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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:27 am 
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Jake Allen did not get much of a chance to celebrate his win in the season-opener for the St. Louis Blues.

Less than 24 hours after Allen earned the victory in the Blues' 5-2 triumph over the Blackhawks on Wednesday night in Chicago, he will be back in goal when the Blues return home Thursday night to host the Minnesota Wild.

"It's a great start, still a long ways to go, but heading in the right direction," Allen said. "For us to come out on top in the first game, get momentum and play tomorrow (Thursday) in our home opener, it was huge for us."

Allen, taking over as the Blues' number-one goalie this season after Brian Elliott was traded to Calgary, faced only 19 shots in the win in Chicago, 10 of which came in the third period. It was the first time the Blues had limited the Blackhawks to less than 20 shots in Chicago since a 17-shot game on Feb. 25, 2007.

The Blues' offense was led by Vladimir Tarasenko, who had two goals and an assist. His first goal was one of three power-play goals by the Blues, the first time they had done that in a game in Chicago since 2004.

Kevin Shattenkirk and Paul Stastny also finished with three point nights, each scoring a power-play goal and adding two assists.

It was the kind of game coach Ken Hitchcock hopes to see often this season.

"We're looking forward to the emergence of some of these younger guys," Hitchcock said. "It's going to be fun to see. We know there is going to be some rough water, but there also is a ton of growth here."

Thursday night's game will be the season-opener for the Wild, whose biggest offseason change was bringing in a new coach, Bruce Boudreau, who was fired after coaching at Anaheim for five years.

Boudreau's first task is to try to get the Wild back into the playoffs, after they finished fifth last year in the Central Division and failed to advance to the postseason for the first time in five years.

The Wild were 2/3 in the pre-season as they began learning and adapting to Boudreau's system.

"Those kind of coaches don't come available that often, and we were able to get him and we were able to get him pretty quick," forward Jason Pominville told NHL.com. "He's been around, won a lot of games and usually has a good offensive team. As a player, he was an offensive guy, so he should bring some good ideas to our group."

One newcomer who could provide an offensive boost is forward Teemu Pulkkinen, 24, who was claimed off waivers from Detroit on Tuesday. He scored 11 goals in 67 games the last two seasons for the Red Wings.

"He's played a top-six role at every level," Wild general manager Chuck Fletcher told NHL.com. "It remains to be seen whether he can do it at the NHL level, but that's the opportunity we'd like to give him, and we'd certainly like to see if he can do it."

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Boudreau won’t be the only member of the Wild making his debut Thursday; former Carolina captain and New York Rangers rental Eric Staal will also play his first game with the club. Minnesota is 4-0-1 in its last five season openers.

Injuries • Blues — LW Jaden Schwartz (elbow), out. Wild — none.



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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:00 am 
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....and thank you for accepting the torch from dmiles!

EXCELLENT first song! Here comes the B.L.U.E.S!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:07 am 
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Nice win yesterday, but a quick turnaround for this game. Better be careful not to drop the home opener to Minnesota after beating Chicago in their own arena. It's only Day 2 of the new season so it's impossible to say how these teams will fare against each other.

So, it's very important that we don't suck.

2 points, please. :letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:10 am 
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gaijin wrote:
Nice win yesterday, but a quick turnaround for this game. Better be careful not to drop the home opener to Minnesota after beating Chicago in their own arena. It's only Day 2 of the new season so it's impossible to say how these teams will fare against each other.

So, it's very important that we don't suck.

2 points, please. :letsgoblues:


hahahaha

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 7:20 am 
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Nice transition to the GDT duties, Theo. Also, I failed to congratulate DMiles on the addition to the world. How ya sleeping?

Oh, the game... Blues 4, Wild 1
Tarasenko, Parayko, Fabbri, Yak

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:32 am 
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glen a richter wrote:
Nice transition to the GDT duties, Theo. Also, I failed to congratulate DMiles on the addition to the world. How ya sleeping?


Up until last night, not too bad. Last night was pure suck though. I think she's just having her schedule balance out, that or she was just amped about the win against the Hawks like I was. So while I'm tired, I didn't mind being up several hours through the night because I was still buzzing from the win.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:02 pm 
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Coach Bruce Boudreau will be making his regular-season debut for the Minnesota Wild when they play the St. Louis Blues at Scottrade Center on Thursday.

Boudreau was fired as coach of the Anaheim Ducks after last season, and replaced John Torchetti in Minnesota, who was fired after the season. He was 208-104-40 in four-plus seasons with the Ducks, but was more focused on the Blues, who opened Wednesday with a 5-2 win against the Chicago Blackhawks.

"They did control the puck and they're a good team," Boudreau said. "If you look at the history of the St. Louis Blues under Ken, that's the way they play. They're usually big players that have the puck and it's in the other team's zone whether they play Chicago or not."

Blues associate coach Mike Yeo will face his former team for the first time since being fired on Feb. 13. Yeo will replace Blues coach Ken Hitchcock, who is retiring after the season, for the 2017-18 season.

Yeo went 173-132-44 in four-plus seasons with the Wild, but was fired after a 1-11-2 streak.

"I would be a liar if I said that I wasn't aware of that game as soon as the schedule came out," Yeo said. "I think the fact that it was going to be a home opener was going to make it exciting enough, but then to have it be your former team, I think, adds a little more to the rivalry and to the excitement level.

"... You pour your heart and soul into something, and all of the sudden it's gone, for sure there's going to be a lot of emotion. Once that sting wore off and I had a chance to reflect and look back on it, I just have nothing but great memories now and gratitude."

Forwards Eric Staal and Teemu Pulkkinen will also make their debut for the Wild Thursday.

Staal, who spent the first 11-plus seasons with the Carolina Hurricanes before being traded to the New York Rangers on Feb. 28 last season, signed a three-year, $10.5 million contract.

"It feels like a long training camp and now watching some of the games last night, getting the season started for us tonight is great," Staal said. "I'm just looking forward to getting the ball rolling and having a great start to the season."

Pulkkinen, claimed off waivers from the Detroit Red Wings on Tuesday, was on the team plane to St. Louis on Wednesday, fresh off of getting a crash course on his new team.

"It's been a crazy couple days, but at the same time, nothing too crazy," Pulkkinen said. "I flew into Minnesota and now with the team here. Now just play hockey. Nothing special."

Wild projected lineup

Zach Parise -- Eric Staal -- Charlie Coyle

Mikael Granlund -- Mikko Koivu -- Jason Pominville

Nino Niederreiter -- Erik Haula -- Chris Stewart

Jason Zucker -- Zac Dalpe -- Teemu Pulkkinen

Ryan Suter -- Jared Spurgeon

Marco Scandella -- Matt Dumba

Mike Reilly -- Jonas Brodin

Devan Dubnyk

Darcy Kuemper

Scratched: Christian Folin, Nate Prosser

Injured: None

Blues projected lineup

Robby Fabbri -- Paul Stastny -- Alexander Steen

David Perron -- Jori Lehtera -- Vladimir Tarasenko

Magnus Paajarvi -- Patrik Berglund -- Nail Yakupov

Scottie Upshall -- Kyle Brodziak -- Ryan Reaves

Jay Bouwmeester -- Alex Pietrangelo

Carl Gunnarsson -- Kevin Shattenkirk

Joel Edmundson -- Colton Parayko

Jake Allen

Carter Hutton

Scratched: Robert Bortuzzo, Ty Rattie, Dmitrij Jaskin

Injured: Jaden Schwartz (elbow)

Status report

Gunnarsson and Paajarvi will make their debuts Thursday; both were healthy scratches Wednesday in Chicago and will take the places of Bortuzzo and Jaskin, respectively. ... Allen will start on back-to-back days after making 17 saves Wednesday in Chicago.

Who's hot

Tarasenko, Shattenkirk and Stastny each had three points for the Blues Wednesday, with Tarasenko scoring two goals. Steen had two assists. ... Parise needs one more goal for 300 in his career.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:08 pm 
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Win by any means necessary. Frank the Wild. Frank Parise. Frank their dumb-looking mascot. Frank everything but Frank, who'd better Frank them up, by Frank!!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:31 pm 
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dmiles2186 wrote:
glen a richter wrote:
Nice transition to the GDT duties, Theo. Also, I failed to congratulate DMiles on the addition to the world. How ya sleeping?


Up until last night, not too bad. Last night was pure suck though. I think she's just having her schedule balance out, that or she was just amped about the win against the Hawks like I was. So while I'm tired, I didn't mind being up several hours through the night because I was still buzzing from the win.


Don't worry, dude. You'll have plenty of nights of pure suck on the menu. Any wonder why I didn't chatzy as much after kids? You sleep whenever the opportunity presents itself.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:37 pm 
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glen a richter wrote:
dmiles2186 wrote:
glen a richter wrote:
Nice transition to the GDT duties, Theo. Also, I failed to congratulate DMiles on the addition to the world. How ya sleeping?


Up until last night, not too bad. Last night was pure suck though. I think she's just having her schedule balance out, that or she was just amped about the win against the Hawks like I was. So while I'm tired, I didn't mind being up several hours through the night because I was still buzzing from the win.


Don't worry, dude. You'll have plenty of nights of pure suck on the menu. Any wonder why I didn't chatzy as much after kids? You sleep whenever the opportunity presents itself.


I handled it pretty well with kid #1 because all the focus could be put on him. Now that we're on #2, I'm learning the push/pull of energy there. The plus side is that I live closer to work now so I won't have to be up as early for a normal day (unless the baby requires it) but I won't find out about that until next week. Still have a week off so I'll soak that in as long as I can.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 3:42 pm 
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dmiles2186 wrote:
glen a richter wrote:
dmiles2186 wrote:
glen a richter wrote:
Nice transition to the GDT duties, Theo. Also, I failed to congratulate DMiles on the addition to the world. How ya sleeping?


Up until last night, not too bad. Last night was pure suck though. I think she's just having her schedule balance out, that or she was just amped about the win against the Hawks like I was. So while I'm tired, I didn't mind being up several hours through the night because I was still buzzing from the win.


Don't worry, dude. You'll have plenty of nights of pure suck on the menu. Any wonder why I didn't chatzy as much after kids? You sleep whenever the opportunity presents itself.


I handled it pretty well with kid #1 because all the focus could be put on him. Now that we're on #2, I'm learning the push/pull of energy there. The plus side is that I live closer to work now so I won't have to be up as early for a normal day (unless the baby requires it) but I won't find out about that until next week. Still have a week off so I'll soak that in as long as I can.


2 is harder than 1 because #1 wants 100% of the attention but doesn't get it anymore, so #1 becomes a complete headcase when they don't get things their way. It could also be the terrible 2's kicking in. Yeah, we couldn't have possibly timed the age gap any worse. But, the night time sleep is pretty good now, just in time to screw that all up by transitioning the big guy from crib to bed around his 3rd birthday. So much for sleep from May, onward. Hopefully when he's refusing to stay in bed we can watch some playoff hockey together.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:40 pm 
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STEEN!!!! Blues lead 1-0!!! Upper right short side!!! Goal-scorer's goal!!!

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 6:42 pm 
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Hellacious shift from 15-26-20 there.

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PostPosted: Thu Oct 13, 2016 8:56 pm 
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Yakupov with the goal, assist, another nice shot off of a faceoff, and the bonehead play in his own end he was known for in Edmonton. Fix the bonehead play stuff and get him to understand d-zone play, like Hitchcock did with Hull, and the Blues truly got something for nothing. The issue will be playing better offensive teams, like the Stars, without exposing that 3rd line.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:31 am 
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I'm taking back my comment about Yakupov on the Wild's 2nd goal.

Parayko gets caught flat-footed at the blueline and Yakupov is trying to cover for him. Parayko, not moving his feet, tries to stick-check Zucker - one of the fastest Wild players - and misses the check. Yakupov, because of his speed, still gets a body on Zucker, but should have never been put in that position due to Parayko's poor decision at his own blueline. When defending Zucker, body check, body check, body check - which is what Yakupov did.

Yakupov, throughout this play was in good position. The two players who completely blew it - Berglund with a really weak stick check at center ice followed by Parayko with an equally weak stick check. Yakupov had been in position to defend the pass to the Wild player at the Blues blueline and used his speed to come off that man in an attempt to stop Zucker, which he almost did.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:35 am 
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Yakupov is easily the most intriguing storyline this year, at least the start of the year. I haven't gotten to see much yet, but sounds like he's playing well. I heard his pass on the Paajarvi goal was amazing, but haven't seen it yet.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 6:40 am 
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So far, I am pleased with how spread out the scoring is. I think it's a good sign.

On the other hand, two games is too small of a sample size to really reflect our scoring depth.

But so far so good. :letsgoblues:

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:10 am 
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theohall wrote:
I'm taking back my comment about Yakupov on the Wild's 2nd goal.

Parayko gets caught flat-footed at the blueline and Yakupov is trying to cover for him. Parayko, not moving his feet, tries to stick-check Zucker - one of the fastest Wild players - and misses the check. Yakupov, because of his speed, still gets a body on Zucker, but should have never been put in that position due to Parayko's poor decision at his own blueline. When defending Zucker, body check, body check, body check - which is what Yakupov did.

Yakupov, throughout this play was in good position. The two players who completely blew it - Berglund with a really weak stick check at center ice followed by Parayko with an equally weak stick check. Yakupov had been in position to defend the pass to the Wild player at the Blues blueline and used his speed to come off that man in an attempt to stop Zucker, which he almost did.


Spot on, theo. Yak's all around play has significantly improved from the first game. He was active without the puck, really good in the offensive zone and far from a passenger defensively. He makes the Blues third line look a lot better.

Perron so far has been a pleasant surprise as well - his two-way play has really improved.

So once Schwartz comes back, we may have Perron, Berglund and Yakupov on the 3rd line. Hell, I'll take it!

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 9:55 am 
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ComradeT wrote:
Perron so far has been a pleasant surprise as well - his two-way play has really improved.

So once Schwartz comes back, we may have Perron, Berglund and Yakupov on the 3rd line. Hell, I'll take it!


I wouldn't be surprised if they try Schwartz at C with Berglund and Yakupov. Don't know why but Berglund just doesn't seem to be as effective when playing C. Yeah, I know STL is still "the" line but if Tank can perform with Perron and Lehtera, Schwartz would improve the 3rd line even more.

Rattie's going to be sent down when Schwartz returns if Yakupov continues to play as well as he did last night.

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PostPosted: Fri Oct 14, 2016 1:39 pm 
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theohall wrote:
I wouldn't be surprised if they try Schwartz at C with Berglund and Yakupov.


That's a good thought. :okman:

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