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GDT - (L) Blues @ Kings in Kansas City, 7:05 PM

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  • GDT - (L) Blues @ Kings in Kansas City, 7:05 PM

    St. Louis Blues vs. Los Angeles Kings

    Sep 22, 2008, 7:05 PM CT
    It doesn’t count in the standings, but a preseason NHL game serves as the perfect stage for a young player trying to prove he belongs in the big leagues.

    Ask Lee Stempniak, who just more than three years ago contributed his first preseason point with an assist against the Nashville Predators at Kemper Arena in Kansas City.

    “Anytime you get on the score sheet as a younger player in a preseason game, it’s almost sort of that instant validation for you, like ‘yeah, I can contribute at this level,’” Stempniak said. “It’s no different now. I want to have a successful preseason, get some points and score some goals to gain that confidence going into the regular season.”

    Blues forward T.J. Oshie, who turned pro this summer and has shown tremendous skill through development camps and prospect tournaments, is hoping to get the same opportunity on Monday that Stempniak got three years ago: a chance to impress coaches and management against NHL-caliber talent.

    The Blues will travel across the state to meet the Los Angeles Kings in both team’s preseason openers at the new Sprint Center in Kansas City.

    “You don’t get NHL hockey in Kansas City very often,” Stempniak said, recalling the 2005 meeting with Nashville, a 2-1 Blues win. “But it was a lot of fun. There were a ton of fans there, it was one of my first preseason games and I really learned a lot.

    “It was one of those games where I felt like I belonged.”

    The Blues have played two preseason games in Kansas City, both at Kemper Arena. Monday night’s game will be the first in the new Sprint Center, a sparkling new building that is attempting to lure an NHL franchise.

    “There is no doubt Kansas City has tremendous hockey fans,” Al MacInnis, the Blues’ Vice President of Hockey Operations, told the Kansas City Star. MacInnis played in the team’s first Kansas City appearance in 2003 vs. Chicago, a sellout crowd of 17,285 and the largest ever to watch a hockey game in Kansas City. “We have a number of Blues fans there, and I was told by our sales department that we have a few season ticket holders (in Kansas City), which goes to show what type of hockey fans there are (there).”

    Also no stranger to Kansas City is new Blues goaltender Chris Mason, who was acquired in a trade on the eve of the 2008 NHL Draft. Mason played against the Blues in the 2005 preseason game, stopping all seven shots he faced. He is expected to share playing time between the pipes with Marek Schwarz in Monday’s preseason opener.

    “I’m ready to go, I’m excited,” Mason said. “I’ve been waiting for this ever since I got the call that I was traded.”

    “These are exhibition games, but it’s the St. Louis Blues playing against the Los Angeles Kings. We don’t want the Kings to beat us,” said Blues coach Andy Murray. “This is a process of evaluation and I always think you can evaluate people better in a winning environment than you can in a losing (one).”

    So Oshie will get his chance and is hoping to prove he can play with the big boys, too. But Stempniak, who has been through this before, says Oshie will be at his best if he sticks to his game and does the little things right.

    “(You) just want to go out there and play well,” Stempniak said. “It’s better to act like you belong and fit in with the team rather than sticking out in a negative way by trying to do too much.”

    Said Mason, “It’s important for everybody for every chance you get to make an impression. I’m sure the organization wants to see if (our prospects) can compete. If they’re ready to play, I’m sure they’re going to get a chance.”

    Chris Pinkert | St. Louis Blues Online

  • #2
    probably not on the radio anywhere is it?
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    • #3
      Not as far as I can tell. However, if you have a ticket for the game tomorrow, you also get to see a Rivermen game for free at 3 o'clock.


      • #4
        The attendance will probably be around 14,000. That's not horrible for a Monday pre-season game, but well below the attendance NHL21 wanted. I'll be there all by myself. My daughter has a cold, so my wife and kids aren't going. My daughters usually are in bed by 7:30 anyway. Why couldn't this be on a weekend? Oh, well. I'm just happy to see any hockey live.


        • #5
          GO BLUES!!!


          • #6
            Teh hockies are back?
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            • #7
              Sure would be nice to have one good team in the city this year.
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              • #8
                Originally posted by StlCardz1982 View Post
                Sure would be nice to have one good team in the city this year.
                Didn't they just start camp Friday? Hockey players must not be the pussies like in other professional sports where they have to "train" for a few weeks before any preseason games can begin.


                • #9

                  (just practicing )


                  • #10
                    Originally posted by bcruise View Post

                    (just practicing )
                    Well, Schwarz is playing tonight...


                    • #11
                      F: Backes, Peluso, Linglet, Whitfield, Porter, Kariya, Oshie, Berglund, Perron, Foy, King, Talbot and Lemtyugov.
                      D: Woywitka, Weaver, Cundari, Wozniewski, Polak, Junland and Wagner.
                      G: Mason, Schwarz

                      An extra forward and an extra defenseman. I thought Linglet looked pretty good yesterday, so he'll be interesting to keep an eye on.


                      • #12
                        The goaltending situation looks pretty good on paper. Legace and Mason would be good enough on most teams. I hope Bishop and Schwarz will push each other enough in Peoria to bring them both to the next level. Schwarz was awful for the Blues last season, but he could still turn it around. In Traverse City, Bishop was pretty good at stopping the first shot.


                        • #13
                          Crazy couple of months for Mark Cundari, too. He went undrafted in June, came to prospect camp as a try out, impressed enough to stick for Traverse City, and played well enough there to get invited to camp. Tonight he gets to dress in an NHL game.


                          • #14
                            Lemtyguv has a good shot at making the team.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by MSUAlum08 View Post
                              Lemtyguv has a good shot at making the team.
                              I'd be pretty shocked. Backes, Boyes, Hinote, Janssen, Kariya, King, McClement, McDonald, Perron, Stempniak and Tkachuk are 100% locks. That's 11. Assuming the average team carries 14 forwards, that leaves three spots for Berglund, Oshie, Stastny, Winchester, Foy, Lemtyugov, Linglet and Drazenovic. Realistically, Berglund and Oshie are going to be 12 and 13, which means one spot among the other guys. Personally I'd rather see Yan Stastny sit in the press box than Lemtyugov, and I have to think JD and co. feel the same way.

                              And by the way, it's a fucking waste to keep King and Janssen both on the roster, but we will.