ST. LOUIS – The Blackhawks have proven to be a popular draw in outdoor games. So it should come as no surprise that they’ll be playing in another one.
The Blackhawks will face the St. Louis Blues in the 2017 NHL Winter Classic, which will be held at Busch Stadium on Jan. 2. This will be the first time the Blues have hosted an outdoor game. The Blackhawks, meanwhile, will play in their fifth outdoor game. They’ve hosted two – at Wrigley Field in 2009 and at Soldier Field in 2014 – and played two others in Washington in 2015 and in Minnesota last month.
While this experience will be new for many of the Blues, Troy Brouwer has been here before.
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“I’ve played in two of them and they’re a lot of fun,” said the former Blackhawks forward, who scored the game-winner for Washington against the Blackhawks in the 2015 Winter Classic. “It’s a big spectacle. There’s a lot to the game and it can kind of take away from the actual game a little bit, just with the whole event of it. But the NHL and the teams that I’ve been on have done a phenomenal job promoting the game, making good hype for the game, hype for the cities, andthen the games themselves are always a lot of fun to play.”
These outdoor games have become a habit for the Blackhawks. But Patrick Kane, talking prior to the game at TCF Bank Stadium in Minneapolis, said there’s still a thrill.
“It’s still pretty unusual playing in a game like this. It’s exciting. All of us enjoy it and we know that there’s, I wouldn’t say pressure on us to put on a good show, but we’re expected to be here for reason and… it seems like the NHL wants the Blackhawks in these types of events,” he said. “We try to put on a good show for everyone.”