2022 Winter Classic brings magic and hope back to the NHL

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The 2022 Winter Classic was a grand event months in the making. (Getty)
The 2022 Winter Classic was a grand event months in the making. (Getty)

May this be a good omen for 2022.

Amid COVID outbreaks, attendance restrictions and game postponements, the NHL needed a win. And the Winter Classic delivered just that.

The St. Louis Blues and Minnesota Wild squared off at Target Field, home of the Minnesota Twins in Minneapolis, for a cold and electric outdoor game that was months in the making.

It was the perfect way to start the year.

The immediate storyline, naturally, was the cold.

Fans braced themselves for the frigid Minnesota temperatures. Fans braced themselves and bundled up as best they could. Some even wondered if broadcasting cameras would even work. Many sought refuge in the warmth of nearby establishments ahead of puck drop.

There was indeed some concern for the players, as the game was officially named the coldest outdoor contest in history. The temperature at puck drop was -21C, or -6F.

But the athletes didn't seem to care at all.

Once one experienced the atmosphere at Target Field, it became easier to move past the punishing cold.

Fans were pumped, broadcasting cameras were miraculously working, and the stage was set. But no one — I mean, no one — was more pumped than the Wild and Blues players.

Of all the sights to see, watching those athletes take the ice may have been the coolest one.

Then, the puck dropped. And it was magical.

The game itself was just as eventful. The Blues opened the score in the first and, after allowing the Wild to pull even, exploded for five goals in the second period.

Minnesota threatened a comeback with a two-goal third period, but eventually fell short. The final score read 6-4 St. Louis.

Nothing short of legendary.

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