In today's open practice at Centennial Sportsplex, Ryan Suter and Martin Erat both returned to action, although they wore the red "no contact" jerseys. Even though they left the practice halfway through, they actually got started earlier that the rest of the team, working on a separate sheet of ice before the main practice got rolling. The good news is that they participated in a broad range of skating, passing and shooting activities, so there's hope at least that they'll play soon. I wouldn't expect a definitive statement on that, however, until Thursday in St. Louis.
The question I put to you is, as each player returns, who do you scratch from the lineup?
Up front, it appears that Sergei Kostitsyn is on the bubble, given his scratch on Sunday against Anaheim. Despite word on the pre-game show that he had missed a team meeting, or reports on TSN of an unspecified injury, a team spokesman assured me that he's not injured and was scratched simply due to a "coach's decision".
On the blueline, the choice isn't necessarily obvious. Alexander Sulzer has played well in his 8 games, and the struggles of Francis Bouillon and Shane O'Brien can each be partially attributed to the tougher workload they're being asked to carry in Suter's absence. Cody Franson leads the defense in points and plus/minus albeit in a bit of a sheltered role, and Kevin Klein continues to rack up 20+ minutes a night in a variety of situations.
So who would you sit?