It’s outta here!

Fenway Park will play host to the 3rd annual Winter Classic at 1 p.m. on New Year’s Day. The 37-foot-high Green Monster will look down upon the clashing of two gritty teams: The Boston Bruins and the visiting Philadelphia Flyers.

Bridgestone's Winter Classic Green Monster scoreboard.
Bridgestone's Winter Classic Green Monster scoreboard.

The spectacle’s NHL roots started in 2003 with the Heritage classic, where the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Montreal Canadiens. In 2008, the Winter Classic as we know it was born with the Pittsburgh Penguins taking on the Buffalo Sabers in an outdoor game in Buffalo. Ratings soared and the following year the Detroit Red Wings faced off against the Chicago Blackhawks on Wrigley Field. What was once a day of rest and relaxation, or more so torture with the absence of hockey, has turned into the thing to watch.

Although I was unable to watch my home team in person last year, in 2001 I was fortunate enough to be in attendance for the Cold War between college hockey teams Michigan Wolverines vs. Michigan State Spartans in East Lansing. I sat nearly in the highest row of Spartan Football Stadium, bundled up, huddled up against the stranger next to me and sitting on my hands for warmth, and loved every minute of it. The numbness of my body, the loud roars and the sport I love – hockey. The teams ended in a 3-3 tie. I could only imagine the excitement of the shootout at such an event. The memory will never be forgotten.

Snow flurries and an expected temperature in the mid-30s will surely make this an excellent game to watch. The Philadelphia Flyers have gone up and down this season resulting in the firing and hiring of a new head coach. Despite all of this, they are currently in 8th place within the Eastern Conference and are coming off of 4-game winning streak, the most recent win a 6 – 0 romp over the New York Rangers. Let’s hope they have not used up all their scoring. The home team, the Boston Bruins, are currently sitting 5th within the Eastern Conference and are playing consistent hockey. With the Green Monster looking down upon the team, the Bruins are hoping this is more of a home game than a road one, seeing their home record is considerably better at 12-6-3. Goalie Tim Thomas will be the key for the Bruins in this conference rivalry.

An outdoor game should be on the bucket list for any hockey fan. I look forward to this year’s excitement surrounding the event; the preparation, pre-game buildup, the special jerseys, and the game day itself. Both teams are not to fond of each other, and both teams need these points for a playoff chance. The only thing left to decide on is where to order the pizza from on gameday.


  1. Nice post- the Winter Classic is a great event. I have been captivated by it and as much as I like football- I ignore it on NY Day until the hockey is over. I’ve read that the 2011 game will feature NY-Wash in the Big Apple. I think Detroit deserves a game soon- IN Detroit.

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