The 2011 Winter Classic is in the books, and thankfully, it is time to get back to your regularly scheduled season.
– Was anyone else wondering why they didn’t have the Stanley Cup presentation immediately after the game was over like they usually do because I’m pretty sure most Caps’ fans thought their team won it that night.
– Bettman and the rest of his NHL cronies could screw up a wet dream. Yeah, let’s postpone the game until 8:00 because some idiot at Severe Weather Center 11 or Storm Tracker 4 says that the heaviest rain of the day will be between 12:00 and 3:00, but everything should be just fine and dandy by nighttime. You could have asked any random passerby on the street how reliable our local weathermen are. Let’s see, not a drop of rain between 8:30 AM and 8:30 PM, but boy was it coming down long after our local boys said there’d be no chance of it happening.
– How will the NHL mess it up next? I’m sure you’ve all seen the fabulous ratings for the game by now. You know, because it was played under the lights in Prime Time. So, guess what boys and girls? I’m betting all future WC’s will be played at night because Bettman and his cronies can’t see the forest for the trees. Let’s take a look at some of the reasons why the ratings were so high. 1. The game featured not only two of the biggest superstars, but two teams that generally hate each other as shown by the HBO 24/7 series. No matter what two teams they pick next year, they will not have anyone as universally known to the general public as Sid and Ovechkin nor are there any other teams out there that dislike each other as much unless it’s the Kings and the Ducks, and well, good luck with that one. 2. The Competition. The Prime Time Winter classic went up against what was arguably the worst Fiesta Bowl match up in 50 years. I’m pretty sure there were UConn fans that didn’t even bother to watch the hurting that Oklahoma was putting on their team. What happens next year if the match up is Ohio State/USC or Oklahoma/Notre Dame?
– Who will get the next Winter Classic? The NHL really wants to hold the next one in NYC, but the problem is where to hold it. Yankee Stadium is out as they have signed on the for the ever exciting and highly demanded New Era Pinstripe Bowl. I know most of my friends are still talking about this year’s thrilling Syracuse/Kansas St match up and can not wait for next year’s game. The new Meadowlands? Sorry, there’s no way they will get both the Jets and Giants to agree to play their last two regular season games on the road just so they can play a hockey game there on New Year’s Day. Citi Field? Probably not after all the complaints of terrible sight lines in Wrigley and Fenway. Also, who would you have the Rangers play, The Bruins? The Flyers? Weren’t they just both in it last year? And you thought folks were bitching that the Pens got to play in a second one after three years. Islanders or Devils? Talk about a snooze fest that would be watched by no one outside of the NYC area. What about Minnesota, the State of Hockey? I’m sure a large part of the US couldn’t find Minnesota on a map let alone name one player on the Wild. Detroit? Well, they did just get over 100,000 folks to watch a game at the Big House in Ann Arbor, but weren’t the Wings just in the WC as well? What about Colorado? You know, take the game to the Western Conference. Again, lack of recognition of anyone on the Av’s, and exactly who are their hated rivals? This isn’t the 90’s and most of the players on the Avalanche weren’t even born when hey had a heated rivalry with Detroit.
– Face it folks, it will most likely never get any better than this year’s match up which because of the lousy weather conditions really wasn’t that good of a game at all, and let’s not even get started on the fact that a good bit of the game was shown on TV using a camera that the NHL had placed on the International Space Station. The hoopla is over, the deed is done, and now we can get back to more important things like the regular season, the approaching trade deadline, and the Stanley Cup Playoffs.