Tuesday, January 3, 2012
Grading the 2012 Winter Classic
As a hockey fan, this year’s Winter Classic was a resounding success.
As a Flyers fan well…that’s a different story.
Despite all that though, the Winter Classic once again proved to be supremely entertaining, and every bit as enjoyable as the previous Winter Classic’s had been since debuting in 2008. We got it all: a nasty divisional rivalry, players knocking the ever-loving shit out of each other, and someone pretty much giving the finger to the opposing team (in this case, it was Mike Rupp scoring his first of two goals and doing a Jaromir Jagr-like salute, much to the dismay of Scott Hartnell who wanted to knock his head off).
All that being said, this year’s affair was also better presented than it was last year. Last year’s match between the Penguins and Capitals suffered from some shitty aerial camerawork and camera angles during gameplay that NBC thought was hip, and thankfully this time around, none of that happened. Instead, we got a whole shit-ton of replays. Now I don’t mind seeing a replay from a few different angles, but holy mother of fuck do we really need to see it six fucking times? No, we don’t. We get the point after the first couple. Unless it’s a replay of a questionable goal, we don’t need to see the same thing over and over again, no matter how many angles of it there are.
Flaws aside though, the game’s presentation was great. That, mixed with the accidental swearing that made the air (including Mike Milbury accidentally referring to the Rangers as the “Broadway Blueshits” instead of the Broadway Blueshirts, and the number of F-bombs from players picked up by audio on the ice) made for quite the entertaining afternoon. All we would have needed on top of all that was a good amount of snow fall to seal the deal, but alas, all we got were a few flurries.
It should also be noted that this year’s rendition of HBO’s 24/7 hasn’t been nearly as entertaining as last year’s, but I’ll be damned if Flyers goalie/salary cap albatross Ilya Bryzgalov hasn’t been an ass load of unintentional hilarity. From his musings of the universe to comparing his husky to a “hot girl”, he himself is the kind of character the Flyers roster needed…just not at 9 years and 51 million dollars worth (and gutting half your roster for either). Too bad the Flyers didn’t play him…or maybe it isn’t, then the game probably wouldn’t have been as close as it was.
Also, it goes without saying for me, but as someone growing up in the 90s with Flyers hockey, seeing Eric Lindros pass the puck to John LeClair for a goal during the Alumni Game on Saturday was a nostalgic blast. That event, plus the Winter Classic itself, is what makes the whole damn affair so special for hockey fans.
Now all we need to do is get rid of Pierre McGuire and all will be right with the world.