The crafty minds over at the Chicago Blackhawks, sales the NHL, sale and the Chicago Park District have conveniently staged one of the biggest Chicago sporting events of the decade within one of the best time slots imaginable.
Conveniently staged after a three-week Olympic break in the Blackhawks’ regular season, drugstore and in the midst of one of the worst Chicago winters in recent history, the 2014 CoorsLight NHL Stadium Series lands at Soldier Field on Saturday night for a NHL showdown that is one not to be missed.
Our city is hungry for Blackhawk team action, and a nationally televised matchup under the lights at Soldier Field is just what the doctor ordered. The last time the Blackhawks played in a regular season NHL game was in their 0-2 shut-out loss on February 7th in Phoenix. Since then, ten Blackhawks traveled to Sochi, six returned with medals: three with gold and three with silver.
There’s been plenty of chatter on whether the Hawks that played in Sochi will be ready to go Thursday night in New York versus the Rangers and for Saturday night’s showdown at Soldier Field versus the East-leading Pittsburgh Penguins. My thoughts? These guys are professional athletes. Hell yes, they’ll be ready to go – and physically and mentally they should be. Isn’t that why they are being paid the big bucks while others wait patiently in the AHL?
I digress. Let’s move on to Saturday’s mega matchup at Soldier Field and shake things up a bit with what to KNOW first:
As the fourth and final matchup of the 2014 CoorsLight NHL Stadium Series, the NHL picked a good one to cap off the innaugral sponsor-driven series. The Penguins and the Blackhawks sit neck-to-neck in the league standings and are easily two of the most respected and coveted franchises in the NHL with the loudest and proudest fan bases of any market. Expect a outpour of Penguins fans to be pouring into our city by Thursday, if not earlier.
The NHL is taking full advantage of this dreamy matchup and just yesterday announced a free to the public Fan Festival from 3:00pm – 7:00pm CT, prior to the 7:00pm CT face-off that will include sponsor-driven booths, plenty of CoorsLight and Molson products, Stadium Series merchandise, and live entertainment.
Plenty of tickets are still available (find the best deals HERE) with prices falling each day as the weather forecast shakes out. Saturday’s high is 19 with a low of 9, which most likely means a balmy 12-13 degree temp when the puck drops at 7:00pm.
This should surprise no one considering the incredibly sh***y winter we’ve had, but I’m guessing that more people than expected will opt to watch this one in the comfort of their own La-Z-boys or in a warm pub with friends, sans the layers and the hefty price tag.
Whether you are braving the elements and heading to Soldier Field or choosing to enjoy the matchup in the comfort of your own home or favorite watering hole, this game is definitely one you want to put some thought into when throwing your game day look together.
If Soldier Field is your destination, obviously warmth is your #1 priority. My philosophy has always been if it is below 35 degrees, forget trying to look hot and opt for warmth and comfort.
I love this hunting-inspired furry Blackhawks hat from Clark Street Sports. Not only is it crazy warm (I have one) but the crocheted-looking pattern adds an element of style without looking too sporty. The ear flaps are completely covered in faux fur, and it even has a chin hook guaranteeing that the wind stays out, and your head stays warm.
Unlike the NFL, the NHL hasn’t issued a new bag policy for Solider Field (at least not one I’m aware of), but still, why would you lug your fancy bag to Solider Field only to have it sit on the dirty cement amongst beer stains and peanut shells? Never, NEVER carry a decent bag to a sporting event. If you can’t wash it, don’t carry it, which is why I LOVE this canvas Blackhawks tote from CafePress. Set it and forget it.
Now if the sports bar is your destination of choice, warmth is still a necessity. You may not be freezing your ass off cursing at the winds whipping of the lake, but you’ll look like a fool prancing into the bar with anything sleeveless.
I love, love this Blackhawks burnout sweatshirt from Retro Brand for cold Saturday nights. With the ragged boatneck, you could rock this off shoulder (if it’s going to be one of those kind of nights) or wear a wife-beater under it for a more causal look. Pair this with skinnies or leggings and your warmest tall boots, and you’ve got a killer game night look that is sure to turn some heads.
Check back in on Friday for our game day cheat sheet for Saturday night’s matchup. Until then, stay warm and stay sporty, my friends.