Finally, Game 1 of the Wild-Blues. Face off, 8:40ish p.m.
Wild has been to five straight postseasons. Blues are in their 41st all-time and took San Jose to six games in last year's conference final.
Our coverage today:
Line combinations for the Blues are in the above
Line combinations for the Wild's in the above
On the Alex Stalock front, as long as nothing goes haywire, he's playing the next two games for Iowa and will be recalled for Game 3, I hear.
8:30 game. Ugh. Deadline killer, and Eric Staal's first experience with it. He's been asking his teammates what it's like, and he basically said he'll push his routine back in the day -- when to eat, when to lie down, when to get dressed, etc.
"Today’s a long day," coach Bruce Boudreau said. "I didn’t know, I still don’t know how to sort of try to keep the guys in the same routine. We had two 8:30 games last year [with Anaheim] and it just seemed like a long time."
He added, "I think that everybody on both teams is pretty anxious to get this thing going. I don’t think either team has had too many days off since the beginning of March, so these three days seem like forever."
Kyle Brodziak's ready to go. He knows the building will be loud from his years with the Wild. Remember, not only did he assist on Nino Niederreiter's Game 7 dagger in 2014, he was part of the Wild team that beat the Blues in 2015.
"This time of year, it’s too important to worry about that kind of stuff," Brodziak said of the return. "As a group, we have a goal and that’s to go as far as we can and give ourselves a chance to eventually win the Stanley Cup. That’s what we’re focused on."
Some more Brodzy:
Back with Yeo?
It’s been good. He was hired before I signed back with the team. He came in with Wilson and there was a lot of familiarity there. It’s been good. We’ve gone on a pretty good run the last little stretch and guys are having fun and rooting for each other. It’s been a lot of fun.
Has he changed as a coach?
A lot of things are the same. He’s demanded a lot of the same principles that he did when he was here in Minnesota. I don’t know. Maybe small things. It’s hard to really say. I think his philosophy and what he demands out of his team and his players is all the same.
It’s going to be loud in here. The building is going to be rocking. It’s going to be a bit of a hostile environment and I think guys are aware of that. But at the same time, I think everyone is pretty excited to play in an atmosphere like that.
Here's some Marco Scandella from this morning:
“It’s the best time of year, playoffs, everyone is ready in this room. Just want to get it started. ... This is the best part. Everyone is excited. We played a long season just to get here. It’s hard to earn a spot in the playoffs, so we’re just excited to get moving here.”
On the Blues:
“They’re a good team, a big team. We know how they play, they know how we play, so it’s going to be a tough series. We’re just going to have to be ready.”
Are you personally playing some of your best hockey this season right now?
“I feel like our team is playing really well right now. Personally, I just want to bring what I bring; one-on-one battles, play hard.”
I'll be back in a bit to add some Yeo quotes
I'll be on KFAN at 5:55.