How Hawks, Blues rivalry exploded on St. Patrick's Day 1991


If you’ve been paying attention for the last, oh, 50-plus years, you know there’s a rich narrative between the Blackhawks and the St. Louis Blues — and not a cordial one either.

But one game stands alone as the most cold-blooded meeting in the rivalry’s history.

On St. Patrick’s Day 1991, the Blues and Blackhawks met in a Norris Division matchup that saw each team prepared to fight for the President’s Trophy. Literally. Like, to the death.

In the brutal affair, 12 players were ejected, 278 penalty minutes were served (24 minor, 12 major and 17 misconduct penalties, to be exact) and three players were eventually suspended for their roles in what would be called the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre.

30 years later, the St. Patrick’s Day Massacre is a — if not THE — defining moment in Blackhawks-Blues history, though there have been plenty of bitter contests since. In game 2 of a 2014 playoff series, Brent Seabrook laid a dangerous hit on Blues captain David Backes that led to a three-game suspension and league-wide uproar over a player, believed to have been Duncan Keith, who taunted the clearly injured Backes, shouting “Wakey, Wakey, Backes!” after the hit. In 1993, Goaltender Ed Belfour trashed the visitors' locker room after the Blues completed a four-game sweep of the Hawks in the division semifinals.

Hockey fans will never see a clash like this again, but man, is it fun to reminisce on the beginnings of one of the most illustrated rivalries in all of hockey.

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