Today I was lucky enough to attend the Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia. The event is the premier regular season event for the NHL and they did not disappoint. Throw first place in the Atlantic Division and Eastern Conference on the line and it was pretty much scripted to be a great game.
That is exactly what it was a great game. Yeah the Flyers lost by blowing a 2-0 lead, but you have to tip your hat to the Rangers they dug in and came back to win it, it seemed like they wanted it more in the 3rd. So to take you through today’s events!
I went with my brother, so I drove to his house and we took the regional rail from Conshocken, eventually ending up in center city to board the Broad Street line which was free thanks to PepsiMax. Walking to the game, it had somewhat of a similar atmosphere to a stanley cup final, except it was all outside and it was COLD. There were plenty of “tshirts 5 bucks” and “fresh pretzels” outside CBP and two large archways on Citizens Way announcing the game and teams.
When we got into the stadium, everyone was buzzing, and of course booing the Rangers fans. We arrived at our seats in section 108 and below you can see where our line of sight was. Close enough the the ice and the players but not exactly great location to see ALL of the action. Thank god for the gigantic screen in left field.
Then the game began, and after the first 5 minute jitters each team had their chances, with the Flyers getting the better of the Rangers. The period ended scoreless as each goaltender was exceptional. As the 2nd got underway you could just feel that the Flyers had a little more jump in their step like they were feeding off the atmosphere. Then Brayden Schenn scored a Schennsational goal for not only his first NHL goal but the first tally of the game. About 2 minutes later Claude Giroux, deked King Henrik inside out and went top shelf on a great pass from Max Talbot. Everything was going great for the Flyers and their fans, until Mike Rupp wristed one past BOB, 30 seconds after G’s beaut.
Then came the third period. Flyers up one, close it out and get the W and let the 46K fans rejoice! Not so much. Cue Mike Rupp, he let one go from just outside the hashmarks, and it squeaked past BOB. No question that Bob shoulda had that one. From then on it looked like the Rangers had taken the wind outta the Flyers sails. Struggling to break the Rangers trap, and mishandling the puck the Flyers found themselves down 3-2 with about 14:30 to play, plenty of time. Apparently not, squandering a powerplay opportunity on a questionable call with about 6 to play and Briere’s inability to solve the King with 19.6 left; on a penalty shot nonetheless; the Flyers fell to the Rangers.
My takeaways from the game.
NHL Winter Classic 4/5 Stars: Not great vantage point, plus we lost. However it is a great event.
King Henrik is REALLY good. I don’t think I want to watch the last episode of 24/7. JVR NEEDS TO HAVE SURGERY or be benched. G is really good. I hope this makes Schenn come out and actually make a difference. Whats wrong with Briere (even before the penalty shot he was losing face-offs and was invisible.) The Rangers might be a problem in the playoffs. Finally, it really is just a regular season game, hopefully those two points dont cost us down the road.
“Like a gunshot from miles away, shes movin in”