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Road Music: 04/01 at Minnesota Wild

New Guy in, Osh Out against the Wilds

... not bad for a little Russian kid... that's not Russian. little, or a kid. Discuss.
... not bad for a little Russian kid... that's not Russian. little, or a kid. Discuss.
Scott Rovak-USA TODAY Sports

Amidst the calls from the Asylum crowd to blow up the team, GM Doug Armstrong has sensibly stuck with building the team up. As a GM, your first choice is building, rather than breaking down. To that end, the Blues picked up Buffalo D Jordan Leopold in exchange for a 2nd round pick and a conditional 5th round pick (becomes a 4th if the Blues win a playoff series). This is very obviously a rental, as Leopold is in the last year of this contract and is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the season. He's a Left-shooting defensemen, and will be paired with Kevin Shattenkirk initially. It looks like Redden will be scratched to allow for Leopold (wearing #33) to play.

Meanwhile, T.J. Oshie is day-to-day and did not make the trip to Minnesota with the team. Goalie Jake Allen has been sent back to Peoria, and it's the Jaroslav Halak and Brian Elliott show from here on out. There's been a lot of roster activity since the last game, so they'll have to adjust a little on the road. With the West as tightly packed as it is, there's no margin for error; they'll need to adjust and adapt fast.

All Mixed Up / 311

The Enemy: The Minnesota Wilds have been running hot in the Northwest Division, and are currently holding the #3 spot in the Western Conference. They've won 8 of their last 10 games, including a tough win against the LA Kings. They were down by 2 goals early, can clawed back to tie it up, and then win in a shootout. So yeah, they're a tough out.

The overall points leader is Mikko Koivu, (with 9-24-33) followed by goals leader Zach Parise (15-15-30) and Ryan Suter (3-25-28). Most pundits had the Wild as a few years away from contending (despite the big free agent pick ups), but the Wild seem to be trying to prove them wrong. When the kids start coming up in the Wild system, they could be a formidable opponent.

In net, they are led by Niklas Backstrom, who has started 27 of 34 games. He's gone 19-7-2 with a 2.34 GAA and .916 save percentage. Rookie Matt Hackett got his first start on the Wild's last loss, against Dallas, giving up 5 goals. He'll probably be backing up Backstrom tonight.

Further Reading:

Hockey Wilderness

Russo's Rants

Final Verse: The game begins at 7:00 PM tonight, thankfully we're back on Central time. The broadcasts have been shuffled around a bit: the TV broadcast will be on something called Fox Sports Midwest Plus, the details are HERE. The Radio call will be on KYKY 98.1 FM. The GDT should drop shortly ahead of the puck. Until then, this is your pregame warmup. Gather here, talk trades, April Fools pranks, and Crosby's broken jaw (ouch!). Here's a great prank from the 24/7 series:

Penguins Hotel Prank (via twopensgirls)