Late on Monday, the NHL released a pretty sweet time lapse video of the Winter Classic ice rink being built at Citizens Bank Park and concludes with 46,967 people filing out of the stands at the end of yesterday’s game, a thrilling 3-2 Rangers’ victory. Now just imagine this in 2014– maybe at FedEx Field or Nationals Park (or even Camden Yards!).
Editor’s note: To get you properly revved up for the season, each member of the RMNB crew will take a longing look back at some of our favorite goals from days gone by. You can call it nostalgia or cheap summer content, but it’s really a reminder: WINTER IS COMING.
I wasn’t always a huge hockey fan. My family were Hartford Whalers season-ticket holders, and they took me to an event down at the old Civic Center when I was 4. I would have gone skating but the goal siren frightened me away. I refused to skate and spent the rest of the night sitting on the bench with my hands on my ears. When I finally saw a game at age 12, I was an instant convert.
So: January 1st, 2011. The Winter Classic. Maybe the biggest game of the regular season and my first away from Home Sweet Verizon Center and in Pittsburgh, home of our nemeses. I wanted the win badly.
After Caps practice concluded today, players and team members were treated to a free skate in which they could bring their friends and family onto the ice. The one person who seemed to have the most fun was none other than Alex Ovechkin, who celebrated the Russian New Year on the Winter Classic ice at 4pm.
Ovi began the free skate by pulling his non-hockey-playing brother Mikhail along with a stick. Next, he set his sights for Alex Semin’s young niece and gave her a trek across the ice on top of his shoulders. After noticing a few kids throwing a football around, Ovechkin got into the action and threw the ball to the kids the entire length of the ice. Several times the bouncing football almost hit one of the NHL Network’s reporters on live TV. Finally, Ovechkin concluded his skate by giving George McPhee’s son, Graham, a wedgie we’re sure he’ll remember for life.
Since we figured you’d want to actually see all of this, the photos and video are below the jump. Enjoy.
Editor’s note: Caps Snaps’ Chris Gordon was your man on the street for the Capitals’ outdoor skate at Chevy Chase yesterday. Here’s his report.
The Caps got a little taste of outdoor hockey on Wednesday at a venue that was somewhat less imposing than Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The practice at the Chevy Chase Club’s rink was closed to the public, but with the Winter Classic just three days away it still attracted a sizable crowd of club members.
“I think we’ve been looking forward to this all year, since they announced it,” Mike Green said. “It couldn’t come quick enough, now here we are, able to play in the game on Saturday. I know everybody is excited.”
“You wish the whole season was played outdoors.” added Karl Alzner.
The players certainly had fun during their skate in the elements. Every member of the team sported eye black, but some players took it further than others, including captain Alex Ovechkin who drew a mustache above his upper lip. “Just have fun, like laugh,” Ovechkin said. “Like, make a joke.”
Editor’s note: Chris Gordon of Caps Snaps once again provides the hook-up. This time it’s the Capitals new gear for the Winter Classic being used at practice. Enjoy! All photos are credited to Caps Snaps.
The Caps took the ice at Kettler Capitals Iceplex on Friday wearing some new digs. The players rocked their Winter Classic uniforms during a hard practice before the team flew to Boston.
The goalies had some something new to show, too: their brand new masks.
Sidney Crosby vs. Alex Ovechkin is the overriding narrative for the Winter Classic. You just know Doc, J.R., Milbury, and weird old Pierre are going to beat this horse to death. You know HBO is going to dedicate an entire reel of film to it. You know Mike Wise is going to write something as provocative as it is empirically wrong about it. Even Maxim magazine is getting in on the action.
October’s issue — the one with [generic Hollywood ingenue wearing lingerie] on the cover– contains a Q&A with Pittsburgh’s superstar. Guess what they talk about:
If you were like me today, you spent your New Year’s the only way you know how, by watching hockey and drinking like you were 18 again. Yes, the NHL’s Third Annual Winter Classic was showcased today by our friends at NBC (we never forget Milbury), this time at Boston’s Legendary Fenway Park. The Philadelphia Flyers (and their
fat and overweight dirty cheese-steak eating fans) made the trip up I-95 to play the Boston Bruins in a game for the ages that maybe had 8 good minutes of hockey.
What was the best part of the Winter Classic you ask? Well, beyond James Taylor’s stunning rendition of the National Anthem, it was definitely the debut of two commercials featuring prominent Capitals players. Mike Green made his acting debut and appeared in the Geico Commericial shown above (via gfcaps fan on japers), and Alex Ovechkin, Niklas Backstrom and cleverly edited extras wearing the #52 and #21 were in a Verizon Wireless Commercial shown here. Awesome.
I asked Peter, one of our lead writers, which commericial he liked best:
“The Washington Capitals’ invitation to the Winter Classic might have been lost in the mail, but the boys crashed it anyway. There’s the elegiac Verizon Wireless commercial that most everyone fawned over, but I really prefer Mike Green’s GEICO spot.
See, this commercial has everything I love. For starters, there’s Canada’s best defenseman, Mike Green. Plus those stupid cavemen get that institutional racism played out against them once more. Hijinx! Granted, I think GreenLife52 could benefit from a bit of the Stanislavsky method, but I still love this. NBC says we can’t be on a national hockey game? Listen up, Costas. Money talks.”
But see, I think he – like many other Capitals fans – were just wildly excited to see our players in commercials in general. And yeah, man. That’s sweet. I’m pumped too. We’re finally getting the recognition we deserve. But if you really watch the Geico Commercial and are looking at it from a fresh perspective, you notice that the Mike Green shown in this clip has about as much personality as a bag of potatoes. Okay, okay, I’m being too hard on him. He had as much personality as that creepy stack of money with the googley eyes.
Though, to be fair, his acting was 180 times better than whoever played the Geico Caveman.
But what do you guys think? Was Greener’s first commercial a huge success or a total letdown? Let us know and vote below: