Thursday, January 1, 2009

The Winter Classic enters its second year

Winter Classic
While Buffalo does not have the same excitement for this years version of the ice bowl, this is still a major event on the NHL calendar. The Chicago Blackhawks will host the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field.

While Buffalo is not involved, and is actually playing later today against Toronto, there is still plenty of reasons to be interested in this game. For one these type of events do not happen all too often, although Ty Conklin always seems to be involved. This is Conklin's third outdoor NHL game, making him the only player to go three for three. Secondly after dismissing the game as the "fucking stupid ice bowl" Campbell is back to telling the media how awesome the idea is, and how much fun he is going to be having at the event.

Detroit is a very good team (they are the defending champions), but I will be rooting for Chicago, who has put together a very good past month themselves. I have mentioned by support for the Blackhawks before, they are a very good and very likeable team.

Last season I looked at where the Winter Classic might go next, and Chicago was an option, although I was thinking of their football stadium rather than a baseball field. Baseball fields are a bit different, and it is likely that some of the seats will be very far away and have almost no view of the rink. Overall I think the event would have been better served if it had simply stayed in Buffalo, but it will be interesting to see how long it takes to finally come back.

A few things to watch for in this game, first the ice conditions had a huge effect on the ending last time. Both goals were scored at the very beginning of the periods when the ice was in better shape. Both players who scored in that game were also traded away before the end of the season, expect that not to repeat itself. Watch for Ty Conklin to be in his third ever outdoor game, which is rather lucky. Also tomorrow look and see what the TV ratings in the Buffalo area are. My guess is that they will continue to be high, as the region remembers last years event with pride.

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