The Olympics are over and the medals have been handed out. Sadly, treat Team USA didn’t snag one in hockey, drugstore but it’s o.k., because us Blackhawks (and Penguins) fans have another exciting hockey moment just around the corner to help dull the the memory of Team USA’s shutout.
This Saturday, March 1, Pittsburgh and Chicago will face off for the first time this season at storied Soldier Field. The final game in the Coors Light NHL 2014 Stadium Series is ours and its going to be a cold one! So remember to dress warm folks. Ladies who are looking for ideas on how to stay fashionable but not freeze your fanny off, check out Monica Murphy Vargas’ suggestions.
The Coors Light NHL 2014 Stadium Series kicked off January 25 at Dodger Stadium in Los Angeles with the Anaheim Ducks shutting out the Los Angeles Kings 3-0. Next, on January 26, the New York Rangers put a beating on the New Jersey Devils, topping them 7-3. The third Stadium Series game was on January 29. The New York Rangers played again, this time against the New York Islanders and were again victorious with a score of 2-1.
The final Stadium Series game is also a part of Hockey Weekend Across America, which is a nationwide event designed to not only celebrate hockey and those who currently play (on all levels) but also to get more people interested in the sport.
Whether you’ll be at the game, freezing your fanny off with the rest of us, or warm at home, how about a little more intel on what’s about to go down.
Who to watch for from the Penguins:
Pittsburgh is currently 4th in the league, right behind the Blackhawks; the Penguins have 83 points, the Blackhawks (and St. Louis Blues) have 84. The Penguins have some big names most of us should be familiar with, so let’s start with the obvious, Sidney Crosby. There’s no denying Crosby is an amazing hockey player, he leads the league with 78 points right now. He was a force in the Winter Olympics just as he is during the regular NHL season, helping Team Canada snag that coveted gold medal.
The Penguins are lucky to have Crosby but he isn’t their only star. Keep an eye on number 71, Evgeni Malkin, the 27 year-old Russian center. He’s right behind Crosby in team points with 58 (that makes him 9th in the league). And we must always take a look at the goaltenders. Marc-Andre Fleury, number 29, ranks 10th in the league, his GAA is 2.23 and his save percentage is is .919; pretty darn good. The 29 year-old Canadian stacks up pretty well to our 29 year old Canadian between the pipes.
Who to watch for from the Blackhawks:
As for the Blackhawks, keep your eye on the Olympians, especially the Canadians. Will they be sluggish due to not having a break like the rest of the team? Or will they be energized from playing world class hockey? My guess is they’ll be energized and excited to rejoin their teammates. I’m sure they’ll show off those gold medals a little too. It’ll be interesting to see how Crawford’s game looks too. Hopefully, he’s well rested and ready to be back in the blue paint since he was snubbed by team Canada and didn’t make the trip to Sochi. He certainly has some great gear to sport on Saturday; as does backup goaltender Antti Raanta.
If you’re interested in braving the cold this weekend with the rest of us diehards, there are still tickets available (find the best prices HERE) and the prices aren’t as steep as you’d think with upper-level tier starting around $85 (down from the $145 earlier this week). If you’re going to play it safe and watch on TV, you’ll want to tune into NBC by 7pm.