The Blues and Union Station are teaming up to host an opening night leading up to Saturday’s season opener against the Columbus Blue Jackets at Enterprise Center.
The rally will begin at 3 p.m. at Union Station — four hours before puck drop at Enterprise — and will include live music and appearances from Blues President Tom Stillman, Hall of Famer Al MacInnis and Blues broadcasters. .
The rally is free and open to the public, with or without match tickets.
Dining options include St. Louis Union Station Soda Fountain, The Train Shed, 1894 Café, and Taco Container. The Bud Light Build-A-Bar will be on site, showing college football action on four televisions.
The rally will also feature kid-friendly activities including the Blues inflatable game, street hockey instruction stations, face painting and an appearance by Blues mascot Louie.
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For more details on the opening night rally, visit www.stlouisblues.com/openingnight.
Store the clubs
The team building trip to Charleston, SC featured many rounds of golf by players, coaches and staff. With the regular season approaching, these golf clubs won’t be used much until the end of the hockey season.
But there were a few unanswered questions as the Blues bid farewell to the South Carolina Lowcountry. Namely, who are the best golfers on the team.
“Among the coaches?” asked Craig Berube. “(Mike) Van Ryn doesn’t play much golf, but he’s a good player. Davey Alexander is good – he’s been playing golf a lot this summer. He’s been working on his game.”
Alexander is the Blues’ goalkeeping coach; Van Ryn takes care of the Blues defenders.
As for Berube, he said he had a handicap of four or five on his home course in Pennsylvania.
As for the best golfer among Blues players?
“I don’t know,” Bérubé said. “(Tyler) Bozak was, but he’s gone.”
Blues newcomer Noel Acciari nominated Robert Thomas for the honors.
“Thomer is pretty good, actually,” Acciari said. “I think he has a five handicap.”
Of course, there were Blues who weren’t on the golf course in the Charleston area once the day’s hockey chores were done. Avid angler Justin Faulk led a 14-person fishing trip for players and staff.
For players trying to earn a spot on the roster, early October can be a tenuous time. Not only are they trying to make the opening day roster, but they are also trying to decide the living conditions if they make the team.
Forward Josh Leivo started camp staying with Logan Brown, even cooking for Brown to help him earn a living. But he has since moved into an Airbnb with his wife and two sons. Now that he’s on the day one list, is he looking for more permanent housing?
“We have to understand that now,” Leivo said. “There’s a lot going on.”
In the past, young Jake Neighbors stayed with Brayden Schenn and his wife. He’s hoping for a similar arrangement this season, but…
“Always at the hotel,” Neighbors said. “I’ve just been on my knees begging, but he won’t throw me the bone.”
Better than ever?
Conventional wisdom says Ivan Barbashev won’t come close to the 26 goals he scored last season; after all, his career-high was just 14 goals scored in the 2018-19 Stanley Cup season.
But Barbashev prefers to look at it differently.
“You never know, I could do more,” he said. “That’s what I want to do. I want to improve my game, become better. Especially since my defensive zone was not good enough last year. It’s something I want to (improve) too. But at the same time, I want to keep my offensive things that I did last year in the same place. So keep them and improve my defense.
Of course, Barbashev is also looking for better things from the team as a whole.
“Last year we didn’t get past Colorado,” he said. “To be honest, they had a very good team but we were very close. Looking at the list, we have a very good team this year. It’s something we have to do this season, just improve. We know that if we make it to the playoffs, we’ll have to go through Colorado. I think we’re capable of doing that. I’m really looking forward to the season.”