On Tuesday night, the Blackhawks visit the Blues in what will be one of the most emotional nights either team will play this year.
Before Tuesday night’s game, the Blues as we pay tribute to Pavol Demitra and Igor Korolev with a ceremony that will feature former teammates Keith Tkachuk, Brett Hull, Geoff Courtnall, Scott Young and Curtis Joseph. Demitra and Korolev were killed on September 7 when the plane carrying Lokomotiv Yaroslavl, the KHL team both were playing for, crashed in Russia.
It is appropriate that the Blues will host this night with the Blackhawks in St. Louis. Demitra started his time with the Blues in 1996-97, and was in St. Louis through the 2003-04 season. His coach from 1996 until the 62nd game of the 2003-04 season was Joel Quenneville.
Also, Jamal Mayers played with Demitra in St. Louis, and assistant coach Mike Kitchen was on Quenneville’s staff with the Blues.
Demitra was one of Marian Hossa’s closest friends; they were teammates and the two alternate captains on the Slovakian team at the 2010 Winter Olympics.
Once the emotion from the pregame ceremony ends, the game will start. And this game should be fascinating.
The Blackhawks are coming off perhaps their worst performance under Quenneville on Sunday night, and indications are that the lineup will be shuffled from top to bottom. For the Blues, Tuesday will begin the Ken Hitchcock regime. One team is embarassed, the other is starting over with a new coach.
Once the emotion from the pregame ceremony passes, this game will look different for both teams. For a game on Nov. 8, this will be as intriguing as any game this season.