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Preview: Wild visit St. Louis to close out 2022 with revenge

In the final game of the year, some guys are returning to the lineup in Missouri.

NHL: OCT 04 Wild at Blues

Not these guys again.

The Minnesota Wild are facing the St. Louis Blues for the first time since losing Game 6 of the first round to them and breaking all of our hearts. We hate this team, so much.

Wild at Blues

When: 5:00 p.m. CT
Where: Enterprise Center
Radio: KFAN 100.3

It only makes things worse that the Blues aren’t doing too well this season compared to the Wild. They started their season losing almost every single game and that might end up being a hole they cannot get themselves out of in this tough Central division. Too bad!

Unfortunately, in this game that could prove to be a statement win, that they aren’t just a pushover team for this hockey team in Missouri, the Wild are facing some question marks in the lineup.

Projected Wild lineup

Kirill Kaprizov — Sam Steel — Mats Zuccarello
Jordan Greenway — Joel Eriksson Ek(?) — Marcus Foligno(?)
Ryan Hartman — Frederick Gaudreau — Matt Boldy
Mason Shaw — Connor Dewar — Ryan Reaves

Jake Middleton — Jared Spurgeon
Jonas Brodin — Matt Dumba
Jon Merrill — Calen Addison

Marc-Andre Fleury is likely starting in this New Year’s matchup.

There are loads of changes that might take place tonight. Mason Shaw is returning from his two-game suspension; Marcus Foligno might be returning from injury; Joel Eriksson Ek might play or might miss tonight after getting a little banged up; and if those two can’t play, then Sammy Walker and Adam Beckman will be in the lineup. A whole lot of questions that won’t be answered until closer to puck drop.

Projected Blues lineup

Pavel Buchnevich — Ryan O’Reilly — Brayden Schenn
Jordan Kyrou — Robert Thomas — Ivan Barbashev
Brandon Saad — Noel Acciari — Logan Brown
Alexei Toropchenko — Nathan Walker — Josh Leivo

Niko Mikkola — Colton Parayko
Nick Leddy — Justin Faulk
Calle Rosen — Robert Bortuzzo

Big Baby Jordan Binnington is probably going to be in between the home pipes.

When you look at the first two forward lines, you really wonder how in the world the Blues are barely above a .500 team right now, but then you just shift your eyes a little bit down the lineup and the answer is clear. All the talent at the top can only supplement some below-average depth and the Blues do not have the depth to hang around with the Wild, frankly. But, Vlad Tarasenko might come back from being a little sick, so that’s bad.

But we know that for some reason St. Louis is basically the antidote to Minnesota’s play style, for some reason, so this matchup will be annoying as hell.

Puck drop is at 6:00 p.m. Have some early champagne.

Burning Questions

Will this version of the Wild handle the Blues?

We all know how last year went. The three regular season losses that led to losing to them in the first round in just six games. The Wild can be winning so many damn games in a season over the best teams in the league, but then the Blues just stroll on the ice and ragdoll Minnesota to their own win.

Can this year be any different?

Will Mason Shaw have even more energy?

Shaw has been resting for the last two games after being suspended for kneeing the hell out of Evgeny Svechnikov, so, can the little energetic winger be an even larger bundle of power tonight?