With the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic less than two weeks away, announcers Bob Costas, Mike “Doc” Emrick, Eddie Olczyk, Mike Milbury, and NBC Sports executive producer Sam Flood spoke about the New Year’s Day game between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins.
“This has become an anticipated New Year’s Day event,” Costas said. “At the first one, in Buffalo with Pittsburgh and the Sabres going at it, we benefited from the snow, that snow globe affect that people found so compelling, and also the overtime goal from Sidney Crosby to win it. Then we took it to the iconic baseball stadiums: first Wrigley and then Fenway. Now, although we are in a new stadium and a football stadium, Heinz Field, we have the matchup of Crosby and Ovechkin. Each of these games has had … something different to make it stand out.”
“There is a quote from Bobby Orr about this day being a celebration of hockey and that’s really what it is,” Milbury said on playing outdoors. “For some of those who are old enough to remember skating on the ponds, it is a throwback kind of a game, but for many of the present players, they never played outdoors. This is almost old timers day for young people.”
If the NHL really wants to stand out, they should take the game to Venice Beach and let the Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks go at it with the Pacific Ocean in the background.