Sunday, January 1, 2012

Previewing the 2012 NHL Winter Classic

Here's the 2012 Winter Classic logo.  Wait, that's not right...

As the calendar turns from December 2011 to January 2012, the latest edition of the NHL's annual outdoor game, the Winter Classic for those who have never heard of the event, will take place between the Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers tomorrow at the Phillies' Citizens Bank Ballpark.  Before the main event, however, let's take a look at some of the recent history of the teams.

  • Last year's HBO 24/7 series took us into the life of many Russian superstar players, including one that many people accuse of not always caring about the game.  This year's series showed us a Russian who spends way too much time studying poetry and the universe.
  • People have been questioning Ilya Bryzgalov's dedication to the team and his game right now.  Then you remember that Alexei Kovalev was once employed by the Rangers...
  • Each of the previous Winter Classic games have featured exciting young teams that the hockey world has fallen in love with since the lockout.  This year's Classic features a pair of teams that are generally despised in the hockey world.

  • Last year's Classic was played on ice that was reminiscent of Madison Sqaure Garden ice, in the sense that it was painful to skate on.  This year's Classic will be played on ice that feels like an outdoor rink in Phoenix, in the sense that it's too brutally hot for a hockey game.
  • This year's Classic features one goaltender who is friends with anyone who has an awful singing voice and has the largest following of teenage girls in the world, while the other goaltender is friends with anyone who is also highly intrigued with the rest of the universe.
  • Somehow, Jaromir Jagr is one of the cornerstones of the Flyers offense this season, despite joining the "every former superstar that is now washed up" club, also known as the New York Rangers, years ago.
  • This year's Classic featured a pair of coaches who have won Stanley Cup Championships......with other teams, of course.
  • This year's Classic does not feature one of the three NHL teams that ESPN has ever acknowledged.
  • Each of the past Classics have been held on January 1st, which was one day after the alumni game last year.  This year's game will be held on January 2nd.  The word is that the league was planning an extra day to clean up the potential blood from the alumni game between the former Rangers and former Flyers.
  • This year's Classic features two teams that are rivals, just like last year's Classic, except the media didn't force the Rangers and Flyers to hate each other.
  • The Flyers' most laughable player has been benched and won't start in goal for them, while the Rangers' most laughable player has been banished to the minor leagues...again.
  • This year's Classic features the Devils' two biggest rivals, and thus leaves Devils bloggers and fans trying to think of unforeseen circumstances in which neither team wins the game.