capitals hockey, Sports Fix, The Features

Road to the Winter Classic (Part II)


The 2011 Winter Classic has come and gone, showcasing the best of the league in one very unique experience.

And what an experience it was.

As I’d mentioned in Part I, I was in quite a state before the game. A mix of both my fanboyism for my beloved Penguins and my more observational respect for the Capitals, the team of my home city, the entire experience was shaping up to be one of personal epic proportions.

My entire experience was not mine alone, however. I had several participants in my weekend drama, making it one of the most convoluted and awesome events I’ve ever attended. Continue reading

capitals hockey, Sports Fix, The Features

Caps Overcome Rain, Penguins in Winter Classic


In a Winter Classic between the NHL’s top two greatest players, neither had a hand in the game that unfolded before the 68,111 people at Pittsburgh’s Heinz Field or the national audience viewing on NBC. The Capitals, who grabbed two points in a tight Eastern Conference race with a 3-1 win, saw Eric Fehr and Semyon Varlamov show up as the heroes for the evening.

Despite the uncooperative weather, the Caps managed to even the score from the last time the two teams met. The game, originally scheduled to start at 1 pm, had been moved to 8 pm due to a rainy cold front that rolled through the area. As the game unfolded, light rain fell in spots, making the ice less than optimal but still playable; it didn’t hinder either team from plowing full force into the other.

Bottom line, however, was that no one left the game last night unsatisfied. The Winter Classic, much hyped over the last month, lived up to its billing for fans, coaches, and players of both teams. “It was one of the best experiences of my life,” Capitals captain Alex Ovechkin said. “I can’t imagine football players play every game like this. It’s unbelievable. It’s the kind of thing you want to do all the time, go out and play like this.” Continue reading

Adventures, capitals hockey, History, Special Events, Sports Fix, The Features

Road to the Winter Classic (Part I)

Goin' to the Winter Classic!
‘Goin’ to the Winter Classic!’
courtesy of ‘bhrome’

“Hey, you interested in tickets to the Winter Classic?”

It was a question I never actually thought I’d hear. Sure, the answer was a no-brainer – of course my wife and I wanted to go to this year’s outdoor matchup between our favored Penguins and our hometown Capitals. Need more be said?

Since that simple back-and-forth flurry of emails with my friend back in August, I’ve been on pins and needles in anticipation for the game coming up this Saturday at Heinz Field in our old stomping grounds of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania.

Long-time readers here obviously know of my acute love of hockey in general and the Penguins in particular. Through the last few years, I’ve developed a grudgingly healthy respect of the Washington Capitals as well and it hasn’t hurt being able to cover the team for this site over the last year, either. Attending the 2011 Winter Classic, however, goes beyond a simple hockey game or even the intense rivalry between the two teams. It’s a chance to enjoy hockey in its nearly purest form – outside on ice – and the fact it includes the two teams of my adult sports fan life is simply a bonus.

Continue reading