The Washington Capitals are set to announce that they’ll be hosting the 2015 Winter Classic at Caps Con on Saturday. That’s all we know so far. We don’t know where it’ll be or against whom they’ll play or if HBO’s cameras will completely ruin the team again.
Personally, I’m most keen to figure out who will be at the other end of the ice on that inevitably-balmy January afternoon.
Who will the Capitals play at the 2015 Winter Classic?
The Usual Suspects
Penguins: The Pens are the Capitals’ biggest rivals, and Sid vs Ovi is always good for some pageviews and Neilsen points– even after Sid’s injury and Ovi’s decline. But the Pens have been to the W.C. dance twice already. Pass.
Flyers: Until Pittsburgh made an annual tradition of knocking the Caps out of the playoffs in the 90s, Washington’s big Patrick Division rival was Philadelphia. Again, they’ve recently had their own Winter Classic as well. I’ll say no.
Bruins: The Big Bad B’s have been the East’s most successful team in recent years, and they have the Original Six pedigree. They’ll look good in another Classic. Perhaps too good.
Rangers: Please, no. Even with Torts gone, the Capitals don’t need so see this team anymore. Games between the Rangers and the Capitals are wearying and tense, like getting the trots and hunting down a bathroom at Virgin FreeFest.
The Dark Horses
Islanders: An up-and-coming team that will soon move to a major market. John Tavares is going to steal Ovechkin’s perch atop the scoring pile soon, so the old-and-new struggle would make for good drama. Could be compelling if the team actually drops some cash on its roster.
Hurricanes: Sasha vs. Sasha. The Staalpocalypse. Cam Ward in a knit cap. You know you want it.
Ducks: That’ll get Selanne to stick around for another year, plus imagine the Ducks throwback jersey!
Kings: L.A. plays the style of hockey I wish the Caps would play. By 2015, they’ll probably have an Olympic gold medalist in net. They’d stomp the Caps, but it’d be good television.
Predators: Matt Hendricks would get like zero ice time, and Filip Forsberg would probably score a hat trick. No fan is up for that kind of punishment.
Devils: If he can make it to January 2015, I’d love to see Brodeur’s last stand lit up under DC’s blighted skies.
No, Just No
Red Wings and Maple Leafs: They’ll have their shot in January 2014 at the Big House. Two teams with massive audiences. Two teams in decline, both fawned over by the league. Their time in the limelight is limited.
Canadiens: Video producers would be combing through the old 2010 playoff film for the next 15 months. At this point, the playoff trauma of facing the Rangers so much has finally supplanted by memories of the Habs coming back against the Caps way back when.
Senators: A small-market Canadien team that is probably better than the Habs and the Leafs. The Battle of the Capital Cities. Could be cool.
Jets: Meh, to me they’re still just the Thrashers in a new kit. There was never a real rivalry between the teams even when they shared a division, and they only thing to latch on to here is how much Evander Kane pwns the Caps.
The Flames, Sabres, Oilers, Sharks, Stars, Canucks, Wild, Coyotes, Blues, Blue Jackets, and Panthers. Shrug. If you’ve got a reason why I should or would care, please share.
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I want the Ducks, but I’d settle for the Kings, the Canes, or the Isles. What say you?