I can't believe that I'm finally writing this - hockey's back. I will be sitting my happy little butt in my season ticketed seat at Philips tonight. It might be 90 degrees outside, but it's a nice 64 degrees inside and I shall have a frosty $8 beer in one hand and a Wetzel Dog in the other. It's like Christmas, but with violence.
I'll be trying to post the line-ups of the teams here so people won't have to go hunting around the internet like I had to last night. Some teams aren't as good about posting line-ups as Ben is at the Blueland Blog.
Kane- Burmistrov- Stewart
Dawes- Little- Pettersson
Paquette- Holzapfel- Aliu
Eager- Rissmiller- Machacek
I like that top line, but I really, really like the second one. Lots of speed, good playmaking, and grit mixed with scoring from Dawes. The third line isn't a slouch, and the fourth should be a bit rough to play against too. I'm very much interested to see how Valabik and recent signing Zubarev do together, not really for Boris but mostly for Zubarev. He'll probably wind up in Chicago, but that added depth and size at defense isn't anything to scoff at. Kulda's fighting for a roster spot against Valabik, Zubarev, and his line mate Meyer. If Kulda's cut, expect him to be one of the last to go.
There will be camp tomorrow morning for everyone not on this roster, and expect the first cuts to come probably early tomorrow morning.
The Blue Jackets were nice enough to post their line-up on their site as well. As expected, it's mostly rookies with a few vets thrown in for balance. They're throwing David LeNeveu out to the wolves at least the first two periods, but as is customary expect to see Mathieu Garon get some playing time about halfway through, much like Drew MacIntyre will for Atlanta.
If you'd like to further check out the competition, don't forget to head over to Light the Lamp.
After the jump, a look at the Avalanche's first visit to St. Louis this year.
The Colorado Avalanche's Pre-Season Line-Up (presumably)
Colorado did a number on the Blues last year, sweeping the season series and probably keeping the Blues out of the last playoff spot because of that. Here's hoping that STL can avoid that again this year, because Colorado really would like to repeat getting into the playoffs.
The Blues' line up (as well as the one for the next pre-season game against the Wild) was posted by Lou Korac, sports reporter for the Alton Telegraph. No line pairings, but the average age of the guys out there is 6:
Goalies: Halak, Allen
Defensemen: Arsene, Colaiacovo, Evans, Jackman, Johnson, Oystrick, Pietrangelo, Ponich
Forwards: Beach, Berglund, D'Agostini, Drazenovic, Hensick, Janssen, McDonald, Nigro, Oshie, Scatchard, Shattock, Sonne, Spina, Winchester
The guy out there fighting for a spot the most is probably Nathan Oystrick, who could sneak in as the 7th defenseman. Keep an eye on prospect Brett Ponich, too. He's a scrapper. D'Agostini still has something to prove as being the only actual acquisition that the Blues managed during the season last year, and away from the pressures of Montreal he could very well do it.
I think that Oshie pretty much HAS to be out in front of any hometown crowd, as does CamSMASH. Winchester's interesting to get out there instead of another prospect, considering everyone knows what he can do - witness the pissed off reaction when we re-signed him.
Some dude named Halak's starting, too.
Anywho, the Thrashers game will NOT be on the radio or TV, wheras the Blues game will (I assume) be broadcast on KMOX 1120. My suggestion, though, is to just suck it up and go to the damn game. Who wouldn't want to - hockey's back!