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Crazy: Blues At Minnesota Wild Preview

The longest road trip of the season begins in Minnesota

Fabbri, show me your WAR FACE!!!
Fabbri, show me your WAR FACE!!!
Dilip Vishwanat/Getty Images

It was either a stroke of luck or intelligent forethought that placed the season's longest road trip right in the beginning of the season. Traditionally, attendance at home games suffer when the Cardinals are in the MLB Postseason as they are this year. Why not knock off some road games early?

This road trip starts off where last season ended, in the State Of Hockey (tm). This is an easy opportunity to lament the premature ending to last year's campaign, and rehash the whys and how-comes of it all. Don't fall for that trap. This is a new year, and the team writes its own story each year.

I remember when
I remember, I remember when I lost my mind

The home opener was a blast, and just walking into the arena, I fell in love with this sport and this team all over again.

Sure, it might not be the most rational thing, nor the healthiest, but there it is. I suppose I could bandwagon with some other team, but that would lose meaning. It'd ring hollow. So, regardless of past results here I am. Again.

Come on now, who do you,
Who do you, who do you,
Who do you think you are?
Ha ha ha, bless your soul
You really think you're in control?

The Minnesota Wild emerged victorious in the first round series last year, there is no arguing that. As homer-iffic as it sounds, I still maintain that the Blues lost it more than the Wild won it. I wouldn't give too much credence to that win and how it would apply to tonight's game.

The Wild pretty much stood pat over the offseason. Their big move was to re-up with the goalie that turned their season around last year, Devan Dubnyk . He was signed to a 6-year deal that has an annual cap hit of 4.3 million dollars. If Dubes can keep up the workload and pace of last year (39 games played for the Wild, including 38 in a row to close the season, with a .936 Save Percentage), then that'll be a helluva bargain. However, if he falls back to Earth much at all.... well, that's a loooooong contract for a position as mercurial as goaltending.

On the other hand, the Wild also have a deep blueline, with youngsters still getting a year better instead of just a year older. That'll give Dubnyk a chance, at least. With the exception of Ryan Suter, their defensemen are all 25 or younger, and will continue to gel and solidify over the years. Couple that with Suter playing 29 minutes a night, and.... yeah, Minnesota may not be the better team, but they're no cakewalk either.

And now that you are having the time of your life
Well think twice
That's my only advice

The Wild are coming off of an amazing win against Colorado on Thursday night. After sleepwalking through the first two periods, falling behind 3-0 in the first and then 4-1 in the third, the Wild woke up and pumped the Avs for 4 unanswered goals in a little over 5 minutes. Two were from Zach Parise, capping off a hat trick and giving the Wild fans a reason to celebrate. If the Blues are given that chance, they cannot let the Wild back into the game.

My heroes had the heart
To lose their lives out on a limb
And all I remember, is thinking
I wanna be like them

The success of this season will be built, to a large degree, on the efforts of the rookies on this team. The Blues youngsters had a good home opener, and of course you can't help but be proud of Robby Fabbri . He held his own on a pretty big stage, and if he can keep it up it will be one of the best stories of the year.

It was a really poignant part of the pre-game ceremony when they had the Blues Alumni line the path that the team skated out on, and then to have the current players skate out with members of local youth leagues. You had the past, present, and possible future of the franchise all sharing the same ice. Sure sure sure.... Minnesota is the "State of Hockey", but the St Louis area has a proud hockey community as well.

Further Reading:

Hockey Wilderness

Puck Daddy MN Wild Preview

Final Verse: The puck drops at 7:00 St Louis time, and the Game Day Thread should drop shortly beforehand. Be there, or be square. The TV broadcast is on Fox Sports MW, and the radio call will be on Y98 FM. Other lineup notes to be aware of: Kyle Brodziak and Chris Porter will be facing their previous teams tonight. Jake Allen is in net for the Blues, and Robert Bortuzzo will likely be playing in place of one of the rookie defensemen.

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