Set your DVRs. The St. Louis Blues’ journey to the 2017 Winter Classic against the Chicago Blackhawks is being documented by EPIX for their Road to the NHL Outdoor Classics and the first episode behind the curtain will air on December 16th at 9pm CST. The Blackhawks will also be featured as they head to the Winter Classic while the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs will be featured as they prepare for the Scotiabank NHL Centennial Classic.
The format, made popular by HBO’s 24/7 Road to the Winter Classic, should offer some unique looks for Blues fans as well as an uncensored version of what life is like in the locker room.
Here’s the full schedule:
Premiere – Wednesday, Dec. 16 at 10pm ET/PT, 9C
Episode 2 – Wednesday, Dec. 23 at 10pm ET/PT, 9C (re-air on Dec. 24 at 10 p.m. ET)
Episode 3 – Wednesday, Dec. 30 at 10pm ET/PT, 9C
Episode 4 – Wednesday, January 6 at 10pm ET/PT, 9C
Originally, the specials leading into the Winter Classic were considered must-see TV. Now, thanks to the popularity of the original 24/7, teams have attempted to capitalize by offering more off-ice content. Those looks, which should be noted are censored, have chipped away at what used to make the Winter Classic specials so fun to watch. It’s also worth noting that the enjoyment of these specials usually hinges on how much off-ice action is shown. Some have relied too heavily on simply recapping what the teams have done on the ice which ultimately doesn’t pack a very big punch.
If you have EPIX, it’ll be fun to watch the Blues – mainly Ken Hitchcock – sound off without holding back. In other words, plan on a whole bunch of swearing from Hitchcock which is usually extremely entertaining. With any luck, hopefully a few Blues players will emerge with some personality fans usually don’t see.
The outdoor game specials aren’t what they once were, but it’ll be interesting to see how the Blues are shown.