Sunday, January 2, 2011

Winter Classic 2011

The Winter Classic is such a great marketing tool by the NHL and not all tools work but this one does. Past games have had snow, which is what the league is looking for but yesterday's game had rain and higher than usually temperatures. The temperatures and rain were causing problems so the league decided to move the game to a later time slot. Hats off to the NHL to make a decision that will alllow an idea to work. Regardless of the rain and warm weather, this outside hockey game is so cool.

Watching the Winter Classic games brings back memories of when the snow would hit E 7th Street in Brooklyn and the lawn between the two buildings would freeze. We would pull the garbage cans onto the lawn and oila!, instant hockey rink. We would play for hours. We would slide from end to end imitating our favorite hockey players. The 7th Street Rink would have the likes of Mike Bossy, Ron Greschner, Guy LaFleur and of course, I had to be Gilbert Pereault.  The All-Stars also did their own imitations of  their favorite announcers, Marv Albert, "He shoots and scores" and John Sterling with "Islander Goal, Islander Goal!!!!"

Wouldn't it of been great to see a Winter Classic back then. Remember, NBC had the Game of the Week on Sundays. We could of watched a classic battle of the Flyers against the Bruins and the between period analysis would of been done by Peter Puck. 

The Winter Classic of 2011 was going to showcase the talents of Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin. These two players had 571 career points each, tied for the most in the NHL since they entered the league in 5005-06. These two on the same ice are going to make people watch. The whole game had an old time feel, all the way down to Penguins coach Dan Bylsma wearing a fedora and Capitals coach Bruce Boudreau wearing a Capitals letterman jacket. It was just a fun game to watch, regardless of who won.

Thinking back on the games we had on East 7th Street, I wonder which of my friends would of been imitating Crosby and which Ovechkin?

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