Saturday, January 3, 2009

Winter Classic

New Years day offered us hockey fans the second annual Winter Classic. Finally, something for us non-football fans to enjoy. I will admit to having watched bowl games in the past, but only if the Badgers were playing and someone was having a party. The past two years though I have been able to enjoy my first love, hockey. Both years have been a success and are expected to continue for many years. Even people who do not usually watch hockey checked out the Winter Classic.

I have read that some people thought this year was better than last years. Some complained about the snow last year but I loved it. It added another element to the game, another challenge for the boys to overcome and it looked like winter. I also liked the teams last year better being a big fan of many of Buffalo’s players. But all-in-all, I think both years have been great and could do so much for the emergence of the NHL in your typical “non-hockey” markets.

Personally, I did not like either teams this year but hoped for a ‘Hawks win. Unfortunately Detroit decided to show up in the second and third and won the game 6-4. There also was a lot of tension, pushing/shoving incurred around the crease quite often. This is a good way to get more casual/first time fans into the game, show the passion that the players have.

As a girl into fashion and hockey, I have to say I was not in love with either of the teams “retro” looks. Detroit looked like candy canes with their stripped socks. I hope they never play the Wild with that outfit on; we’d have the elves and the candy canes battling it out. Oh wait… That could be next years Winter Classic! I am a genius! I did like the colors of the ‘Hawks uniform but they had too many stripes, both vertical and horizontal, making it hard to look at.

Both Strader and Pang were there. Pang did last years Winter Classic and was invited back again for commentary and interviews. Strader was asked to do the play-by-play when the original play-by-play guy came down with laryngitis. As a Coyote fan, I feel honored that both of our TV personalities were present. It just goes to show that we have a class act up in the press box.

I also think that it is quite classy that we had both the American and Canadian national anthems, even though both teams were American teams. They did this last year also. I think it goes to show how much Americans and the NHL appreciate what Canada means to this sport.

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