The St. Louis Blues have had several strong rivalries over the years. The one with Chicago never really goes away.
When it comes to rivalries, all fans of their teams think their rivalry is the best. That is certainly true of the St. Louis Blues.
The Blues have had several good-to-great rivalries over the years. When they first came into the league, St. Louis likely saw Montreal and Boston as rivals since they faced one another in the finals.
The other cities might not have felt the same. Even so.
Minnesota was an early rival as the Blues and North Stars battled it out for division supremacy. Minnesota and then Dallas afterward have always had some good battles, as proven by the Blues seven-game series win to get to the conference final in both 2016 and 2019.
Then there was the utter hatred that Blues fans felt for the Detroit Red Wings. So many good teams in St. Louis history, from the late 1990’s and early 2000’s, went by the wayside because those Detroit teams were just a bit better.
Still, Red Wings fans were busy basking in their glory. Whether or not they saw the Blues as a true rival is unknown, except by those in Detroit.
However, while all those came and went, the rivalry with the Chicago Blackhawks has always been there. It is rooted deeply in the long-standing rivalry between the two cities.
Since St. Louis and Chicago have played one another in professional sports, there has been a rivalry since the cities are relatively close. It has crossed all boundaries.
The NFL might be the only exception. There was a big deal made out of the Chicago Bears playing in Busch Stadium when the Rams first arrived – I still have my program from that event. However, due to being in different divisions, there was not that bitterness other than it being slapped on there for St. Louis against Chicago.
When it came to indoor soccer, the Kansas City Comets were generally a bigger rival than the Chicago Sting or Power.
The main rivalry between Chicago and St. Louis obviously came from the Cubs against the Cardinals. However, while baseball fans will disagree, that rivalry doesn’t have the same sting as the hockey equivalent.
There is clearly a rivalry based on proximity, length of history and being in the same division. However, the teams have rarely been good at the same time or played with the intensity that the Blues and Blackhawks have.
If you go back to early history, the Cubs were good in the early 1900’s. The Cardinals were toward the bottom of their league.
The year before the Cardinals won their first World Series, the Cubs finished last. They finished in the middle of the league the year the Cards won.
The teams somewhat went back and forth after that. Often when one was up, the other was down.
Both teams were good for a short period of the late 1960’s. The Cubs snuck a quick league championship series into the 1984 season while the Cardinals were off their game.
For the most part, the rivalry has been one-sided in recent history. Additionally, though baseball’s previous championship format is somewhat to blame, they have next-to-no playoff history.
In fact, until the Cubs beat the Cardinals in 2015, the two rivals had never played in the playoffs. The Cubs were at the bottom when the Cardinals were good in the 1990’s and the Cardinals finished third when the Cubs had a good run in 2003. It was only a three-game difference, but there just was not that animosity.
You will hear Cardinals fans or Cubs fans say anyone can win but (insert opposition team name), but it’s more of a snotty rivalry. Cardinals fans just turn their nose up at the Cubs mostly.
Funny enough was Cardinals fans are actually a lot like Blackhawks fans. Each one just liked to point out how long it had been since the other won a championship.
Neverthless, the Blues and Blackhawks are more rivals because they have actually been rivals. They often stood in one another’s way when it came down to crunch time.
There were some lulls, such as a playoff gap from 1993 to 2002 and then 2002 to 2014. During this period, the Blues were good when Chicago was not and the Blackhawks were winning when the Blues were down.
If you care to watch, The Hockey Guy did a pretty good video about the teams’ rivalry.
Even with those lulls, they were more than just thorns in the side of their opponent. There was hatred there between fans and players.
Brett Hull used to love playing in Chicago Stadium. He loved it because of the animosity and the reaction he would get. He said he saw a doll of himself in a noose hanging from the upper deck once and that got him charged up.
While the Blues would not eliminate the Blackhawks from the playoffs often, they usually did in epic fashion. They swept Chicago in 1993, when the Blackhawks thought they had the team to win it all.
The Blues took out Chicago in an epic seven-game series in 2016 too.
The Norris Division games were some of the most brutal you would see this side of the 1970’s when the old saying was you went to a fight and a hockey game broke out. Kelly Chase and Bob Probert exchanging punches or the infamous St. Patrick’s Day Massacre.
There was always just so much more meaning between a Blues and Blackhawks game. The players seemed to care much more and you still hear about it to this day.
I remember the rivalry for myself. One of the first games I clearly remember going to was with my brother as we got the tickets through a family friend.
It was the Blues and Blackhawks. There were arguments in the bathroom and fights out in the concourse.
Normally, being a shy kid, that sort of thing would be offputting. For some reason, it struck the right note with me.
There was something about seeing them dressed in that vibrant red, against the crisp white of the Blues jerseys, that triggered you. It was like waving the cape in front of a bull.
You remember the moments against Chicago more in hockey. Vladimir Tarasenko has dominated the Blackhawks, scoring 19 goals against the Blackhawks, which is the most out of any one team in his career.
Even Hull can’t say that. He scored more goals against four other teams than Chicago.
We will always remember that Troy Brouwer goal that proved to be the game winner of Game 7 in 2016. How many single moments from the Cubs-Cardinals rivalry stick out like that?
The Cubs and Cardinals, and St. Louis against Chicago in general, was a rivalry long before the NHL entered into the picture. There just is not the same feeling.
Hockey has a different atmosphere. The game breeds frustration and thus animosity.
The Blues and Blackhawks rivalry is the epitome of the rivalry between the two cities.