A lot of people are expecting the Wild to get a harsh dose of reality in the Central Division. That may be true, but couldn't that also be true for the St. Louis Blues and Colorado Avalanche all of whom having enjoyed a heavy helping of Eastern Conference foes? Why do people around the league as well as many Wild fans seem to think the Wild are likely going to suffer? The Wild will wade into the tremendously cutthroat waters of a Conference where the 8th place team in the West would be in 2nd place in the East. The records for all teams in the Western Conference will likely will see some fluctuation. Minnesota has shown tremendous resilience this season (knock on wood) and few felt the hopeful expectations for its core of youngsters would come through but it has worked. The young players have made improvements to their game and stepped up to play important roles for the Wild and they will need to stand tall tonight against a very tough St. Louis Blues squad.
This is not your normal St. Louis Blues, a team that leans heavily on its goaltenders to win games and uses a gritty style of hockey where they hope to score just enough to win games. This Blues squad is one of the most explosive offenses in the league led by a breakout effort by Alex Steen who is scoring at torrid pace. The Blues have traditionally been a tough physical challenge for Minnesota and maybe we will find out if we're contenders or just pretenders. Which one will it be?
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