Will the fourth time be the charm for the Blackhawks in the Winter Classic?
SOUTH BEND, Ind. – It’s still a relatively new event, with the first being played just eleven years ago. But thanks to their success over the past decade, it’s become nearly a semi-annual tradition for the franchise.
For the fourth time in eleven games, the Blackhawks will be taking to the ice on New Year’s Day or January 2nd to play in the elements as part of the NHL’s Winter Classic.
This time it’s a new venue for the team and the league – iconic Notre Dame Stadium in South Bend, Indiana – for an Original Six match-up against the Bruins at Noon on Tuesday.
Despite their frequent appearance on the big stage, there is one thing that is still eluding the team – a victory in the event.
Starting with their first game ten years ago on Tuesday till New Year’s Day 2019, the Blackhawks have yet to come away with a win in the event. It’s a bit of an oddity considering the team’s success in the decade, having won three Stanley Cups and making the Western Conference Finals twice, but victory has always escaped them.
A more experienced Red Wings team rallied from a 3-1 first period deficit at Wrigley Field to beat the Blackhawks 6-4 in just the second-even Winter Classic. It was a little tighter in the team’s second Winter Classic in 2015 at Nationals Park, but it was the Capitals that came out with a 3-2 victory.
A January 2, 2017 game with the Blues was more lopsided, as St. Louis took advantage of the Busch Stadium elements to beat the Blackhawks 4-1.
In fact, the Blackhawks only win in any outdoor game in this era came in the Stadium Series match-up with the Penguins at Soldier Field in 2014.
Breaking through this year might seem unlikely if you look at the team’s overall start to the season, which they sit in last place with a coaching change made in the first month. But Jeremy Colliton’s group rallied back at the end of 2018 and has won five of their last six games coming into their match-up with Boston.
Perhaps Tuesday is finally the day the Blackhawks get a first in the great outdoors.