ST. LOUIS – The St. Louis Blues opened a new season Thursday with a 2-1 shootout loss to the Dallas Stars. A new season, however, has many fans excited.

Many families gathered Thursday at Ballpark Village to watch the first game.

“I think it’ll be a close game,” said Nick James. “Hopefully the Blues come out on top. Dallas is a good team, and they have a lot of their veteran players. So it’ll be a tough battle for sure.”

James and other fans say there is a lot of hype surrounding the season.

“It’s fun. They’re always exciting. They play that great type of hockey. It’s not the flashy, let’s move around [style]. It’s very skillful. Let’s get the puck in deep and box bodies around and get the puck on the net type of hockey, and that’s always fun to watch,” said James.

Even international fans are hoping to see good things from the team this year.

“Not quite sure what we’re going to do this year, but there is always a lot of hopes,” said Jerome Avis. “We have young players and can do great things as we may not.”

He and his wife were visiting from France, and he said even with the time difference, he doesn’t miss a Blues game.

“Usually they play around 8 o’clock here. So I get up at 2 or 3 in the morning and have coffee and watch a game, and then I go back to work after,” said Avis.

Fans said they’re surprised to see a smaller crowd than normal at Ballpark Village to watch the opening game.

“The Cardinals didn’t do as well this year as they usually do, so it might have gotten people kind of in a funk,” said James. “But we have year round sports here in St. Louis now between baseball, soccer, and the Blues. So hopefully it’ll start picking up a little bit more.”

The Kansas City Chiefs also played Thursday night, also playing on Ballpark Village TVs and making for a double watch party of sorts.