Hockey is back, guys. I love this time of year. I went to Day 2 of training camp, at the newly-named Enterprise Center this morning. It was, in a word, joyous.
How great to have hockey back! It’s wonderful that the Blues put on the Open House event for their fans. It’s a great way to showcase the team and the venue. I’m sure it really helps ticket sales, too. Thousands of fans turned out, decked in jerseys of different vintages. I was impressed with how full the lower bowl was, almost game night-level. The whole arena was open to fans to sample different seats, get autographs from Blues alumni, browse the True Blue Authentic team store, and look at the renovations. And boy that Heritage jersey looks sharp.
The players skated with intensity in front of the crowd. I watched Group B practice and then skirmish against Group A. I came away with the following impressions:
Ryan O’Reilly looks good. He made crisp passes all morning, skated with speed, and won his opening faceoff against Brayden Schenn in the skirmish.
Zach Sanford is skating well, and showing strength. He held off a defender while skating with the puck in the offensive zone during the skirmish.
Colton Parayko took charge while on the ice, barking at his teammates while rush back in the defensive zone.
Pat Maroon seems like such a nice guy. He flashed smiles all over the ice, and looked with concern when a puck went over the netting at one point, to see if the fans were okay.
Chad Johnson’s mask is super sharp.
Check out some of the pics below. Wow I can’t wait for the season to start. #LGB
The Winter Classic jerseys are beautiful and deserve a longer stay in the locker room wardrobe.
During this 2017-2018 season, all NHL teams wore 2 jerseys: home and away. No team wore third/alternate jerseys during the season, due to Adidas taking over the uniforms from Reebok.
For the Blues, this meant that the team wore either the home blues or the road whites, for all 82 games. And both are very sharp uniforms; one of the sharpest in all of professional sports actually.
But I loved the Winter Classic, semi-retro uniforms that the team wore during the outdoor game. They’re just so different from their regular looks, but in a good way. And we fans were thrilled with them and glad the team didn’t botch the opportunity to introduce a fresh but classic look for a classic game. They were much better than the previous alternate jersey, the navy ones with the arch in the roundel. I liked those jerseys as well, but in my mind they were too dark a blue. The WC unis are much more in line with the spirit of the team.
It’s thought that many NHL teams will re-introduce third jerseys for the upcoming season. I hope the Blues seize on the opportunity to bring back the Winter Classic jerseys for the 18-19 season. They could wear them on Saturday home games, as they did for the roundel jerseys. And as the team will, doubtless, have a much altered look up and down the lineup, the alternate jerseys will reinforce that this is a different team, with a different destiny.
Bring them back, Mr. Armstrong. I’ll buy one this time, I promise.