MINNEAPOLIS — Come Saturday morning, the Blues fans who made the trip north to watch the Winter Classic in Minnesota in-person might just be clamoring for the comfort of their own couch. At least if mother nature does what she's expected to do.
When the Blues and Wild meet to ring in 2022 on Saturday morning at Target Field in Minneapolis, they could likely be playing in the coldest game in the history of the NHL.
As of Thursday night, our sister station KARE in Minnesota has New Year's Day temperatures ranging from a high of negative 3, to a low of negative 20. There's also a chance of snow on New Year's Eve. The coldest outdoor game on record for the NHL was the 2003 Heritage Classic, the league's first outdoor game.
So, how are the Blues thinking about the freezing temps awaiting them in the Winter Classic?
"Not many teams have chances to play there (in a Winter Classic). This is my second time so I'm really looking forward to it, even if it's going to be the same cold as in Siberia," Blues forward Vladimir Tarasenko said.
"Just try and take a couple cold tubs leading up to the game and hopefully you build that up a little bit. But I don't know. It's going to be interesting. I don't know what to expect," Blues goaltender Jordan Binnington said. "I see how cold it's going to be but I don't know how cold it will feel. We're going to do our part in layering up and doing the best we can to be ready for it. It's going to be a fun experience and a competitive game. It's a big game against a team we're competing with in the standings so it should be fun."
"Those games are always fun. It's always awesome. Everyone has their families in town. For the fans it's a really cool experience. My first one was pretty interesting. I don't think it's gonna be as cold as this one's gonna be, but a lot more snow," Blues forward Robert Thomas said. "They're always fun games. The style of play is a little different but it's fun to adjust and play in those games."
Some of these guys have experience in playing in the cold before, though.
"We used to skate like this when I was younger so sometimes it's ok. Sometimes it's very cold but I think we'll figure out what to do," Tarasenko said about playing outdoors in Russia. "We train outside at like 7:30-8 in the morning so it's pretty familiar for me."
"Last time I was out there the benches were the hottest place in the stadium, so... either sit on the bench or...," Thomas said. "But you know you always layer up and when you're playing in a game you get your own heat going from working out there so I think those are the ways to stay warm."
If you are going to the game in-person, there will be plenty of ways to warm up.
And for the players, the benches, penalty box and even the ice will be heated. Yes, the ice. Click here to find out how that will work.
The Winter Classic will be played at 6 p.m. Central Time and be broadcast on TNT.
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