Monday, January 3, 2022

Weekend rankings: A fun Winter Classic between the Blues and Wild, the Oilers keep losing, and Brock Lesnar shows up for some reason

It might not have been an actual classic, but it was pretty good. After a few weeks of barely any hockey, we’ll take that.

The 2022 Winter Classic between the Blues and Wild was freezing cold and sloppy at times, but that’s not a bad combination if you’re looking some entertaining hockey. We got ten goals and a 6-4 final that will make it sound sort of close even though the Blues ran away with it in the second. Even better, the game didn’t get postponed due to COVID, the ice held up well enough, and we didn’t have to stop the game due to glare because it turns out that when sunlight is your enemy, playing your outdoor game in Minnesota at night is a pretty solid avoidance strategy.

I don’t know if this happens to you, but there’s always a moment after the spectacle of an outdoor game where I have to remind myself that these games count in the standings. This year, that part matters more than usual, with the Wild and Blues battling for top spot in the Central. That makes it a big win for the red hot Blues, who’ve collected 17 of 20 points in their last ten, and a tough one for a Wild team that’s starting to struggle.

You get the feeling that a lot of us are sleeping a bit on the Blues, who are still the last non-Lightning team to win the Cup. Their fans have certainly made that case, I’m told. Spoiler: There’s still going to be only one Central team in the top five this week, and it’s still the same one it always is, but we have to give St. Louis credit for an impressive road win here.

Also, whatever this was all about:

There are two more outdoor games on the way, with the Predators hosting the Lightning in February and the Leafs and Sabres heading to Hamilton in March. But did any of those teams make this week’s rankings, he asked, in a half-hearted attempt at a segue.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic

(Want to read this post on The Athletic for free? Sign up for a free trial.)

No comments:

Post a Comment