Wednesday Night Rivalry Preview: STL/CHI & LA/SJ

The start of the National Hockey League Season is finally here and with it the return of Wednesday Night Rivalry on NBCSN and the induction of this new article series. In this series, I will preview these games and give you a closer look into The Rivalry that make the NHL what it is.

We start with the 1st of the 2 Rivalry games tonight on NBCSN, The St. Louis Blues and the Chicago Blackhawks.

Photo Courtesy: Theodysseyonline.com

Photo Courtesy: Theodysseyonline.com

The Chicago Blackhawks were founded in 1926 as 1 of The NHL’s Original 6 franchises, The St. Louis Blues came into The NHL as part of the 1967 NHL Expansion. The two teams have been in the same division every year since 1970. Of course, this is the 1st meeting since that thrilling 7-game 1st round series in last year’s postseason that the Blues won 4-3. When Troy Brouwer scored the game winner with 8:31 left in Game 7 to win it for St. Louis 3-2.

Here’s a look at the profiles of the 2 teams:

Chicago Blackhawks: 90th NHL Season (1926-27 to 2016-17)

2897-3003-819 All-Time Record
264-266 In Postseason
15 Division Championship
4 Conference Titles
6 Stanley Cup Wins
2 Presidents’ Trophy

St. Louis Blues: 49th NHL Season (1967-68 to 2016-17)

1883-1839-432 All-Time Record
101-104 in Postseason
9 Division Championship
1 Presidents’ Trophy

This is the 365th meeting All-Time between these 2 Central Division Rival. Their 1st Meeting was November 12th 1967 at Old Chicago Stadium, a 5-2 win for the Blackhawks.

Some of the names in this Rivalry over the years include:  Jeremy Roenick, Chris Chelios, Bobby Hull, Stan Mikita, The Sutter Brothers, Brett Hull, Red Berenson, Barclay Plager, Al MacInnis, Bernie Federko, Garry Unger and Ed Belfour.

To now: Johnathan Toews, Patrick Kane, Vladdy Terasenko, & Alex Pietangelo.

Chicago leads the All-Time Series over St Louis: 179-150-35, 28-23 since 2010. They are playing in Chicago for the 184th time with the Blackhawks holding a 109-56-18 edge All-Time in Chicago. 12 times they’ve played each other in Postseason. 1st Playoff meeting came in 1973. Chicago has won 8 of the 12 Playoff Series against St Louis and hold a 35-28 edge in the 63 playoff games they’ve played.

Including the Postseason, The Blues won 7 of the 12 meetings last year over Chicago. The Blues have won 10 of the last 15 meetings in the series going back to the 2014-15 season.

The “St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” Game on March 17, 1991 is probably the most signature game in this Rivalry. It was a 6-4 win for The Blackhawks over the Blues but the game is called the “St. Patrick’s Day Massacre” due to a brawl that broke out when St. Louis’ Glen Featherstone shoved Chicago’s Jeremy Roenick after a huge hit on Harold Snepsts.

The Game featured:

12 ejections (6 on each team).

278 penalty minutes in total.

3 Suspensions totaling 22 games (STL: Kelly Chase – 10 Games and Scott Stevens – 2 games, Mike Peluso for Chicago – 10 games.)

& $20,000 in fines.

STATS Inc. Game Facts:

+ The Blues went 21-8-1 (.717) after the All-Star break last season, finishing with 107+ points for the third consecutive season, and making the playoffs for the fifth straight campaign. St. Louis needed seven games to defeat both Chicago and Dallas in the 2016 postseason before losing in six games to San Jose in the Conference Finals.

+ Chicago went 3-0-2 in its last five games of the 2015-16 regular season, finishing up with 103 points and making the playoffs for the eighth consecutive year. With their loss to the Blues in the first round of the 2016 playoffs, the Blackhawks failed in their attempt to become the first team to win back-to-back Cups since the Red Wings in 1997 and 1998.

+ St. Louis won three of five regular-season meeting with Chicago last year, including going 2-1-0 at United Center. Including the postseason, the Blues went 4-2-0 on the road against the Blackhawks in 2015-16, with each win coming by a single goal.

+ Vladimir Tarasenko recorded career highs in both goals (40) and points (74) in 2015-16, leading the Blues in both categories for the second consecutive season (37 goals, 73 points in 2014-15). Tarasenko lit the lamp a league-high five times against Chicago during the 2015-16 regular season (nine times total including the postseason).

+ Patrick Kane led the Blackhawks in goals (46) and assists (60) last season, piling up a league-best 106 points on his way to winning the Hart Trophy. Kane had a team-record 26-game point streak in 2015-16 — the longest single-season streak of any NHL skater since 1992-93 (Mats Sundin — 30 games).

+ Chicago clicked on 22.6 percent of its power-play chances last season — second best in the NHL. The Blues killed 85.1 percent of their opponents’ opportunities with the man-advantage in 2015-16 (third best in the league).

8:00 PM ET, NBCSN
United Center,
Chicago, Illinois

Doc Emrick, Eddie Olczyk & Pierre McGuire on the call.

After, the Blackhawks and Blues are done it’s on to San Jose and the 2nd half of the Wednesday Night Rivalry Doubleheader.

The Los Angeles Kings vs. The San Jose Sharks

Photo Courtesy: ThePinkPuck.com

Photo Courtesy: ThePinkPuck.com

The Kings came into The NHL as part of the 1967 NHL Expansion, while the San Jose Sharks were part of the 1991 NHL Expansion. This is the 1st meeting since the Sharks 5-and-outed the Kings in the 1st Round of the playoffs last year.

Los Angeles Kings: 49th NHL Season (1967-68 to 2016-17)

1700-1927-424 All-Time Record
111-140 in Postseason
1 Division Championship
3 Conference Titles
2 Stanley Cup Wins

San Jose Sharks: 25th NHL Season (1991-92 to 2016-17)

984-1002-121 All-Time Record
101-104 in Postseason
6 Division Championship
1 Conference Title

This is the 167th meeting between these 2 bitter California rivals. Their 1st meeting was Oct 16th 1991, an 8-5 win for The Kings at The Cow Palace in San Francisco.

The Sharks hold an 86-73-7 edge All-Time in the series. They are meeting in San Jose for the 84th time, The Sharks holding a 51-29-3 edge All-Time in San Jose.

Including the Postseason, the Sharks won 7 of the 10 meetings last year. Overall, the Sharks have won 9 of the last 15 meetings. Since 2010 The Sharks have hold a 33-29 edge over the Kings.

STATS Inc Game Facts:

+ The Kings finished 2015-16 with 102 points, reaching the century mark for the second time in the last three campaigns, and the fifth time in franchise history overall. Los Angeles was then promptly dispatched in the first round of the 2016 postseason by the Sharks in five games.

+ San Jose finished with 98 points in 2015-16, making the playoffs for the 11th in the last 12 seasons (missed in 2013-14). The Sharks won the Clarence S. Campbell Bowl for the first time in franchise history last year, before losing to the Penguins in six games in the Stanley Cup Final.

+ The Sharks took three of five meetings with the Kings during the 2015-16 regular season, scoring exactly five goals in each of the victories. Dating to the beginning of 2013-14, these clubs have played eight regular-season games at SAP Center, each tallying 17 goals, and winning four of those tilts.

+ Anze Kopitar had 74 points in 2015-16, leading his team in scoring for the ninth straight season — the longest active streak of its kind in the NHL. The Kings’ new captain (takes over for Dustin Brown), Kopitar has just one helper in his last seven regular-season skates vs. the Sharks.

+ Entering his 19th NHL season, Joe Thornton paced the Sharks with 82 points in 2015-16, including recording 60+ assists for the eighth time — tied with Jaromir Jagr for most of any active skater. Thornton had eight points (3g, 5a) in five regular-season skates vs. the Kings last year.

+ San Jose lit the lamp a league-high 62 times with the man-advantage in 2015-16. Los Angeles allowed 53 power-play markers last season (tied for sixth most in the NHL).

10:30 PM ET, NBCSN
SAP Center at San Jose,
San Jose, California

Randy Hahn & Jamie Baker will have the call.

This figure to be a fun night in the 1st NBCSN Wednesday Night Rivalry Night of the season. What a great way to open The 2016-17 NHL Season. Let the fun begin!