With Wednesday’s game against the Edmonton Oilers now in the rear view mirror, the St. Louis Blues can finally turn their attention to the Discover NHL 2022 Winter Classic.
The league’s first outdoor event will take place Jan. 1 at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, home of the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball. Division rivals St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild will face off at 6 p.m. CT on TNT and 101 ESPN in front of a packed house of over 38,000 hockey fans.
The weather forecast for Minneapolis on New Years Day on Thursday had forecast a high of -3 degrees Fahrenheit and a low of -13. If that holds up, it will be the coldest NHL game on record. The previous mark – 0 degrees – was set at the 2003 Heritage Classic in Edmonton. The coldest winter classic took place in 2014 at Michigan Stadium, where the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings faced off in front of a record 105,491 spectators who endured a mild 13-degree temperature.
The Blues will participate in their second Winter Classic. In 2017, St. Louis defeated the Chicago Blackhawks 4-1 at Busch Stadium with two goals in the third period of Vladimir Tarasenko that came just 1:53 apart.
Video: Relive the 2017 NHL Winter Classic at Busch Stadium
“It’s exciting”, captain of the Blues Ryan o’reilly said to play outside. Saturday’s game will be O’Reilly’s second Winter Classic appearance. “These events are really special. There is buzz in the locker rooms… We have seen footage of what is going on [with the rink construction at Target Field] and everyone is excited. “
“They’re a lot of fun,” added Blues head coach Craig Berube. It’s a big deal. It’s great what the NHL does for away games. The players I know are excited for them. It is something that you look forward to. It’s a big event for the players, everyone involved, families. We look forward to this. It will be a lot of fun. “
Video: Crews Prepare for the Winter Classic at Target Field
The Blues have 12 players who have played in an NHL away game – 10 of them have played in at least one Winter Classic. Brandon saad leads the team with four outdoor game appearances – he will play his fifth outdoor game on Saturday. Tyler bozak ranks second in the club with three outdoor matches, while Brayden schenn, Torey Krug and Marco scandella each appeared in two.
Berube has been an assistant coach in two Winter Classics, both with the Philadelphia Flyers. Blues assistant coach Steve Ott also has experience in outdoor games after competing in the 2017 Centennial Classic in Toronto.
In addition, Robert thomas, Jordan kyrou and Scott Perunovich all appeared in an outdoor competition when the United States and Canada faced off at the 2018 IIHF World Championships in Buffalo.
Video: Binnington and Husso unveil their Winter Classic gear
The Blues, however, will have a handful of players who have never played away at any level. These players include Jordan binnington, Justin faulk, Oskar Sundqvist, Logan Brown and Nathan Walker.
“I’m new to this here, but I’m excited. It should be fun,” Binnington said. “It’s a lot of people in one place. I can’t wait to have the experience of being there with the guys for a few days. (O’Reilly) was just telling me, even sometimes, long shots because wind The puck can move a bit It will be new, kind of like ball hockey I guess A new experience and we’re just going to adapt.
“It’s going to be interesting,” he added. “I don’t know what to expect. I see how cold it will be, but I don’t know how cold it will be. We will do our part to prepare and do our best to be ready for. that.”