With rain in the forecast for the St. Louis area on the second day of our new year, Mother Nature did not delay play for the 2017 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. The NHL made the announcement early yesterday morning, the game would go on as scheduled. St. Louis Blues hosted the Chicago Blackhawks at Busch Stadium in front of a packed stadium of 46, 456 fans. Light rain fell early in the match-up, but soon dispersed as the "show went on". I would guesstimate there were close to the same number of fans that filled Cardinals Ball Park Village and the streets around the stadium. Quite the historic event for the city as Blues celebrate their 50 Anniversary; and, first ever to host a Winter Classic in Busch Stadium.
St. Louis Blues thank their fans with a win over the Chicago Blackhawks, 4-1, Monday, January 2, 2017
I can not do this event justice, as I am not a certified hockey fan. But, after watching the Winter Classic Alumni Game and yesterday's game, I found that I enjoyed both. However, with that said, I will not attempt to go into a large amount of detail. I'm afraid should I do so, I'd be eaten alive by those who know the game well. So just a handful of highlights I will share, without too much damage, or disagreement.
The Blackhawks started off with the first goal early in the first period by Michael Kempny, which quieted the enthusiasm of the Blues fans just a tad.Even though, the Blues did not back down, going into the intermission tied, 1-1; they came back with the next three to take the win.
Even though not a hockey specialist, I quickly realized, Blues Vladimir Tarasenko was the player of the game, first with his go-ahead goal. Then added another for St. Louis.
"Vladimir Tarasenko scored two late goals in under two minutes as Jake Allen made 22 saves to lead the Blues to a 4-1 Winter Classic victory" A great grab by Blues goalie Jake Allen, for what I'm presuming was one of his "saves". Regardless, a great play. Watching; and, Blackhawks goalie, Corey Crawford, disappeared. Watching this historic extravaganza and no goalie? Blues Alexander Steen scores the "empty netter" for the final goal and win for the Blues. Still amazed - no goalie? That one threw me. But, with information shared I learned not uncommon for a team to remove their goalie, with a deficit on the board, to put an additional defender on the ice to help score. Crazy. All I know is that the move for the Blackhawks didn't work out so well.
I have a lot to learn about this sport. I'm sure there are others out there that will give a 'seasoned' hockey fan more stats and numbers. Me personal, I'm not going to set myself up for crucifixion. Already went through that when blogging about the "possible" postponement due to warmer temps producing rain in the forecast. For me, however, it was a great game yesterday, as much as the Alumni Game on New Year's Eve. Two back-to-back wins for the St. Louis Blues. Alum's 8-7 over their counterparts for the Blackhawks; and, the Blues current team, 4-1, win. A great way to close 2016 and begin 2017. I enjoyed both thoroughly.
St. Louis Blues ~ 50 years on the ice.
Maybe this will set the pace for our St. Louis Cardinals in their upcoming season. But, for yesterday; and even today, I'm sure St. Louis fans are still on a hockey high. Congratulations to the St. Louis Blues. Way to go. My friends, who so enjoy this sport, may just make a hockey fan out me yet.