No Toews: Springfield pregame

Devon Toews sits out tonight with the dings he took in Sunday’s game; upper body, we’re told, and it’s supposedly day-to-day. That makes this, to somewhat profanely borrow a phrase, the first game he loses to injury in ordinary time in his pro career. That is, the first minor (we presume) night off, not including the 36 games he missed last season for shoulder surgery.

(Brent Thompson, rather adorably, still referred to that as an upper-body injury yesterday in talking to another reporter while I was hanging about.)

So Parker Wotherspoon takes that spot alongside Kyle Burroughs, a spot he usually filled last year when Toews was out. Chris Casto gets in for the first time since Nov. 3 in place of Yannick Rathgeb (so tonight makes three in a row for Casto against Springfield).

The return of Tanner Fritz from the Islanders this morning mixes up a few things; he’ll go between Kieffer Bellows and Steve Bernier, and Travis St. Denis will go between Ben Holmstrom (in for Ryan Bourque) and Scott Eansor.

The Thunderbirds put a couple of new defensemen in from Sunday, including Josh Brown, and make one switch up front while rearranging just about everything. Same goalie, though, Sam Montembeault.

Meanwhile, they’re renovating the upper level of the arena, including the press box. Ryan Smith warned me there’d be no carpet or ceiling. I told him it’d feel like home.

F: C.Bourque-Jones-Sislo
Dal Colle – Koivula – Ho-Sang
Bellows-Fritz-Bernier (A)
Eansor-St. Denis-B.Holmstrom (C)
D: Helgeson (A)-Casto
Vande Sompel-Aho
G: Smith

F: Lowry-Zolnierczyk (A)-Thompson (C)
Byron-Horton-Farnham (A)
D: Bystrom-Brown
G: Montembeault

R: Wilk, Tufts. L: Richetelle, Cooke.

This should be the box.

Bridgeport scratches (believed healthy unless noted): Rathgeb, Toews (upper), R.Bourque (veteran), Hitchcock, apparently Kubiak.

*-Bajkov, not Repo, 91, not 92.

Michael Fornabaio