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Bus & Truck Tour: Road Game #1 - It's That Big First Night!

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It's Opening Night for their 50th anniversary season, and the Blues are already taking the show on the road!

I hope SBN doesn't take down this photo, because it's borderline pornography.
I hope SBN doesn't take down this photo, because it's borderline pornography.
Jasen Vinlove-USA TODAY Sports

It's time to play the music...it's time to light the lights...

Sidebar: would you consider most Blues fans to be Statler & Waldorf, or are ALL Blues fans Statler & Waldorf?

The Blues will raise the curtain on the 2016-17 season tonight, but it's the fans who have the opening night jitters. Sure, the Blues - an historically underachieving postseason team - are fresh off of what must objectively be called one of the greatest postseason performances in franchise history. But after a sub-par offseason that saw the squad lose their captain, their postseason hero, and their number one goaltender, it is difficult to see how this season could be anything but a step backwards. Sure we still have Kevin Shattenkirk (for now), the Nail Yakupov trade has a ton of upside, and hey, we even brought this guy back:

...but a lame duck head coach who's known for being difficult to play for long term, in a division where every other team improved this summer makes for some legitimate worries.

But never mind that shit - here comes Mongo!

The last we saw These Fuckers Up North was just the other day in the preseason this happened:

Then this happened:

If you're anything like me, you think of that moment every night before you fall fast asleep with a smile.

You better believe the Blackhawks and their shittastic fans will be ready for revenge regular season revenge. They'll come out flying, the Blues will probably come out of the gate slowly and play reactionary, and the whole game will probably hinge on how ready to go Jake Allen is in the first period. You've seen this script before. You've seen it 49 48 times before. Maybe this one will finally have a happy ending? (Spoiler alert: probably not.)

It's time to raise the curtain on another fantastic production. It's Another Opening of Another Show!

TONIGHT'S PERFORMANCE: @ the Chicago Blackhawks

CURTAIN TIME: 7pm CDT

BROADCAST NETWORKS: NBCSN (TV), 1120am KMOX (radio)

CAST LIST:

MISSING TONIGHT'S PERFORMANCE: Jaden Schwartz (out - elbow)

CENTRAL CHARACTER: G Jake Allen - not only will he have to deal with the pressure of finally being handed the number one job in net by any means necessary, he's coming off a preseason injury that almost kept him out of the opener. How ready will he be to go? How ready can he be?

MAIN ANTAGONIST: LW Artemi Panarin - of course the easy answer is always Patrick Kane (fuck that guy), and there's always Duncan Keith (fuck that guy), Brent Seabrook (fuck that guy), and Jonathan Toews (...meh...), but Panarin is the one you have to really watch out for. Rocky & Bullwinkle usually draws the most focus when they're on the ice, which gives far too much space that the reigning Calder Trophy winner can take advantage of. When the Fuckhawks are healthy and Panarin is on his game, even Team Canada would have a hard time stopping their attack. Hopefully Vladimir Tarasenko can convince his bestie to take a night off.

PLAYBILL(s): Our SBNation siblings over at Second City Hockey are great, but it's our game day paper brethren at The Committed Indian that we really love. Be sure to check out our print editor Brad Lee's Q&A before the puck drops.

This is your pre-game hang out the rest of the afternoon. What are you most looking forward to this season (besides playing outdoors)? What's your predictions for how the Blues will fuck up this season? Who's your Cup pick? (Personally, I'm going with the Predators.) And most importantly, why do you hate the Blackhawks? Be as descriptive as your keyboard can possibly allow you to be.