NHL Winter Classic: Blues vs. Wild on New Year’s Day

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REVISED FOR 2022

The St. Louis Blues will face off against the Minnesota Wild  at the 1annual Discover  NHL Winter Classic on New Year’s Day. The game will be played outdoors at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, with an expected high of 24 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit and 45% chance of rain or snow. 

The 2022 Discovery Winter NHL Classic will mark the first major sporting event of the New Year in the United States, pitting the St Louis Blues against the Minnesota WIld of the National Hockey League.

The game will be played at an outdoor stadium in Minneapolis, Minnesota. An enthusiastic crowd of rabid Wild fans is expected to brave the cold at  Target Field to root for their favourite team. To clarify, Target Field is home of the Minnesota Twins of Major League Baseball.

In the same vein, a large contingent of Blues fans from Missouri  is also expected to show up, hoping to upstage their Minnesota rivals.

The Blues and the Wild  will take to the ice at 1 pm under relatively favourable weather conditions compared to some of other places the Winter Classic has been played.

While there is an expected high of 24 to 35 degrees Fahrenheit, there is a 45% chance of rain or snow.

Some of the most talented ice hockey players in the NHL will form part of the two competing teams’ lineups.

The 2022 Winter Classic continues a tradition dating back to 1 January 2008, when the first regular-season NHL game to be played outdoors was played at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York, on New Year’s Day.

NHL Winter Classic Over the Years

2008

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Orchard Park, New York – the first NHL Winter Classic was played on January 1 2008 at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York. The Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres by a score of 2-1 in a shoot-out before 71,217 ice hockey fans. Photo Credit: Falling Heavens via Wikimedia Commons.

2009

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Chicago, Illinois – the 2009 NHL Winter Classic was held at Wrigley Field in Chicago, Illinois. The Detroit Red Wings defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 6-4 before 40,818 ice hockey fans. Photo Credit: Janey Henning via Wikimedia Commons.

2010

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Boston, Massachusetts – the 2010  NHL Winter Classic was held at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts. The Boston Bruins defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 1-2 in overtime before 38,112 ice hockey fans. Photo Credit: Sgt. Randall A. Clinton of the U.S. Marine Corps.

2011

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Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania – the 2011 NHL Winter Classic was played at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. The Washington Capitals defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins by a score of 3-1 before 68,111 ice hockey fans. Photo Credit: 1995hoo via Wikimedia Commons.

2012

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Philadelphia, Pennsylvania – The 2012 NHL Winter Classic was played at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. The New York Rangers defeated the Philadelphia Flyers by a score of 3-2 before 46,967 ice hockey fans. Photo Credit: Centpacrr via Wikipedia Commons.

2014

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Ann Arbor, Michigan – following the cancellation of the NHL Winter Classic in 2012 because of a player lockout, the 2014  NHL Winter Classic was played at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, Michigan. The Toronto Maple Leafs defeated the Detroit Red Wings by a score of 3-2 in a shoot out before 105,491 ice hockey fans. Photo Credit: Matthew Barera via Wikimedia Commons.

2015

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Washington, DC – The 2015 NHL Winter Classic was held at Nationals Park in Washington, DC. The Washington Capitals defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 2-3 before 42,832 ice hockey fans.

2016

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Boston, Massachusetts – The 2016 NHL Winter Classic was held in Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Massachusetts. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Boston Bruins by a score of 5-1 before 67,246 ice hockey fans.

2017

St. Louis, Missouri – The 2017 Winter Classic was held at Busch Stadium in St. Louis, Missouri. The St. Louis Blues defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 1-4 before 46,556 ice hockey fans.

2018

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New York, New York – The 2018 Winter Classic took place at Citic Field, home of the New York Mets of Major League Baseball. The New York Rangers defeated the Buffalo Sabers by a score of 3-2 before 41,821 ice hockey fans.

2019

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Notre Dame, Indiana – The 2019 Winter Classic was held at Notre Dame Stadium in Notre Dame, Indiana, home of the Notre Dame Fighting Irish. The Boston Bruins defeated the Chicago Blackhawks by a score of 4-2 before 76,126 ice hockey fans.

2020

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Dallas, Texas – The 2020 Winter Classic was held at The Cotton Bowl in Dallas, Texas, on New Year’s Sat 2020. The Dallas Stars defeated the Nashville Predators by a score of 4 to 2

2021

Minneapolis, Minnesota – Originally, the 2021 NHL Winter Classic was scheduled to be held at Target Field in Minneapolis, Minnesota, on New Year’s Day 2021. Because of the COVID-19 pandemic, the game was postponed until New Year’s Day 2022.

This outdoor ice hockey game on New Year’s Day has become one of the most popular events on the North American ice hockey calendar.

In fact, five of the six most-watched NHL regular-season games in the United States since 1975 have been NHL Winter Classic games.

In addition, NHL Winter Classic is in its 11th year as the Official Tire of the NHL. Moreover, the brand has extended its partnership with the NHL through 2021.

NHL Winter Classic Comment and Analysis

Because I am a big fan of ice hockey, I can’t help but think that playing ice hockey games at outside stadiums captures the true essence of the sport.

However, having grown up in California, I’m NOT a big fan of cold weather. Therefore, I must admit, I’m pretty awestruck by the number of NHL fans that show up for these outdoor hockey matches!

Imagine 105,491 hockey fans braving the cold to root for the Red Wings at the football stadium of Michigan State in Ann Arbor!

In fact, that’s what a true ice hockey fan! As for me, however, I’d rather watch the match from the comfy confines of a toasty sports bar. But that would be the subject of another post.

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