In practical terms, it is nigh impossible to "preview" the 7th game between the same two opponents. There's not much to tell you that the previous 6 games haven't already. Dallas is a good team, and if you allow them a inch, they will take a yard and a half. They are also eminently beatable - the Blues dominated the Stars for the remainder of that game, but fell short by a single goal. But again, we knew that already. Nonetheless, I can drag the waters of the Internet and share with you what I've found.
Both coaches held press availability sessions after Tuesday's skates. The big news from Lindy Ruff is that (as of that moment) star forward Tyler Seguin is "not available. He's not ready to play right now."
Meanwhile, in coach Ken Hitchcock's session he said that he would not announce his Game 7 goalie until game day. I think most fans have already decided, and the quotes coming out of the Blues dressing room seem to reinforce it: the job still belongs to Brian Elliott. There were floods of support:
The talk in the locker room after last night's loss was mostly about Elliott bouncing back Wednesday. Good chance he gets the nod. #StlBlues— Andrew Allsman (@allsmandrew) May 10, 2016
Brouwer says he would be very surprised if the Blues didn't turn back to Elliott.— Jeremy Rutherford (@jprutherford) May 10, 2016
Pietrangelo on Elliott: "He's been standing on his head the whole playoffs. He's been unbelievable." #stlblues— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) May 10, 2016
"If it's not him tomorrow I'd be surprised." David Backes predicting Brian Elliott to start game 7 for #stlblues— David Solomon (@solomonsside) May 10, 2016
Hitchcock to announce game 7 goalie tomorrow. #stlblues players unwavering in their support of Brian Elliott.— David Solomon (@solomonsside) May 10, 2016
If it's up to #stlblues players, Elliott starts. Deserves it.— Lou Korac (@lkorac10) May 10, 2016
Meanwhile, the Stars will continue to press on without Seguin. There were some Stars fans wondering if this was a typical playoff injury non-update, and if Lindy was actually underselling things to only activate Seguin later. In his weekly chat with fans, Dallas Morning News beat writer Mike Heika wrote:
Question: Could Lindy Ruff be bluffing about Seguin not being available?
Heika: I don't think so. Seguin has only skated in one practice. I think they would like to see more from him, especially after he looked 100 percent healthy before Game 2 and still got hurt again.
There was also this tidbit:
Question: Hope we don’t have to find out, but how many goals in do you think would trigger a mid-game goalie swap in Game 7?
Heika: Might be just two if they are bad.
Lindy will be on his guard, and the switch to Niemi has worked at times this season.
That said, the number is usually three if it’s a 3-0 lead for the opposition.
So there's some food for thought. Lindy is an extremely confident coach - if he thinks Kari Lehtonen has lost his war nerve, there would be no hesitation in slipping Antti Niemi into the crease. It has happened often enough with this team, I don't know if the skaters would even react . That is sort of ironic, actually, because one reason for doing it is to provoke a reaction from the team.
In the absence of Seguin, the rest of the Stars have needed to pick up the slack. Where the Blues have gotten a lot better with their secondary scoring, the Dallas squad has missed a few notables. One example is Patrick Sharp; this series has to be #10's worst in a while. One game with 2 points, and nada for the rest of the series. After a single assist in the opening game, John Klingberg has been quiet as well. The Blues will need to continue that level of defense for one more night in order to pull this off.
Gameday Twitter Feed:
Final Verse: Well, at least we have a sane starting time tonight. Once again, the puck drops a little after 7 PM St Louis time, with the GameDay Thread dropping shortly beforehand. The TV broadcast is on NBCSN and the radio call will be on Y98 FM. Come join us and we'll celebrate together with booze and puppy gifs for all.