Hockey at Fenway

Happy New Year from The Sports eXpress!

It is appropriate that the first TSX post of the year starts with a yearly tradition: The 2010 NHL Winter Classic. Last Year from Wrigley Field in Chicago was pretty special, and actually brought the NHL on NBC some of the best television ratings in years. This year’s Classic should bring even more ratings, as it comes from what is billed as “America’s Most Beloved Ballpark”, Fenway Park in Boston.

Fenway Park is special. It has its aura that has been standing for 88 years in April, from the manual scoreboard and Green Monster in left field, Pesky’s Pole in right field, and the famous “Triangle” in Center Field; it has seen numerous moments in those 88 years, including six World Series pennants (including in its opening year of 1912 and the Curse of the Bambino for 86 years), and will now serve as a hockey venue for the first time ever when the Boston Bruins host the Philadelphia Flyers Friday afternoon.

The outdoor hockey game has brought together NHL fans and even has drawn non-NHL fans to the game, even if for just a day, and what better way to draw general sports fans into the game then to have it at what is concered one of the most hallowed venues in all of sports. The only thing that would have made this game a little more special is to have put the original New York NHL team in Fenway Park, and give it a Red Sox/Yankees (or Yankees/Red Sox) rivalry type of feel, and two Original Six teams going at it, similar to last year’s game between the Detroit Red Wings & Chicago Blackhawks. The Winter Classic won’t be the only hockey game at Fenway this year. Two college hockey games (one men’s, one women’s) will take place Jan. 8th. The first game will feature the first NCAA women’s hockey game outdoors between the University of New Hampshire and Northeastern, and the second game will feature big-time crosstown hockey rivals Boston College (2008 National Champions) and Boston University (2009 National Champions)

Expect a good game between the Flyers and Bruins though. Both teams are physical, they love to play hard on defense, They have good leadership from their coaches, Claude Julien for Boston and Peter Laviolette for Philadelphia. Forward play advantage goes to the Flyers, led by Mike Richards (16 goals, 17 assists, 33 points), and Jeff Carter (14G, 18A, 32P). The Flyers can score on offense, but they are facing a tough Bruins defense led by captain Zdeno Chara, and one of the best goaltenders in the game, Tim Thomas. With the game in Boston, and the spirit and magic of Fenway Park, it’s hard to go against the Bruins, but expect a great game, just because it’s outdoors, it’s the NHL’s biggest game of the season (no All-Star game due to the 2010 Winter Olympics). Hockey purists and general sports fans alike are in for a very big treat in this game on Friday from Fenway.

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  1. happy new year

    • andyandvickie
    • January 2nd, 2010

    The Winter Classic is a great idea. I hope the NHL doesn’t over do it, and ruin it. Once a year is probably almost too much. The league will lose good venues too quickly if it has 1 every season.

  1. January 29th, 2010

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