St Louis Cruises Past Blackhawks in the Winter Classic
Beyond question, St Louis is a baseball town.
Then there's hockey. The Blues were one of the NHL's original Expansion Six, and they're still in town. One that loves them, too.
Until New Year's Day 2017, there were only two things the Blues hadn't done: win a Stanley Cup and appear in a Winter Classic.
Now, there's only one.
Technically, though, the Blues coach has done this before:
Rivalries being rivalries, the NHL deemed the only worthy opponent in this game come from that place where -- after last October, especially -- no self-respecting St Louisian speaks its name.
Like most league offices, the NHL goes for the big dogs in prime sports time, which is also why this Winter Classic got shifted to the day after New Year's.
The Center of the Hockey Universe took the traditional spot with its Centennial Classic.
Still, despite a rainy day and being pushed to 2 Jan, the Blues packed Busch Stadium and put on a show.
It started the day before in the alumni game, where a certain Great One reminded some fans he had an 18-game stint in St Louis:
Incidentally, the Blues alumni edged the Blackhawks geezers, 8-7.
All that was left was to keep it going in the main event:
The action even presented a subtle historical equalizer when Scottie Upshall was lens-frozen in a pose similar to hockey's most famous photo, when the Blues were posterized by Bobby Orr in the 1970 Stanley Cup:
OK, Upshall didn't score, and this wasn't a Cup-clincher.
But if and/or when the Blues ever do hoist the hardware, they'll do it in a city that's bonkers for hockey. Among other things.