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Wednesday, July 15, 2009
Hockey at FenwayPahk your Zahmboni in Hahvahd Yahd:
It's official: Boston's storied Fenway Park will host the 2009 Winter Classic. The NHL made the announcement at the 97-year-old ballpark on Wednesday. The hometown Boston Bruins will face the Philadelphia Flyers for the annual event on Jan. 1, 2010.
I wish Montreal or Ottawa was playing in it so that we can see if, unlike last night, "O Canada" gets played at this game.
Posted by Craig Calcaterra at 2:53pm
Posted 07/15 at 03:39 PM
They actually did play “O Canada,” but Fox was at commercial. I read something about Justin Morneau being ticked off because it was a tape, though, rather than live:
Posted 07/15 at 03:43 PM
I would have wanted Montreal, too, but that’s because they’re Boston’s biggest rival and the fans of both teams get a little bit, shall we say, vexed when in close quarters.
Posted 07/15 at 04:37 PM
Pete Toms said...
Don’t know if it is urban myth, but it is widely thought here that most of us don’t know the words to O Canada. We almost always hear a bilingual version of it and most of us aren’t bilingual…so the verse we always hear in our non native tongue is gibberish to us.
Posted 07/15 at 05:08 PM
Also, the next week BC and BU, the two most recent NCAA D-I Hockey champions, play at Fenway.
Posted 07/16 at 01:16 AM
Word around Boston is that NBC prefers two US-based teams for this format - the better to attract US-based viewers.
Posted 07/16 at 07:34 AM
Yeah, that’s the reaction around my office—the Phlyers? Really? Nobody thinks it should have been anybody other than Montreal.
Posted 07/16 at 07:54 AM
I find it hard to believe that having the Flyers play the Bruins will attract many more viewer than the Canadiens would. Hockey tends to broadcast to a more loyal following of fans that appreciate the rivalries and do not need to be enticed to view. While the Bruins and Flyers had some nice rivalry periods they do not match the lifetime bitterness between the Habs and B’s.
Novel idea - have the Bruin and Montreal meet someplace in upstate NH or Vermont for pond hockey.
Posted 07/16 at 11:59 AM
Moose - I would normally agree. However, in this case, we’re talking about a holiday (for most) after a night of celebration (for many). As such, I think NBC is hoping to attract “the casual fan” to watch what is sort of a novel concept, namely, professional hockey played outdoors. Clearly, NBC is not worried about attracting our neighbors to the north to watch hockey as it is probably assumed that they will watch anyway. Further, it will be the only NHL game being played that day, so the loyal NHL fans will probably be paying attention anyway as well. I would certainly prefer the Habs to any other squad, but I can see the corporate logic in the decision to have the B’s host the Flyers.
Posted 07/16 at 02:38 PM
The Habs were in the first “classic.” That’s why they’re not here.
In fact, the NHL is running out of Original Six teams to feature - after all, there are only six. And they aren’t going to waste Toronto and New York as visiting teams, as they’re likely to host their own “Classics.”
Bruins/Flyers was a fairly obvious rivalry to feature, remembering the Bobby Orr-anchored Boston teams who faced the Bobby Clarke-led teams of the Broad Street Bullies era. Plus they’re both US cities who still give a damn about their hockey teams even when they haven’t recently won a Cup.
Posted 07/16 at 03:28 PM
Wikipedia has the Sabres and Penguins at Ralph Wilson Field for the first classic. Detroit and Chicago played this year at Wrigley. I seem to remember an outdoor NHL game played some years ago, I think Edmonton was one team, I can’t remember the other squad. It wasn’t considered the Winter Classic yet, and it wasn’t played on New Year’s Day, IIRC. Maybe that’s what you were thinking of?
As it stands, only one-third of the original six have played in the Winter Classic, with Boston being the third team come 1/1/10.
Posted 07/16 at 04:01 PM
For what it is worth - Ohio State played Wisconsin (I believe) outside as few years ago as well.
Posted 07/16 at 04:53 PM