BLUES (0-0-0) vs. RED WINGS (0-0-0),
2008-09 Season Series:
Big Story: The Blues and Red Wings traveled to
Blues: They tore through the League in the last two months of the 2008-09 season, going 19-7-3 from Feb. 12 on, to clinch the sixth seed in the West. They adapted a hard-working, take-no-prisoners mentality and plan to bring that into this season. However, the Blues have more skill now with both Paul Kariya and hulking Erik Johnson back healthy. Plus, their goaltending situation isn't as tenuous as now Chris Mason and Ty Conklin can feed off of each other. They closed the preseason with three straight wins by a combined 15-1, but the real stuff starts now.
Red Wings: They still have the big guns in Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Johan Franzen, Tomas Holmstrom, Nicklas Lidstrom, Niklas Kronwall and Brian Rafalski. They're hoping Todd Bertuzzi can recapture a once glorious career and Jason Williams can fill a big role on the third line and at the point on the power play. Chris Osgood is coming off a subpar regular season but a marvelous playoff run. He says he's ready to go, though he has been fighting off a virus here in
Injury Report: The Blues have D.J. King (thumb) on IR. Darren Helm (shoulder) and Andreas Lilja (post-concussion symptoms) are on IR for the Wings. Zetterberg battled a sore groin all of training camp, but he finally played in a preseason game Wednesday and says he's ready to go. Osgood was sick this week, but will get the start.
Stat Pack: Blues right wing T.J. Oshie had a solid start to his career against the Wings last season with three goals and two assists. …
Puck Drop: "They don't have any weaknesses," Blues coach Andy Murray said of the Red Wings. "We're playing the best club team in the NHL and half of the Swedish national team. We're excited."
-- Dan Rosen, NHL.com