I actually watched the Winter Classic yesterday. I didn't anticipate I would, but I had nothing else to do on a New Years Day afternoon. It was a long game, which the league made a big deal to note would start on time at 1:00 PM. At around 1:15, zombie Billy Idol appeared and sang "White Wedding" while low quality pyrotechnics went off on the stage. NBC cut away about 30 seconds before it was over, and then, after a few minutes of commercials, the game started, finally wrapping up at almost 5:00.
It was a rather boring game for the most part. The teams spent most of the first 10 minutes scrambling around the ice, missing easy passes, and skating right past the puck, as they tried to adapt to the outdoor, sun-in-your-face, conditions. The NHL ordered the teams swap ends at 10:00 in the first, and then they seemed be back to square one, and had to start adapting all over again. By the start of the second most of the ice surface had been blocked from the sun by the stands, and the game play improved.
The ending was exciting. Tied at 2-2, the Caps scored a tie breaker on a power play with only seconds left in the third. Naturally, this power play was from a "controversial" penalty, which at least gave the media covering this event something to write about other than what they were eating.
Gary Bettman, of course, said "it couldn't have been better". But he was there, not sitting on a couch 600 km away. What did you think? Vote in the poll below!
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Today's WJHC quarter final games play as follows (all times EST):
United States vs Russia - 1PM
Sweden vs Finland - 3PM
Czech Republic vs Slovakia - 5PM
Canada vs Denmark - 7:30PM