One of the beauties of preseason hockey is that none of it counts. Not last night’s 3-1 loss to the Dallas Stars, nor the previous game’s loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Heck, even tonight against the Wild is meaningless in terms of standings.
The games may not count, but they do matter. Coaches are looking at players to evaluate placement on lines and who gets the last roster spots. Players want to make a good impression - and many have so far this preseason. It’s still hockey, it’s still something to watch, and tonight if you have ESPN+ you’ll actually be able to view tonight’s matchup between the Wild and the Blues. You can also listen to Chris Kerber and Joey Vitale’s call on ESPN 101.
The problem is that there seems to be something else going on around the same time tonight. Fans will have to choose between meaningless hockey and a very meaningful baseball game for the Cardinals. If you’re not a baseball person, tonight’s game will be a fun watch; if you are a baseball person, well, there’s another option for you to watch if the Cardinals don’t give Adam Wainwright a good start.
Clearly, the coaching staff knew where St. Louisans’ eyes would be tonight, because while last night’s lineup was close to NHL worthy, tonight is clearly another chance for some people to make a good impression. Tonight’s projected line-up, via stlblues.com:
Ivan Barbashev - Tyler Bozak - James Neal
Klim Kostin - Logan Brown - Sam Anas
Nathan Walker - Nikita Alexandrov - Michael Frolik
Kyle Clifford - Dakota Joshua - Mackenzie MacEachern
Jake Walman - Robert Bortuzzo
Niko Mikkola - Scott Perunovich
Calle Rosen - Steven Santini