The Chicago Blackhawks have had their fair share of outdoor games. They have played in a couple of Stadium Series games and a few Winter Classic games which have been incredibly fun to watch. Now that it is New Years Day, we have a new Winter Classic to be excited about.
The 2021 Winter Classic was canceled because of COVID-19 and the schedule issues but they are going to have it here in 2022. The last time that the Winter Classic was played was in 2020 when the Dallas Stars played against the Nashville Predators.
This game will also feature two central division rivals as the Minnesota Wild will face the St. Louis Blues. Each of these teams has had intense playoff battles with the Blackhawks over the years so you would call them both rivals, especially the Blues.
They are also the top two teams in the Central Division right now which makes for a really good matchup. The Blues currently have 41 standings points to the Wild’s 40 but Minnesota has played two fewer games. It will be a serious battle for the division title all season long. The Nashville Predators and Colorado Avalanche are in the mix as well.
This is going to be the coldest Winter Classic in the history of the game. It will be played at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins. They are currently expecting a high of -1 and a low of -15. There is no doubt that it will take a supreme athlete to play at a high level in conditions like that. We all know that Minnesota is cold but this is a whole new level.
The Minnesota Wild and St. Louis Blues are going to put on a show at Target Field.
Each team has impressive players that could make this game a lot of fun. Jordan Binnington will start in net for St. Louis and he will face Cam Talbot of the Minnesota Wild. It is a battle of two really good goaltenders that can make saves with the best of them.
For the Blues, Vladimir Tarasenko, Robert Thomas, Pavel Buchnevich, Jordan Kyrou, Ivan Barbashev, David Perron, and Ryan O’Reilly lead the way offensively. They also have some great offensive defensemen in Torey Krug, Colton Parayko, and Justin Faulk that really help the forwards generate great chances.
The Wild have their scoring just a bit more spread out. 16 of their players have at least double-digit point totals at this point in the season. Kirill Kaprizov leads the team in scoring with 36 points which is a really nice total for the second-year star. Ryan Hartman, Mats Zuccarello, Marcus Foligno, Joel Eriksson Ek, and Kevin Fiala also help get the job done.
Like the Blues, the Wild have great defensemen in Alex Goligoski, Matt Dumba, Jonas Brodin, and Jared Spurgeon. They are starting to be looked at as a Stanley Cup contender which is well deserved because this roster is outstanding.
Former Blackhawks forward Brandon Saad will be involved in this game as a member of the St. Louis Blues. He is having a solid year in the goal-scoring department. He has scored some big goals in outdoor games for Chicago and he will be trying to do so again here.
This game will follow a Blackhawks game against the Predators at Bridgestone Arena in Nashville. It is going to be a great day of hockey on the first day of the calendar year.