By Roderick M. Wilbon, Sports Editor
The St. Louis Blues played the Minnesota Wild September 28th in a preseason game held in Kansas City, Missouri at the Sprint Center. The Blues coming into this game were hindered by many injuries. The biggest shocker that Robby Fabbri re-injured his knee after the last game against the Columbus Blue Jackets. Fabbri is officially done and will miss the entire 2017-18 season the Blues announced. Blues stated that with the talent on this roster the young guys will get playing time.
Kansas City does not have a hockey team, but they do have a myriad of other sports though. Soccer, baseball, football, and they used to have a couple hockey teams many years ago. A total of 12,865 fans came out to watch some NHL preseason hockey game. Many of which were Blues fans ironically, but the Wild fans showed some good support. One sign from a fan read, “Thanks for bring hockey to us, KC.”
The Blues are 3-3 and the Wild are 3-2 this preseason so far. The Blues came out aggressive against the Wild, while the Wild seemed to just play really balanced. The aggression paid off on the offensive side with Vladimir Tarasenko scoring at the 8:06 mark in the first period on a Power Play. He was assisted by Brayden Schenn and Alex Pietrangelo. Schenn has been showing great promise in training camp look for him to get real playing time once the season starts.
The Wild kept their poise though, and after Kyle Brodziak’s second slashing penalty from the Blues swarmed. At the 16:27 minute in the first period the Wild scored, right after the Blues killed the Power Play. Play became chippy as Chris Thorburn of the Blues and Chris Stewart of the Wild went at it at the 18:20 minute. Thorburn got in some of the better punches much to the fans great cheers and excitement. Jaden Schwartz of the Blues had a great opportunity to put one in the back of the net, hesitation led to a nothing play.
The second period the Wild picked up the pace and seemed to abandon the balanced play. Much of the period was good play that was neck and neck. Jake Allen starting goalie for the Blues would only play 10 mins of the second period and then switched out for backup Carter Hutton. Scary moment for the Blues was when Hutton garnered a penalty for Delay of Game. The Blues played very well Killing the Power Play of the Wild with no goalie in net. The Blues played some great hockey and then at the 15:44 minute scored a goal. The goal was by Oskar Sundqvist, assisted by Tage Thompson and Jake Walman.
The third period came and the defense of the Blues seemed to slack off, a few miscues took place. At the 9:44 minute the Wild would score and even the score 2-2. The defense of the Blues did not look as tight and locked down as usual. At the 18:04 min in the third period Mikael Granlund received a penalty for a Faceoff Violation, which gave the Blues a Power Play. Then with five seconds left in the Power Play the Blues slipped on defense and Charlie Coyle of the Wild could go one on one with Goalie Hutton. It was almost a butt puck fumble play by the defense of the Blues. Which allowed Coyle scoring the short-handed goal at 19:55 of the third period assisted by Jonas Brodin. Ending the game with a score of 3-2 for the Wild.
“I haven’t played behind everyone in the camp, but we’ve had a pretty solid camp… Obviously were missing Bouw, Jay Bouwmeester is the Big Man Eater for our team,” said Jake Allen. “Hopefully once October games start hopefully he’s back and he can get our six guys going again.”
Allen continued, “I’ve been impressed with some of the young guys in camp…The guys coming back, they know what to expect at this early stage.”