ST. LOUIS — The central division continues to get more competitive.
The defending Stanley Cup Champions will try to break their four-game losing streak Monday against a team that is on a very different page.
The Colorado Avalanche are the only team left in the National Hockey League who hasn't lost a game in regulation yet this season. They're 7-0-1.
While the Blues are experiencing a Stanley Cup hangover, Colorado is utilizing new depth that was added during the off-season to stomp on almost any team they face.
The Blues' say their current focus is simply playing a full 60 minutes of hockey for the first time this season.
"If one thing is off, it's not going to be good enough," said Blues forward Ryan O'Reilly. "You know, we know that. It's a great test for us, and a great opportunity to get things back and going our way."
O'Reilly even touched on using upcoming games to "reinvent" the identity of how this team has been playing. This isn't a statement you'd necessarily expect just a couple of weeks into the season following a Stanley Cup win.
Colorado, on the other hand, had a different vibe.
Outside of their extremely vocal morning skate, the team talked about how everything is clicking this season.
"I think our whole four lines have been really good," said Colorado forward Mikko Rantanen. "We've found a way to win even when we haven't played our best some nights. We find a way."
Colorado's top line is what carried the team through two rounds of playoffs last season, and it's a big part of what will carry the team to victories this year.
That line, made up of Mikko Rantanen, Gabriel Landeskog, and Nathan MacKinnon, already has 12 combined goals this season.
MacKinnon alone had 99 points in the 2018-2019 regular season.
The differences for Colorado this year are depth, as Rantanen mentioned, and defense.
Avalanche forward Tyson Jost scored a hat trick against Tampa Bay over the weekend leading his team to a 6-2 victory. The same Tampa Bay that was predicted to win the Stanley Cup in a poll by NHL analysts in September.
Jost's hatty was only a brief glimpse of the secondary scoring that has supplemented Colorado's offensive success in the games so far.
But regardless of Colorado's success, and the Blues' recent struggle, the Avalanche made it clear they will never underestimate the ability of a Stanley Cup Champion.
If St. Louis doing a complete turnaround halfway through the season in the blink of an eye wasn't a testament to what this team is capable of, nothing is.
"We know this building is really tough to play in," said Rantanen. "We had some struggles. Especially my first three years in the league. It's always been tough to play here."
Both teams will face a test on Monday night.