Question 1: Blues win. The Blackhawks notoriously underperform in the great out-of-doors, posting just one win in four previous appearances. The NHL’s relentlessly heavy-handed promotion turns these games into a media circus that appears to suppress the ‘Hawks’ on-ice performance.
Despite their thin veneer of highly charged motivation, the players hit the ice with all the eagerness of condemned men granted a reprieve with the final whistle.
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Question 2: Assuming the NHL would nix a game played at the rink on Lake of the Isles in Minneapolis, Minn., I would like to see the Blackhawks host the Boston Bruins at Lambeau Field in Green Bay, Wis.
As long as we have to put up with this outdoor game nonsense, let’s play an Original Six opponent in the most extreme winter conditions.
Question 1: Revenge will be the only thing on the Blackhawks’ mind. This will definitely be a physical game, but look to a showdown between two of the game’s top Russian stars in Artemi Panarin and Vladimir Tarasenko.
This is an opportunity to showcase themselves as the premier wingers in the game. I’m taking the ’Hawks 1-0 in OT.
Question 2: If there is another Winter Classic game featuring the Blackhawks, I’d like it to be against the L.A. Kings.
Games against the Blues are fun, but the recent history with the Kings makes for an awesome brand of hockey. As far as the venue, the most common complaint is that outdoor hockey views are terrible.
Maybe they can solve this by taking advantage of the MLS stadiums not being used, like Chicago’s Toyota Park. It’s a great stadium and has a 30,000 capacity. The NHL can charge a bit more for seats, but it would make for a much more intimate setting.