Wild At Blues Game Preview: Colaiacovo's In, Shattenkirk's Out With Flu

Yaaaay! I'm back! - Frederick Breedon

The Blues' star defenseman is out tonight, so Carlo Colaiacovo is making his triumphant, asplody return to wearing the Blue Note.

It's late fall, so you know what that means - flu and cold season. It's been going around the NHL, and it's hit Blues defenseman Kevin Shattenkirk. Never fear, though! Carlo Colaiacovo's healthy (!) and ready to play tonight.

"It's ironic ... it's exciting," said Colaiacovo, who re-signed with the Blues on Nov. 12. "I've done a lot of hard work off the ice to keep myself in the best shape possible for a situation like this. I feel really good on the ice. I think for me, it's just the excitement of finally getting back in a game."

...

"He's been ready for a week," Hitchcock said. "He's a great puck distributor, he's smart, he plays sneaky good minutes. He's a real complementary player. He can play minutes killing penalties, he can play on the power play ... he can add to the group."

I'm assuming that Cola's a huge Alanis fan, because I'm not so sure what's ironic about him playing on the fifth anniversary of his debut in a Blue Note. Unless...

i-ron-ic: happening in the opposite way to what is expected, and typically causing wry amusement because of this.

Well, maybe it is ironic, because no one would ever expect Cola to be in tonight and healthy while Shattenkirk's out and sick. I am wryly amused.

I am also amused by Umlaut's reaction to playing on the right wing since Ryan Reaves is out:

"It doesn't matter for me, none whatsoever," Paajarvi said. "Left or right, if I end up on either side, it doesn't really matter for me."

Read: I'm playing, so I'm cool.

Tonight it'll be Jaroslav Halak against Niklas Backstrom. Backstrom has been backing up former backup Josh Harding this season. He's 2-1-2 this season with a 3.03 GAA and a .892 save percentage. Harding was injured in warm-ups Saturday night, so Backstrom's back as the starter. Pepper him early, pepper him often, boys. That shouldn't be hard since the Blues tend to outshoot the Wild. They've outshot them by at least 18 shots in their last three meetings at Scottrade.

Fire away!

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