Is there any better way to spend New Year's Day as a hockey fan than watching the Bridgestone Winter Classic on TV? Ok, maybe being there would be better, but I'm not complaining. Today, the 2010 edition of the Winter Classic had its fair share of drama and intrigue, and this game marked the second time in the last three years that we needed extra time to determine a winner. I'm not going to do a full recap because there are lots of sites out there doing that very thing. Instead, here are a collection of images from today's game that have some significance.
- Like any big event in the NHL, a ceremonial faceoff was necessary to get this game going. Bobby Clarke and Bobby Orr made their way to center ice where one of the brave men from the US Armed Forces dropped the puck. Three great uniforms on display there.
- Lots of celebrities were on-hand for the game, including Wheel of Fortune icon, Pat Sajak.
- The snow that had fallen the night before wasn't a problem at gametime. The ice crew had the rink ready to go for the drop of the puck, and the temperature was slightly above freezing. Perfect conditions for some outdoor hockey.
- The teams came out of the dugouts at Fenway Park, similar to last year's Winter Classic. Those yellow jerseys are absolutely gorgeous.
- The officials that drew the assignment were referees Kerry Fraser and Chris Rooney, and linesmen Lyle Seitz and Brian Murphy.
- Claude Julien sported an old-time hat for the occasion, following Mike Babcock's lead from last year's Winter Classic.
- Just twelve minutes into the game, history was made. Daniel Carcillo and Shawn Thornton hooked up for a dance, marking the first time that a fight has taken place at a Winter Classic. Carcillo scored the win, but both men are now a part of history.
- The game was tightly contested in the first period with neither team scoring. It seemed like the puck was bouncing around quite a bit. I would have thought that the players would have noticed that from last year's game.
- The John Hancock scoreboard kept everyone up to speed on the basics of the game, but the Green Monster scoreboard was just cool to see as a hockey scoreboard.
- Michael Leighton and Tim Thomas were solid in both nets through twenty minutes as the teams went into the intermission in a scoreless draw. Thomas' mask is a thing of beauty, but Tuukka Rask's mask with the bear ripping apart the Yankees jersey got the biggest cheers of the day when shown on the video boards.
- Danny Syvret of the Flyers opened the scoring 4:42 into the second as his point shot got past Thomas after Thomas lost his composure and pushed Scott Hartnell from behind. As Thomas was delivering the push, Syvret's shot went right past Thomas and into the net. In one of the cooler things on the night, Syvret kept the puck for his own personal keepsake.
- Thomas regained his focus after giving up the easy goal, holding the Flyers at bay with a number of remarkable saves. Leighton was equal to the task, however, and matched Thomas with a few incredible saves of his own. The Flyers led 1-0 after 40 minutes.
- In the third period, it appeared that the visitors were destined to win their third Winter Classic in as many tries. However, the NHL's active points leader decided that the home team needed a chance. On a gorgeous slap-pass from Derek Morris, Mark Recchi redirected the puck past Leighton with just over two minutes to play, and the Bruins were back in business.
- In overtime, the Bruins could have been called for too many men on the ice, but they weren't. Seconds later, at the 1:56 mark, Marco Sturm tipped a Patrice Bergeron pass past Leighton, and that was the ballgame... er, hockey game.
- The Monster scoreboard showed the final score after the Bruins had finished celebrating, and the Winter Classic fans went home happy. One team lost, but everyone had a blast today from how it appeared. Especially these two fellows.
- Both teams put on a great game, and they really looked good. In a great gesture, the two teams shook hands like they did last year, and the Bruins saluted the fans at Fenway to thank them for their support.
- After the game had ended, Hockey USA announced their selections for the 2010 Winter Olympics. They had minor hockey players wearing USA jerseys to represent the players who were selected. The only player who didn't need a representative was the winning goaltender on the day. Tim Thomas skated out and high-fived his "teammates" in his new jersey.
Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!