The NHL is about to heat up in 2017, as players get ready for the coldest match of the year. The first match of the brand new year comes at the center of the season, where teams will begin to ratchet up the intensity.
This season’s edition of the Winter Classic might be the greatest one. Let us list the top 5 reasons to go to a Winter Classic game.
1. The Energy Of An Outdoor Hockey Game
There’s nothing quite like the energy that encompasses this outside hockey game. The experience of watching an outdoor hockey game played at this type of high level is a thrill.
Sports fans travel from throughout the nation to enjoy the game. Nonetheless, it is much more than simply a game. The Winter Classic is becoming a staple of the sport, and the outside combined with some of the top teams the NHL has to offer makes for a memorable day.
Fans will be treated to one of the growing rivalries in the sport this year. The Chicago Blackhawks and the Blues are two very talented teams that frequently meet in the playoffs. The Blackhawks dynasty was derailed a bit last season after a heroic seven game series which was won by the Blues. Chicago would love nothing more than to crash the New Years party at the beginning of 2017.
2. Historical Stadium
Busch Stadium is a standard of the community in St. Louis. Fans in Busch Stadium are accustomed to winning. It’s seen two World Series titles, though the arena has only been open since 2006. The Cardinals usually make history, but the Blues will look to carry on the winning tradition.
Making the Western Conference Finals is no little accomplishment in the NHL. They needed to get past two of the best teams in the league to move forward in the playoffs. Before losing to the Sharks last year, the St. Louis Blues knocked off the Dallas Stars as well as the Blackhawks. The Blues will look to make the most of their first opportunity to participate in the Winter Classic.
3. Two Gifted Teams
The NHL has done a magnificent job when it comes to scheduling for the Winter Classic. 2017 is no different. Two heated rivals squaring off to prove they possess the upper hand in the match up makes for excellent hockey.
The Blues have lots of young talent. Their team blossomed into one of the best offenses in the league. Top ten in the league in goals and goals per game, St. Louis relies heavily on their offense and their youthful talent such as Jaden Scwartz, Vladimir Tarasenko and Robby Fabbri. This trio is primed to lead St. Louis to the playoffs and possibly the franchise’s first Stanley Cup. These three lead the team in goals. They’ll need to provide some fireworks in order for St. Louis to win this year’s Winter Classic. On the back end, captain Alex Pietrangelo and Kevin Shattenkirk direct the Blues defense. They’re conversant with Chicago’s offense, but will have their hands full on Monday.
The mixture of Patrick Kane, Jonathan Toews and Marian Hossa is lethal. All versatile and gifted, teams have a tough time with these Chicago players.
Patrick Kane has won every prolific award the NHL offers. Hossa is in the 500 goal club, one of the most exclusive in the NHL. Toews has been the Blackhawks captain since the age of 20, the youngest in team history. Duncan Keith and goalie Corey Crawford anchor the defense that has become on of the most dominating in the league.
Both of these teams are loaded with skillful players, setting up an interesting Winter Classic.
4. Throwback Jerseys
Who doesn’t adore a great throwback uniform? An exceptional part of the Winter Classic is the custom threads the players rock. Every year that the Winter Classic has been been held, throwback uniforms have been worn. My personal favorites include the powder blue throwbacks that Penguins wore as well as the Bruins black and yellowish jumpers. The Bruins throwbacks were paying homage to their 1925 uniform.
The Blackhawks are turning the clocks back to 1957, this year. A fresh white jumper with old school logos and black and red trimming will likely be worn by Chicago. Moreover, the Blues will hop in a time machine and be wearing the inaugural jersey for the franchise. A different shade of blue and also the classic logo on the other side of the chest was the uniform from the 1968 season.
If uniforms determined this match up, a slight edge would be given to the St. Louis Blues.
5. Experience vs. First Timers
They’ve yet to win either of the two previous games, but both were close games. The experience of playing outside in a important game should serve them well.
When the Blues take the ice they will no doubt feel anxious. Winning for their home town supporters in the Winter Classic will be on the mind of all the St. Louis Blues players.
The road teams are 6-2 in Winter Classics all-time, so the chances are in favor of the Blackhawks. They’re also accustomed to outside hockey. Weather, depth perception and ice conditions are all things which come in to play during the Winter Classic.
In the event the Blues focus on only hockey and can adjust fast, they’ll like their chances in this game.
There’s no doubt this game will be one to remember. Click here if you want to buy tickets for the game!