A Winter Classic

The wait is almost over!

I can honestly say that I have never made plans to watch an All-Star game. When I know it’s on I’ll watch it, but I have never made the game an event on my calendar or set my DVR to record any All-Star game. But on New Years Day, I have made plans to watch the National Hockey League’s biggest All-Star game.

I have been counting down the days to watch the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburg Penguins- who are arguably the biggest NHL rivals- take center ice for the 2011 Bridgestone Winter Classic on New Years Day. Heinz Field will transcend into an outdoor ice rink with over 65,000 hockey fans in attendance for a game that ultimately means nothing to the NHL standings, but for the Capitals and the Penguins this game means everything.

The past three Wednesday’s HBO’s 24/7 Penguins/Capitals: Road to the NHL Winter Classic has been recorded to my DVR. (I added HBO to my cable bill just so I could watch the NHL’s version of the NFL’s series Hard Knocks.) Two things I have learned about hockey from the show is that all hockey players are bilingual when it comes to dropping the F-bomb and Sidney Crosby’s mustache should be on Dateline NBC’s to catch a predator’s list- it’s so creeeeeepy!

Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau dropped the F-bomb 15 times in one minute making Rex Ryan look like a little school girl. I can handle looking at the side of Penguin’s defensemen -Ben Lovejoy’s face after he took a puck to his face and still be able to stomach the visual of what looks like a puck growing out of his face caused by the air pressure on a flight. But what really scares me is the sight of Crosby’s mustache. It’s so awful and disturbing- if Sid-the-Kid trying to be a man…it’s not working.

The Capitals fell into an eight game losing streak while Crosby scored in 25 consecutive games leading the Penguins on a twelve game winning streak. Injuries affect both teams but the uncertainty of who will defend the goal between Semyon Varlamov or Michael Neuvirth for the Capitals remains a game by game decision by Boudrea. Marc-Andre Fleury remains a confident choice for Dan Bylsma.

In this inside look, there is no denying that the Capitals and Penguins can’t stand each other and when the two teams faceoff, it’s a game sports fans are going to watch. This might have been the best marketing between the NHL and HBO to showcase the best two hockey players in the world; Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby.

The National Football League may own Thanksgiving Day but the National Hockey League now owns New Years Day. January 1, 2011 will be a Winter Classic!