Before I talk about the Winter Classic, enjoy this video of Alex Ovechkin shooting pucks at Russian dolls filled with Russian dressing.
As for the Winter Classic, which has the Washington Capitals visiting Pittsburgh to play the Penguins at Heinz Field, the home of the Pittsburgh Steelers. Rain is forecast (Capital Weather Gang, The Post) during period the game is scheduled. I would have no objection to the game being delayed by rain until, say 4 p.m., after the Outback Bowl is over because I will be watching Penn State vs. Florida. Mother nature may oblige, we’ll see. Otherwise, I will be watching the WC on tape delay. That reminds me, I need to ask The Maryland Bureau Chief which he will watch live.
I know a lot of Caps fans are heading to Pittsburgh to it and I wish them good luck and probably better ponchos. Personally, Outback Bowl or not, I had no interest in making the trip and don’t think the NHL should have allocated so many tickets to Caps season ticket holders. When the Winter Classic comes here (hopefully to Nationals Park) I want the stands completely full of Caps without thousands of visiting fans, but the precedent has been set. I expect the Rangers, Flyers or Bruins to be the Caps opponent when it finally happens with the first two most likely since their fans are not far away, but I guess I should not eliminate the Penguins from consideration given the NHL’s infatuation with them.
Since I am without HBO, I have not seen any of the 24/7 series that HBO is running on the 2 teams in the run up to Saturday’s game. Apparently, hockey players/coaches swearing is really entertaining. I have not see too much of the Caps either because there games coincide with my son’s nightly bath/bedtime ritual/odyssey. I can’t say I’m heartbroken about missing most of the recent 8 game losing streak the Caps were on, but I would have liked to see more of their last 5 games when they went 4-0-1 with the lone loss coming in the shootout to the Pens. Working in more screen time for the Caps is going to be tricky I fear.
Another thing — the special uniforms. I get that the NHL sees the game as an opportunity to sell another type of jersey, but I think that misses the overall point — to expand the awareness of the league. Stick to your existing brand i.e. the regular uniforms and push that. Make it special by having both teams wear colored sweaters, not half-assed one offs.
Oh and I have very staked on the outcome of Saturday’s game. The regular season just doesn’t matter too much, a fact that was reinforced strongly last spring. I want the Caps to win, but I will get over it if they don’t. Better to save those big wins for when they really matter.