Tonight should give the Blues a chance to bounce back from their 3-1 loss at home last night - which hopefully doesn't mean that the trend of bombing games with soft goals at home continues to this season. Minnesota's streak of eight billion sell-outs could very well end tonight with the team not keeping the fans happy after a disappointing season last year and a projected equally as disappointing finish to this year.
The Blues have a new line-up for tonight (subject to change, of course), via Jeremy Rutherford of the St. Louis Post Dispatch:
Alex Steen-David Backes-Graham Mink
David Perron-Philip McRae-Brad Boyes
Chris Porter-Jay McClement-Tyler Shattock
Stefan Della Rovere-Adam Cracknell-Cam Janssen
Nikita Nikitin-Tyson Strachan
Ian Cole-Roman Polak
Eric Brewer-David Shields
I really dig the idea of having Steen and Backes together on one line. The strength there doesn't only come from goalscoring ability, but it comes from size and an aggressive (read: physical) forecheck that should be able to plow over people.
Also dig the second line - McRae should benefit from the speed of Boyes and Perron, and I'm looking forward to keeping an eye on Brad Boyes for the season. I really do think he'll rebound for the season without Andy Murray and the stress there - I know I pin a lot on him, but I do think that the team environment had a great deal to do with the lackluster play from so many guys on the squad.
Brewer being back and bigger is nice to see. I know I keep promising an article on Brewer and his captaincy, but I swear, this week I'll have it. Maybe. Hopefully.
For some expert analysis from the Wild point of view, please make sure that you check out The State of Hockey News. He's got their tentative lines posted and ready to go.