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  • Quick Lineup Thoughts for Game 2


    When you lose a game in as tough of a fashion as Game 1 was, you have to deal with a tough question: Do you keep the team that was inches away from securing a Game 1 victory in Colorado? Or do you you respond by making changes to a team that made crucial mistakes that ended in their overtime defeat?

    These aren't easy questions for Mike Yeo to face as he prepares his team for tonight's tilt at the Pepsi Center. There are a few changes he made- and one non-change I think he should have made, so let's break that down quickly right now.

    Kyle Brodziak Moves Down to Center the Fourth Line

    In fact, the only thing I like about this move is...

    Erik Haula Moves Up to Center the Third Line

    As for Haula, one of the fastest skaters, if not the fastest, on the team, he will potentially be deployed against the equally speedy Nathan MacKinnon's line, which burned the Wild all night on Thursday night. Remember- late in the season Yeo talked of not wanting to throw him into the fire of tough third-line minutes, so this is a hell of a vote of confidence for Haula. He's truly been impressive.

    So, if our agitators (save for Matt Cooke) aren't drawing penalties, and aren't noticably deterring the use of extra-curricular chippiness in the game, do we really need ALL of them?

    I would much prefer to see Yeo, instead of trying to do all he can to match the physical play of Colorado, try to gain a further advantage on the Avalanche: Skill on the back end. This is where Jonathon Blum would come in handy.

    I understand that Stoner and Prosser weren't actively the reasons that Minnesota lost Game 1, but having Blum take those 13-14 minutes that they got, respectively, may have been the difference between winning and losing. The evidence we have says that Blum keeps the puck out of his own zone better than Stoner or Prosser. So why not try that?

    Talk to me after the game. I'll give my retroactive opinion then.

    Oh, it doesn't work that way?

    I think Bryzgalov's strong play down the stretch merits at least one more start to show he can keep playing at a high level. I don't think Goals 3 and 4 Thursday were Bryzgalov's fault, necessarily, and there's nothing to suggest that it is imperative that Kuemper starts tonight.

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