NB: Tonight’s game conflicts with tonight’s Cardinals game, so the game will not be on the main Bally Sports Midwest channel. For those of you able to see the game broadcast on TV in the first place, it will air on Bally Sports Midwest Plus. Please see the updated channel numbers here.
There’s nothing more weird than playing a game the day of the trade deadline. If you’re the coach, how do you plan your lines? Do you hold rumored trade targets out just to be on the safe side? Do you go ahead status quo like nothing’s happening?
For Blues head coach Craig Berube, it’s probably more confusing than usual - because it’s not clear what Doug Armstrong is going to do today. The biggest trade targets like Taylor Hall have fallen to other teams, and the Blues have decided to go on a three game winning streak that has completely reversed (for now, and for the future, hopefully) the team’s trajectory. What then? Do you mess with that? Do you deal a player with Robert Thomas out who may not improve the team - but who may alter the chemistry?
The last two games the Blues played against the Wild were a pair in a back to back series on Friday and Saturday night. They couldn’t’ve been more different. Friday’s game was a wild 9-1 romp by the Blues; Saturday night’s was a nail biter with last minute heroics by Mike Hoffman (his second of that game) and a game winner in OT from Ryan O’Reilly that may be the best backhanded goal I’ve ever seen. Both Ville Husso and Cam Talbot turned in solid performances.
Tonight’s game will see the Wild look to build on momentum gained from Saturday night’s loss. By all accounts, the team - especially head coach Dean Evason - were happy with their performance. The Blues didn’t have much to complain about regarding their work in Saturday’s matchup either. Odds are tonight’s game will be closer in tone to Saturday nights’ than it will be to Friday’s game.