup for a variety of reasons. J.T. Compher didn't go to the rink in the morning because he is sick, while Mark Barberio did practice but is ruled out for the contest with a lower-body injury.
Sven Andrighetto also didn't skate as he continues to recover from his lower-body ailment. Head coach Jared Bednar told the media that it was a scheduled day off from the ice for Andrighetto, and the Swiss forward continues to make progress.
Taking Barberio and Compher's spots in the lineup will be forward A.J. Greer and defenseman David Warsofsky. Greer has been a healthy scratch for the last four games, while Warsofsky will be making his Avalanche debut after signing with the club in the offseason and beginning the year in the AHL with the San Antonio Rampage.
After morning skate, the Avalanche headed back to its hotel for a pre-game meal and nap.
When it was time to go back to the arena for the game, the Avs' two buses left at 4 p.m. and 4:30 p.m. It is only a 15-minute ride to the rink, allowing plenty of time for the players to do their last-minute preparations for the contest.
Warmup began at 6:29 p.m., and there was some puck art waiting for the Avalanche when the club took the ice.
Colorado had a decent start for the first few minutes after the opening faceoff, but it couldn't sustain that jump. The Blues controlled most of the first period, outshooting the Avs 17-8 and led 1-0.
St. Louis added another marker in the second period before Alexander Kerfoot tallied late in the frame to get the Avalanche back to within one score.
However, that would be as close as Colorado would get as the Blues tallied again with 1:20 remaining, taking advantage of a 2-on-1 rush while the Avs were trying to push the pace for the equalizer. The final score was 3-1.
Forty-five minutes after the third period horn sounded, the Avalanche's team buses depart Scottrade Center and head to the airport for the trip back home.
After boarding their charter flight and getting settled with a light snack, the Avs' team plane is wheels up at 11:08 p.m. CT. It is a two-hour journey back home to Colorado.=
It ended up being a bumpy ride getting into Denver, but it was a smooth landing when the plane touched down at 12:05 a.m. MT.
Upon arriving, the players quickly gathered their belongings and dispersed toward their cars to head home. The Avs now have three days off for the NHL All-Star Break--except for Nathan MacKinnon, who is representing the team at the weekend festivities in Tampa.
It will be a short night for MacKinnon, as he needs to be back at the airport in the morning so he can travel to Florida for the NHL's mid-season classic.