Sunday, January 27, 2013

(1-27-13) Wild-Blues Gameday Lineup

ST. LOUIS -- There will be 20 No. 6 jerseys stepping out onto Scottrade Center ice tonight when the Blues head out for pre-game warmups priod to facing the Minnesota Wild.

No, Wade Redden has not been cloned, but the Blues will honor the memory of Stan "The Man" Musial, the Cardinals legend who passed away at the age of 92 last week.

Each player will wear the No. 6 and Musial on the back, with their regular jersey numbers on the right crest. The Blues will auction off the jerseys to benefit/
raise money for the Blues 14 Fund and Cardinals Care.

Auctions will take place in three locations: at Sunday's game outside Section 119, online at and online at Online auctions will be open at a date still to be determined. A complete list of where each jersey will be available is listed below:

IN-GAME AUCTION: Chris Stewart, Alexander Steen, Andy McDonald, Barret Jackman, Kevin Shattenkirk, Ryan Reaves, Wade Redden and Jaden Schwartz.

STLOUISBLUES.COM: Vladimir Tarasenko, T.J. Oshie, David Backes, Roman Polak, Vladimir Sobotka, Jaroslav Halak, Alex Pietrangelo, Ian Cole, Scott Nichol and Jamie Langenbrunner.

CARDINALS.COM: David Perron, Brian Elliott, Patrik Berglund, Kris Russell and Matt D'Agostini.

"I only watched him play baseball, but I know what Tony La Russa said," Blues coach Ken Hitchcock said of Musial. "One of the reasons the Cardinals have such a strong following here is because guys like him led the charge and stayed in the city connecting with the fans making sure that the fans were taken care of. I think the healthy respect that the Cardinals have is a lot because of him and a lot of other players. I think a lot of people followed his lead and I think the current players understand commitment to the community because of stuff Stan did. Tony felt very strongly about that, that that's the reason that the players make a connection to the community led by a guy like him."

The Blues (4-1-0) will take on the Wild at 7 p.m. today (NBCSN, KMOX 1120-AM).

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Jaden Schwartz, who only saw eight-plus minutes of ice time and was dropped for a stretch to the line with Scott Nichol and Ryan Reaves, was not demoted. Hitchcock said Schwartz dealt with an injury that, "was fixed up after the game. If we would have started the game last night at 10:30, he would have been good to go last night at 10:30."

Schwartz, who will play tonight, has started the season with only one assist in five games and is a minus-2. But it's not for a lack of trying, according to Hitchcock. the Blues' coach continues to praise Schwartz's work ethic but his only problem is being a bit too unselfish.

When Hitchcock was asked if Schwartz was pressing, he said: "No, deferring. He spends too much time deferring.

"He's such a dependable player, but in the offensive zone, he tries to give the puck to somebody because he thinks they're better than he is. I saw the same thing in the American (Hockey) League, and we talked to him about that. He has so much respect for the people that have played professional hockey that he defers to them rather than do it himself. So he passes off opportunities. He's a very unselfish kid, and he passes off opportunities that he can do things himself. It's not going to change overnight, but he's so respectful that I think that respect sometimes becomes a detriment."

The only way to fix it?

"More selfish, more of a shooting mentality rather than a play-making mentality," Hitchcock said. "... What's so good about him is you have no problem playing him against any team, any place, anywhere defensively. He's always going to be a reliable guy that keeps him in the lineup when he's not getting points. He's going to be a reliable guy."

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David Perron's breakout game in Saturday's 4-3 win at Dallas was something that had been coming on. Perron had been goal-less thus far through four games but lit the lamp twice, including the game-winner late in the second period, and added an assist.

"Not so much break out, the whole line is starting to get up to speed having not played one hockey game," Hitchcock said of Perron, David Backes and T.J. Oshie. "They were behind at the start and they're starting to catch up, so they're starting to create space, they're starting to engage, they're starting to play with some tempo in their game. They were trying and they were working, but there was no spacing on the ice because there was no speed on the ice. ... They're getting up to speed now."

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Wild coach Mike Yeo, whose team is 2-2-0, talked about what his team needs to beat the Blues.

"We have to have a team game tonight for sure," Yeo said. "We need everybody going. We've got to get to the point where, and we talked about this last year when we were winning lots of games, when we're playing well and we're playing the right way, it should be a different guy every night that should be the hero. In order for that to happen, we need some guys to step up in certain games. Whether it's a big goal by a third or fourth line or even a second line right now, whether it's a blocked shot, a big save, or whatever the case may be, we need every single guy going tonight."

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The Blues' probable lineup:

David Perron-David Backes-T.J. Oshie

Andy McDonald-Alex Steen-Vladimir Tarasenko

Jaden Schwartz-Patrik Berglund-Chris Stewart

Jamie Langenbrunner-Vladimir Sobotka-Ryan Reaves

Wade Redden-Alex Pietrangelo

Barret Jackman-Kevin Shattenkirk

Kris Russell-Roman Polak

Brian Elliott gets the nod in net; Jaroslav Halak, who stopped 20 shots and is 3-0-0 on the season, will back up.

Scratches include Scott NicholMatt D'Agostini and Ian Cole.

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The Wild's probable lineup:

Zach Parise-Mikko Koivu-Dany Heatley

Pierre-Marc Bouchard-Mikael Granlund-Devin Setoguchi

Matt Cullen-Kyle Brodziak-Cal Clutterbuck

Darroll Powe/Matt Kassian-Zenon Konopka-Torrey Mitchell

Ryan Suter-Tom Gilbert

Clayton Stoner-Justin Falk

Jonas Brodin-Marco Scandella

Niklas Backstrom, who is 6-6-0 with a 2.65 goals against average, a .904 save percentage and one shutout in 12 starts against St. Louis lifetime, will start in goal; Josh Harding will be the backup.

Healthy scratches include defenseman Nate Prosser and either Powe or Kassian. Eighteen-year-old defenseman Matt Dumba, the seventh pick of the 2012 NHL Draft, was returned to Red Deer of the Western Hockey League this morning. Also, Jared Spurgeon (foot) was placed on injured reserve retroactive to last week.

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