12:02 p.m. – The Final Stretch
Some good hockey talk happening here on the train in the final stretch of the trip. Fans are discussing the possibility of new overtime rules (four minutes of 4-on-4 hockey, followed by four minutes of 3-on-3 hockey, then finally, a shootout). Also just saw a guy wearing a shirt that said “My Other Car is a Zamboni.”
You can’t make this stuff up.
We’re getting close to Chicago now. We passed through Joliet, IL about 30 minutes ago.
As this is the last blog from the trip, I should mention that we’ve heard plenty of good stories, participated in plenty of fun games and made the most of a near-six hour train ride.
With 50 fans on the trip, this Amtrak Train to the Game was sort of an experiment. To this point, it’s went very well and with any luck, the Blues will look into more of these fan trips to road games in the future.
Of course, once we get off the train shortly, everyone is on their own to explore the Windy City until game time. Most will find lunch, get checked into a hotel, and head to the game. The train returns to St. Louis tomorrow.
Blues broadcaster Darren Pang reports on Twitter that Ty Conklin will be in goal for the Blues, while Corey Crawford will be between the pipes for the Blackhawks.
If you’ve followed our trip through this blog, thanks for reading.
Enjoy the game tonight live on Versus or KMOX 1120 AM at 7 p.m.
And, of course, Let’s Go Blues.10:45 a.m. - Blue Hair
That didn't take long.
A few fans decided it'd be wise to give themselves blue mohawks. That's kept a few more of them entertained following the game of Heads or Tails.
Free mohawks for anyone interested.10:36 a.m. – Heads or Tails
You’d be amazed at how easily people can be amused on a long road trip. It certainly doesn’t take much to get them entertained.
With that in mind, Angella just started the heads or tails game with all willing participants on our car. You know…everyone puts their hands on their head or on their bottoms (for tails), and Angella flips a coin. It keeps going until you’re left with one winner.
The winner in this particular game?
An autographed strick from Brad Boyes that Plager kindly donated to 12-year-old Andrew Birks, who also had his Blues jersey signed by Plager earlier in the trip.
With just under two hours left in our trip, it’ll be interesting to see what entertains the group next. Stay tuned.9:48 a.m. – Mixing and Mingling
One thing we’ve learned so far on this trip: Blues fans certainly have a lot in common.
They all show their support for the team by wearing Blues T-shirts, jerseys and hats. Some of them even find it worthwhile to dye their hair blue. All of them are dying to see David Perron
and Roman Polak
back in the lineup. And they all have a common idea of how to celebrate a perfect Tuesday night in late November: beat the Blackhawks in their own barn.
Rarely is anybody sitting in their seats anymore. Most are up and about, mingling and meeting new people.
Fans on the trip had no problem finding the dining car, which is at the front of the train and is about 4-5 cars from ours. They serve all kinds of drinks, snacks and even lunch items. Want White Castle cheeseburgers? You can find those here, too, even at 9:45 in the morning.
Louie hopped off the train in Alton, IL. He’s got plenty to do to prepare for tomorrow’s game against Washington.
We won’t make it to the United Center in time for the morning skate, but we expect to arrive shortly after. If we get word about tonight’s starting goaltenders and update you here.
For now, we're about ready to stop in Bloomington-Normal, IL.
Oh, and in addition to getting updates here, be sure to check out Fox Sports Midwest on Twitter for updates @Fox_Sports_MW
8:15 a.m. - Getting to Know Each Other
The entire train just participated in the first Blues trivia contest. A wrong answer meant you were eliminated from the contest, and Paul Randolph just beat Bob Plager in the final round. Paul knew that Garry Unger played in seven NHL All-Star Games. Plager guessed five.
As a reward, Paul received an autographed puck from Alex Pietrangelo
Now that we’re more than an hour into the trip, we’ve had a chance to walk around and get to know some of the fans on the train.
You wouldn’t believe some of the things we’ve seen.
Some fans have left their mark by plastering a Blues magnet schedule on the wall. They say they have plenty more to leave around the city of Chicago when we arrive.
One guy, Joe Helle, even has a BlueNote tattooed on his head.
Jim “The Cat” Hayes and Brad Straubinger are here from Fox Sports Midwest. They’re shooting a video feature on today’s trip that will air during tomorrow’s pregame show prior to the game vs. Washington. Jim wanted to say “hey” to listeners of the ITD Morning After on 590 The Fan.
Check out the photo gallery
again. You'll find more photos, including one from the aftermath of Louie's silly string spray can.6:56 a.m. – Leaving the Station
With breakfast provided by Hardee's before departure, we're all set to go.
And after hearing the train conductor call “All Aboard,” we’re off to Chicago.
Fifty Blues fans are traveling to Chicago via Amtrak this morning, and all of them were up bright and early to make the trip. And why wouldn’t they be? It’s a chance to see the Blues face off with the Blackhawks at 7 p.m. tonight at United Center.
Blues CEO Mike McCarthy is on the train, as are Blues executives Eric Stisser and Matt Poling, who played big roles in organizing the trip.
Louie is here to make sure people stay awake (considering the sun hasn’t even come up yet), and he’s already startled everybody by blowing an airhorn briefly. I think he’s got some silly string, too.
Blues legend Bob Plager is here. He’ll be sharing his many stories with fans. Angella is here, too, with trivia questions and prize giveaways throughout the trip.
Oh, and I almost forgot. Shad Sellers is making his inaugural trip to Chicago to see the Blues play. He wanted to say hello to his children: Memphis, Cassidy and Sydney.
Be sure to launch our photo gallery
so you can see what's happening here on the train.
We’ll be back with more stories from the trip a little later. Check back often.