St. Louis Blues Give Themselves And City A Boost
The St. Louis Blues did more than just win a hockey game when they participated in the Winter Classic. They gave themselves a blueprint and gave the city a wonderful day.
Ask and ye shall receive. In yesterday’s morning links, I said the St. Louis Blues needed to come up with something special. Not just for the game but for a larger purpose.
Well, we got just that. The Blues did not just win a regular season game. They won convincingly, with the bright lights upon them.
That has been a rare feat. I’m sure it is simply a feeling and not actual, but it seemed like the Blues always failed when on a national stage.
That’s not discussing the playoffs alone. Even regular season games, it seemed like the Blues saved some of their worst performances for when they were on NBC or NBCSN.
Everyone has their bad games, but when you’re a Midwestern team that is not Chicago, you give fans a certain impression if you are losing every time they see you. People in other cities might wonder how the Blues could have a good record when they were tanking nationally televised games.
Last year broke that string a bit. The Blues did take too many games to beat Dallas than needed, but they performed pretty well when the playoffs switched from the team-friendly Fox Sports Midwest to NBCSN.
None of this means much in the grand scheme or year to year. It’s merely anecdotal.
Even so, it was a bit of a monkey off the team’s back. So, in theory, playing in a national game should not have had any thing to do with the Blues performance.
The rumors of distractions, perhaps due to the extra media attention threw a wrench in that theory though. The Winter Classic was appearing to be a different animal and we had reason to worry which Blues team would show up.
The team has been so Jekyll and Hyde during the season, there was no reason to be confident on which side would skate out there. There was every reason to think they would have a great game and have something to prove. There was every reason to think they could be blown out and not even appear to be an NHL team.
Fortunately, we got the Blues team we all wanted to see. It was the Blues team we needed to see and so desperately asked for to give us a memory with no taint to it.
Of course, things didn’t go as planned at the start. The Blackhawks got a cheap goal on what appeared to be a skipping stone that deflected off Colton Parayko‘s skate and in.
Busch Stadium went about as quiet as a mid-summer blowout. Sure there is hope, but how likely is it?
Well, fortunately the Blues didn’t take any of that to heart. They kept on playing, kept on skating and took the game to Chicago.
It was something to see. Just about everyone on the team had their contribution.
The only negative was that the Blues can’t play like that all the time.
This was not a game like the win over Dallas where you could pick it apart even though the team won. Just about everything went right that needed to.
While there was no need for Vladimir Tarasenko to come out – Blues fans know how great he is – but he stepped up when it mattered most. He was the hero all Blues fans want him to be.
The game was not just a game. It was not just a celebration of hockey.
The Blues win allowed St. Louis to celebrate itself as a sports city. There would be no stain of a Blackhawks victory on our day.
The Blues overcame the Winter Classic jinx, which had seen all but two previous home teams lose. They also gave the city something to be proud of and a memory those in attendance will never forget.