Jordan Kyrou ended up being as hot as the weather was cold at the 2022 Winter Classic. Kyrou and the Blues melted the Wild in the second period, then held on to win the 2022 Winter Classic 6-4.
Did you hear it was cold at the 2022 Winter Classic?
As expected, the 2022 Winter Classic provided teeth-chattering, beard-freezing cold temperatures. It set a new record for the coldest outdoor game in NHL history, boasting temperatures of -6 degrees Fahrenheit, -21 degrees Celsius. Previously, the record went to the 2003 Heritage Classic in Edmonton (zero degrees Fahrenheit, -16 degrees Celsius).
We’re talking the sort of weather that would freeze your ‘stache.
🥶🥶🥶 #WinterClassic pic.twitter.com/MxLHY2W0o4
— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 2, 2022
Naturally, weather like this draws the occasional attention-seeker. (See: pot-bellied football fans going shirtless when the tundra is frozen.)
The Blues played that role, heading into the 2022 Winter Classic as if they were getting ready for some time at the beach.
This weather's a beach. #stlblues #WinterClassic pic.twitter.com/FDTJ56iesP
— St. Louis Blues (@StLouisBlues) January 1, 2022
After a nice win, maybe they’ll turn that into a superstition?
A chance for Jordan Kyrou to be less of a hidden gem for the Blues
Despite a modest time on ice average of just 14:25 per game last season, Jordan Kyrou cemented his place as a Blues regular in 2020-21. Increasingly, it will be tougher to keep him from getting even more regular minutes.
And, after the 2022 Winter Classic, it will make it harder for Kyrou to slip under as many radars.
With two goals and two assists, Jordan Kyrou set a Winter Classic and NHL outdoor game points record — and collected all four points as part of the Blues’ five-goal tear during the second period.
After that outburst, Kyrou now has 32 points in 29 games this season. The 23-year-old isn’t far from last season’s career-high of 35 points, and that came in 55 contests. Perhaps crustier members of Blues management would cite this Evolving Hockey RAPM chart and argue that Kyrou must improve all-around to receive even beefier ice time …
… But games like these will make him tough to deny.
Kaprizov shines for Wild in defeat
Not far behind Jordan Kyrou, Kirill Kaprizov looked like a star — as usual — for the Wild.
Kaprizov collected three points (1G, 2A), giving the Wild a chance to rally against the Blues. It wasn’t quite enough, but those chilly conditions didn’t keep him from erupting frequently at the 2022 Winter Classic.
As you can see, it’s not just about finesse with Kaprizov, either.
The highlight of this goal is the work Kaprizov puts in. Uses his strength to maintain possession against Parayko, then makes the pass #MNWild pic.twitter.com/xl7bIF7yRN
— Shayna (@hayyyshayyy) January 2, 2022
Blues gain Central Division lead; Wild struggles continue at 2022 Winter Classic
Things are tight atop the Central Division, especially when you realize that the Avalanche are hovering with some games in hand. So, while the Blues lead the Central after beating the Wild in the 2022 Winter Classic, they can’t take their lead for granted (also lurking: the Predators).
With a 7-1-2 record in their last 10 games, the Blues are heating up. Their +25 goal differential tells some of that story.
At the 2022 Winter Classic, we saw examples of a deep array of Blues weapons. David Perron looked dangerous with Ryan O'Reilly. Vladimir Tarasenko‘s rejuvenation continues.
Meanwhile, the Wild might be hoping for a revival. Although there’s a lot to like overall, the Blues handed the Wild their fifth consecutive loss at the 2022 Winter Classic.
James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at email@example.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.