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Wild at Blues Preview - Z Debuts, Berglund Back In

The Wild(s) have been killing teams with boring hockey lately, and the Blues have not exactly been the bastion of excitement lately either. Who wins out when the irresistible force meets the immovable object? Also, welcome Zbynek Michalek!

Expect this guy in net tonight. Also, win or lose tonight, expect this guy to eventually be run into the fucking ground by Mike Yeo.
Expect this guy in net tonight. Also, win or lose tonight, expect this guy to eventually be run into the fucking ground by Mike Yeo.
James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports

Boy, a lot of the Blues' #ConferenceIII games have been pretty damn meaningful lately, and weirdly enough, not many of them have been against the Predators or the Blackhawks . . . it's like the Central is a tough division or something.

Because it is.

Despite that, look at what the Minnesota Wild(s) have done since Mike Yeo was nearly (and for all intents and purposes, should have been) fired back in January. They pick up the guy pictured above (Devan Dubnyk . . . who, mind you, is expected to make his 27th CONSECUTIVE appearance in goal tonight for Minnesota) via trade and they go on an unprecedented run, taking them from around the levels of the Stars and Avalanche(s) to what is now the top wild card spot in the West. Insane.

Another thing to note . . . Dubnyk started last night against the Ducks (and lost 2-1). Travel, tired team, tired goalie . . . boy, this sounds like something the Blues should capitalize upon.

With the Wild(s) riding a hot goaltender, the chances would have it that the team is playing an incredibly boring style and not putting up many goals. Well, they're putting up more goals than their opponents lately, and that's all they care about. Nothing fancy.

It's not like the Blues have been blowing the doors off teams lately either. Sure, our boys have taken more games than dropped since Kevin Shattenkirk had to have surgery, but how many of those games would you say the Blues have looked, like, DOMINANT in? Maybe a handful, if that?

So yes, with the absence of the team's best offensive blue-liner and with Ken Hitchcock at the helm. the Blues will play into Mike Yeo's boredom train quite well, thankyouverymuch.

Here's the biggest news tonight for Blues fans heading into tonight's game:

Yes, we get to see Zbynek Michalek on the ice for the Blues for the first time. Of course, once he plays, that conditional third round pick acquired from the Coyotes goes right back to Arizona. We didn't need it anyway.

This is the front end of a back-to-back set. Brian Elliott will get the start tonight for the Blues, while Jake Allen will start Sunday in Dallas. Considering the Stars' firepower and given how well Allen played against the Wild(s) in the only prior meeting between the two teams this season (this game on November 29th), this seems like a very curious move.

But then I came across THIS little tidbit:

Shows what I fucking know.

We will not see the return of Olli Jokinen tonight, but . . .

Yes, we'll see Patrik Berglund return to action after being given a night off Thursday. Sitting Marcel Goc again is rather curious. Steve Ott as a center? Ugh. Okay, Hitch. Put down the booze.

We'll have a GDT for you close to game time, which is somewhere around 7pm CDT (so, about 6:30pm CDT). Set your drinking and swearing schedules accordingly.

If you're attending the game, remember:

Yes. Buy a paper. And tip your vendor, you cheap asshole.