Mar 1, 2014; Chicago, IL, USA; Chicago Blackhawks centerJonathan Toews
(19) is congratulated by teammates after scoring a goal against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the third period in a Stadium Series hockey game at Soldier Field. Mandatory Credit: Rob Grabowski-USA TODAY Sports
The NHL made what everyone already knew official on Saturday by announcing the Chicago Blackhawks will play outdoors in Minnesota on February 21st at TCF Bank Stadium on the Campus of the University of Minnesota.
The Blackhawks will be playing in their third straight outdoor game and 2nd straight on the road. The rumor on the street has it the NHL wanted a different opponent to play the Wild, say the Dallas Stars but the Wild asked for and received permission to play the Blackhawks.
At least the NHL had the Stadium picked out before announcing the game, unlike the announcement for Nationals Stadium which seemed liked a last ditch decision by the NHL when they could have played at RFK or the new Redskins park. The announcement of the game in Minnesota had the Stadium named also with TCF park named instead of Target Field which would have been my first choice. To me the outdoor game is more special by the Stadium it’s played in which is part of the reason Fenway Park and Wrigley Field have made the outdoor games great in the past.
Critics and there will be plenty will be all over the NHL for picking the same teams again for this years game, but they did award Minnesota and the land of 10,000 lakes a home outdoor game along with the Colorado Avalanche which will bring in some new life to the game even if 4 of the Original 6 teams will be making up the opponents for the outdoor games.
The Critics can say what they want but the outdoor games are still a spectacle even if it’s the Blackhawks each year making an appearance. The Blackhawks are a winning team from a huge market with a fan base that travels so it’s natural for teams like the Wild to request the Blackhawks to be there opposition in these contests.
The Blackhawks have only won one of the outdoor games when they beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 5-1 at Soldier Field in 2014, They lost 3-2 to the Capitals at Nationals Stadium with Troy Brouwers incredibly late goal and were defeated by the Detroit Red Wings in their coming out party at Wrigley Field in 2009.
The Outdoor Games will be
Chicago vs Minnesota
Detroit vs Colorado
Montreal vs Boston (Winter Classic)
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The Blackhawks are going outdoors again are you exited?
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