Game 7 (X) MIN @ CBJ
If these aren't the final opening night rosters for the Blue Jackets and Wild, it'll be a awful close replica, with both sides dressing top lines and pairings, while Steve Mason is expected to play the full game for Columbus. (The Wild will start backup netminder Josh Harding, while Niklas Backstrom will likely start tomorrow in Minnesota.)
As of now, Cal Clutterbuck is on the game day roster and expected to play. It will be very interesting to see what, if anything, happens tonight. Some of the Hockey Wilderness guys pointed out when they stopped by our last GameThread, the Jackets and Wild have been getting increasingly physical and chippy over the last few years - one of the cases where it feels like there's a "real" rivalry, compared to the attempts at manufacturing one through scheduling.
Other items to watch include Thomas Kubalik seeing his return to game action after taking a bad hit in Winnipeg - on the top line with Nash and Carter, no less! - and what might be the final chance for guys like John Moore, Nick Holden, and Aaron Johnson to impress Scott Arniel and the front office. The official 23 man roster has to be submitted by Wednesday afternoon, so today and tomorrow are pretty much it to try and push past the competition.
Will the youth step up? How will Mase perform? How will Carter and Nash mesh with the big-bodied Kubalik?
I can't wait to find out.
Oh, and I guess we can legally get Yuengling in the stores and bars here now, so that's nice.