Winter Classic 2008

Is it me, or is this an HD Monty Python sketch?

Did you love the shot of Lindy Ruff freezing his butt off in a windbreaker? I can’t wait to see what Michel "Mean Mr. Mustard" Therrien is wearing.

Jim Hughson found the opening "spine-tingling". I thought it was the latest example of the American tendency to conflate patriotism and sports.

And let’s not forget to add a healthy dash of militarism. Too cloudy for fighter jets, but no probem: nothing says hockey like helicopter gunships.

Water droplets on the camera lens. That’s it, I’m outta here. There has to be a football game being played in a warm place.

59 Comments

  1. Jay_in_PA says:

    Thanks JF! I haven’t been posting much because there are so many people posting now that someone always makes my point before I do–and usually better than I would!

  2. JF says:

    Jay in PA, Nice to see you back. Missed your comments!

  3. HAB-PROFESSOR says:

    The game was OK – I thought the snow falling and the excess snow on the ice was great…some POND ELEMENTS.

    but what I really took notice of and I’m sure Mr.GILLETT as well, is that hockey is UNDERSERVED.

    the BELL CENTER is a total FAILURE for the following reason:

    it should have been built to hold 50,000 spectators,
    and it would have been sold out for the entire season.

    Not every NHL city could do it, but its time for the SUPER ARENA’s – the BIG BOX arenas….50,000 to 70,000 screaming blood thirsty fans, just like the coliseum in ROME…

    ———
    1. until the problem in my picture is solved…we will not be Champions.
    2. Delenda Est Torontium….
    3. your not a Hab fan till you watch & UNDERSTAND “The Rocket”

  4. Exit716 says:

    You’d hate to have an elite team undone by goaltending…oh wait isn’t that the pattern in Kanata these days?
    It’s not like they’ve got a mentally-unstable David Aebischer clone waiting to take Gerber’s place.

  5. Jay_in_PA says:

    I’m as nostalgic for pond hockey as anyone else, but it’s more a nostalgia for youth and the fun of playing the game with whatever rules and accommodations were necessary to make it work. Like Ken Dryden said in The Game, the more pond hockey was made literal to the NHL game when we were kids, the less real it became.

    If the point of this game was to show that pond hockey takes a lot of the skill out of the game by exposing it to the elements, then this one made that point in spades. Otherwise, I agree–it was an overwrought, under-engaging exercise in dull TV.

  6. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon) RYDER….sorry guys I spell like it sounds ,french in me LOL .and I cut RYDER all the slack he needs he is one of my best fans ,but I seen the last goal he got and it was handed to him on a platter,lets hope he takes this to the bank because if he dosent improve he wont make anthing next year,then we can cut him some slack.because no one will want him……

  7. Exit716 says:

    Gerber must have had the flu…yeah that’s the ticket…either that or he sucks. Then they have time bomb Emery and his temper tantrums.

  8. J.T. says:

    On a totally unrelated, yet fun, note…the Caps destroyed the Sens for the second time in as many tries. Chased Gerber and came back from a 2-0 deficit too. I almost wish Washington would finish eighth, just to see what would happen in the playoffs.

  9. ebk says:

    Saskatchewan isn’t a city

  10. kevrob says:

    Rangers and Kings played an outside game in Las Vegas in front of ceasars palace. The technology is definitely there.

  11. Exit716 says:

    Boy that was three plus hours of utter crap.

  12. howtathor says:

    At the same time, that’s all we need is another small center! Organizationally we have a dearth of small (under 6′) centers (Koivu, Pleks, Grabovski, Locke…) Heck, give us ONE Brad Richards!

  13. howtathor says:

    Ryder has been on fire lately! I think his time in the pressbox was well spent. So, cut him a little slack! That bieng said, the waiver requirement depends on the player. I think it depends on how long they have been with the organization. A player like S. Kostitsyn for example would not have to clear waivers because it’s his first year in the bigs.

  14. 24 Cups says:

    I didn’t see the beginning of the game but point well taken my friend. This isn’t the time or place but I think it’s safe to say that the U.S. hasn’t really learned that much from all the events that have taken place since the Cold War. It’s the fall of the Roman Empire, 21st century style. Happy New Year Guy – all the best in 2008.

    Steve

  15. howtathor says:

    I feel for the kid. At the risk of becoming a career minor leaguer, I think he deserves a shot in the show. He’s been a success at every level he’s competed and despite his size must have a great hockey sense. I was impressed with his preseason play and while there are no openings at the moment, hope to see him up in the future.

  16. J.T. says:

    Not to nit-pick, but it’s “Ryder.” If you’re going to slam someone, you should at least have his name right. Some poor guy named “Rider” is probably out there wondering what he did to tick you off.

  17. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon)
    24 CUPS I didnt know that we had to put a player on wavers when sendin them to the minors, thanks for the info ,just would like to seen Corey get a chance and where Rider has done nothing for his 3mil,than let someone else get a chance.I am from the maritimes and loved Rider for a long time but he stinks now and it dosent matter where he is from ,if he dosent earn his wages he to me should not be playing he should be praticing how to shoot the puck in the net plain and simple …….from ann old fart……

  18. J.T. says:

    Ah…it’s a Gary Bettman fairytale. An overwrought version of “God Bless America,” complete with Huey fly-by and giant flags, the My NHL man-child on display before seventy-thousand plus, real snow falling, hyper-excited announcers detailing everything from the heated benches and the kind of underwear the delicate stars wear to keep their nether-regions toasty, and best of all…Sid scores the winner on the last shot in the Bettman-introduced shootout, in Bettman’s giant publicity stunt, while Bettman watches from the comfort of his sheltered box. Wow…you’d almost think the whole thing had been pre-planned.

  19. 24 Cups says:

    We can’t send Ryder to Hamilton as he would have to clear waivers. He would be claimed for sure and then we would lose him for nothing. This isn’t meant to be cruel (sorry Ian!) but Locke is a spare part in the Montreal organization and has absolutely no future with the team. He was strictly an emergency call-up. I would also venture to guess that he is behind Grabovski on the depth chart (at centre) for the Habs. His best bet is to try and hook up with another team during the summer. He deserves a shot but I don’t really see it coming with the Habs.

    The Original 24 Cups

  20. sidhu says:

    When doesn’t he look like he’s about to cry. I’m wondering how he dealt with his tears freezing so quickly in the Buffalo weather.

  21. 24 Cups says:

    When it’s all said and done I really didn’t mind the game that much. The interruptions were tedious at times but the officials were worried that a player would get seriously hurt and I can understand that line of thinking. Snow? Hey, it’s a winter game outside, it’s supposed to be cold and snowy, that’s the entire point. Sid The Kid scores on the final play of the game? – a marketing dream for the NHL. You couldn’t have scripted a better ending. As for the concern over a single point in the standings, all I can say is that if you play 82 games and have to sweat one point to make the playoffs then you really haven’t had much of a year. The Habs and Leafs would be a case in point from last year. Neither team deserved to be in the playoffs and it wouldn’t have mattered anyway seeing that the first place Sabres would have rubbed them out in 4 or 5 games. As well, there are times in the year that certain teams seem to play at a disadvantage scheduling wise. It’s all part of a long season.

    It was far from perfect but today’s game added a little something extra to this year’s NHL season. As for a Habs – Lousy Leaf outdoor game, I would think it would have to be played in the Montreal area. Even though Toronto has had an early winter with cold temperatures and snow (including today), you would really be taking a gamble to schedule it in southern Ontario. Too unpredictable weather wise. Of course we would crush them but that’s already a given.

    The Original 24 Cups

  22. ZepFan2 says:

    “they gave Rider a chance they should at least give Corey a chance”

    Yes, because Locke has scored 85 goals for the Habs, where Ryder’s done nothing.

    Loyalty sucks where you’re from, eh.

  23. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon)
    Habs Freak ,now that would be great hockey to watch ,but only in Canada because there would be money involved and the U.S.only play this game for the money ……………….

  24. Chuck says:

    Maybe it has something to do with Corey not making it to New York in time to be placed on the roster for that night’s game.
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  25. Chuck says:

    Outdoor hockey in Vancouver? :)

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  26. Shawn S says:

    I’m the Saku Koivu of HabsInsideout.com. I don’t speak any French :P

  27. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon)
    That was such a boring game ,only the shoot out was exciting ,way to go Sid………….

  28. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon)
    sorry for the double post ,Corey should not be sent to Halimtom should be Rider they gave Rider a chance they should at least give Corey a chance

  29. showey47 says:

    Does he not have to clear waivers? I’m pretty sure he had to clear waivers when he was sent down after training camp.

  30. paul b says:

    carb.will raise the banner (: (soon)

  31. Habs-Kat says:

    Hockeytown is Detroit. Montreal is La ville d’hockey ;)

  32. Chuck says:

    Well, that didn’t last long…

    FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
    Tuesday, January 1st, 2008

    CANADIENS ASSIGN COREY LOCKE TO BULLDOGS

    HAMILTON, ON – Montreal Canadiens General Manager Bob Gainey announced today that the Club has assigned forward Corey Locke to the Hamilton Bulldogs of the American Hockey League. Locke will join the Bulldogs in Rockford tonight and should be available for tomorrow night’s game against the IceHogs.

    Locke, 23, was recalled by the Canadiens on Sunday, December 30th, 2007 and did not play a game. The 5-foot-9, 171-pound forward has never played a regular season game in the NHL.

    The native of Newmarket, Ontario, leads the Bulldogs with 23 points (8-15-23) and has a plus-4 rating and 20 penalty minutes in 30 games so far this season. Locke became the Hamilton’s all-time leading scorer, posting his 180th career point (63-117-180) in his 265th career AHL game on Saturday, December 29th in a 4-3 loss to the Toronto Marlies. Locke surpassed former Bulldog Brian Swanson who posted 179 points (71-108-179) in 183 games in Hamilton.

    Locke was selected by the Montreal Canadiens in the 4th round, 113th overall, in the 2003 NHL Entry Draft.

    The defending Calder Cup Champion Hamilton Bulldogs return to action on Wednesday, January 2nd, 2008 when they travel to the Rockford MetroCentre to take on the IceHogs at 8:05 p.m. Fans can listen to every Bulldogs game on the flagship station of the Hamilton Bulldogs Hockey Network, 820 CHAM. Fans can also listen or watch at http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com by clicking on the ‘B2 Networks’ or ‘820 CHAM’ icon on the ‘Dogs website. All regular-season radio and online broadcasts will begin with a pre-game show 20 minutes prior to each scheduled game-time.

    The ‘Dogs return home to Copps Coliseum on Friday, January 4th, 2008 for a tilt with the Grand Rapids Griffins at 7:30 p.m. Tickets for all ‘Dogs home games are available at the Copps Coliseum Box Office, any Ticketmaster outlet, online at http://www.ticketmaster.ca, or through charge-by-phone at 905-527-7666. For more information or to purchase season tickets call 905-529-8500, e-mail tickets@hamiltonbulldogs.com or visit http://www.hamiltonbulldogs.com.

    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  33. RudeMood19 says:

    I found it great. I wish they’d do something like thi9s in Toronto with the Habs vs. the Leafs. We’re already 1 – 0 – 0 in heritage classics lol so i think we can extend our winning streak.

  34. likehoy says:

    pittsburgh should never ever where those ugly blue jersey’s again…damn sid the kid winning it…

    crappy hockey…oh well…great publicity stunt

  35. Chuck says:

    He looked like he was going to cry…
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  36. sidhu says:

    Sid the Bib wins it, I think I’m going to be sick.

  37. Chuck says:

    Well, at least they’re wearing the best looking uniforms that each team has had in their history. And wasn’t Ty Conklin in nets for Edmonton in the first Heritage Classic against the Habs?
    .
    .
    .

    ______________________________________________
    “Vote Saku for All-Star… or little Timmy gets it!!!”

  38. Shawn S says:

    “Montreal Politicians running on a platform to maintain outdoor hockey rinks.”
    “Thats hockey in Canada”

    No thats hockey in Montreal. Aka Hockeytown.

    And this has been a great game though, really enjoyed this.

  39. DYCSoccer17 says:

    This game is utterly unwatchable.

    So many interruptions to fix the ice.

    No flow to the game.

    Announcers have run out of crap to say.

    Why would anyone watch this game for more than 10 minutes?

  40. sidhu says:

    This should not be a regular season game, it should be an exhibition or pre-season contest at most.

  41. DD says:

    Well J.T., living here in Ottawa I was given the scoop on what’s really going on here with Ottawa’s goaltender problem. Here is some of the pieces of wisdom I was absconded with today by some of the loyal sens/ex-leaf fans here in our freezing Capital;

    “We are going to trade Emery for Vinny, Richards and St. Louis”

    “Gerber is tired from lack of sleep because of all the pizza deliveries, taxis, tow trucks, Chinese food and sleazy Vanier escorts Emery keeps sending out to his house at all hours of the night”

    “It doesn’t matter, we lost in the finals last year, what did your team do?”

    “If they would just let Emery kick the snot out of some erratic driving, senile 65 year old, he’ll find his groove again”

    “Every one knows that the Capitals are all doing growth hormones and steroids just before they play Ottawa”

    “I think I’m going to start cheering for the leafs again”

  42. DD says:

    Hey Jay, I like your new look. Do you mind if i ask you who your barber is?

  43. DD says:

    Right on Tommy, next year Bettman plans to have the “Winter Classic” in Tampa with the players using rollerblades, tennis balls, topless pavement sweepers and air conditioners blowing into the bench area, instead of heaters.

    What a farce, this garden gnome they call the commish, has made of our game. If you can’t skate, you shouldn’t be allowed to run a hockey league.

  44. Yeats says:

    Is it illegal to fling a bladeful of slush at an opposing player as he tries to cross your blueline? If not, it might be worth a try as a goof.

  45. The Teacher says:

    Oh come on Mike. Don’t you remember the days when you were young skating on the outdoor ice at Howard, St- Roch, or Jarry Park?

    I agree they’re having a lot of ice-problems at the moment. They should be Zamboni-ing the ice every 10 minutes, not dry-scraping.

  46. Y says:

    Kinda lame how Miller is trying to pull a Theodore with that toque.
    Hopefully his career spirals into oblivion just like Joses

  47. Yeats says:

    If he lays off the Propecia, Miller’s going to have a very bright and long career.

  48. Sulemaan says:

    nothing says hockey like helicopter gunships. love it.

    next thing they will say is ‘look there is lots of snow at the game. global warming is a big falacy!’

  49. bantamcc says:

    Mike,

    Dez here. Do you have a webcam ? If so you’de see me and cat snoozing away or almost with game on.

    Too bad weather is bad ’cause woulda made it over to grabage bowl.

    Ooopppsss.. Snow started again.

    ;-(

  50. Moey says:

    LOL, I slept right through the second, the furkids snoozed through the whole thing. That had to be the longest game ever….so many stops in play, it was almost as bad as football.

  51. knucklesnilan says:

    Give the NHL and CBC an “A” for efort but once again
    no one and I mean no one outside of Buffalo and Pittsburgh
    gives a crap about this game in the good ole USA.
    That opening with the troops, the helicopters and
    “God Bless America”, give it up already.

  52. 24 Cups says:

    Thank goodness Sam Roberts is a Habs fan because that intermission musical set was worse than watching a Lousy Leaf game with Don Cherry. Next time get Bruce Springsteen.

    The Original 24 Cups

  53. Naila Jinnah says:

    The snow falling is awesome. Seriously. The sight of all that wet stuff raining down on them, is hilarious. I wonder if the guys would rather have visors or not. Snow in your eyes vs. wiping the visor… I’d go for the visor any day!

    And no one by Theo can do the toque over helmet look.

  54. BataviaHabsFan says:

    I was at the game…froze my #$@!% off. Mike, the intro was impressive to many of us there. I feel it is never inappropriate to salute those that allow us the privilege to enjoy our way of life. However, I agree it could have been achieved in a less dramatic fashion. But alas, this game was all about spectacle…and that it was.

    The conditions were perfect for TV, down to the scripted NHL FRONT OFFICE ending. Less perfect for those of us out there…maybe I’m too old, and can’t drink enough beer to ignore the conditions. I grew up playing pond hockey, and I agree that it brought back fond memories. But playing and watching this type of hockey are two TOTALLY different entities. The game was slow, with alot of attempted dump-in-and-chase downs. The puck often slid only 10 ft with a snow tail behind it. Get me back to an arena with predictable ice and NHL skills that are on display.

    I think these “classic games” are good for once every 3-5 years. I can say that I’ve attended one, but doubt I will attend another. Give me a baseball park on a warm sunny day or an indoor arena. The frozen feet and fingers of my youth are fond memories and should stay as such.

  55. ddawwidd says:

    Sorry guys, for an European like me, the pre-game show was some kind of a joke. Don’t get me wrong, but I thought about Olympic Games in Berlin and Soviet parades.

    And the game… Well, if someone likes watching the players lose the puck in snow banks, then he got his wish. I liked the Heritage Classic in 2003, yesterday the NHL tried to make the sequel more US- and commercial-friendly.

  56. TommyB says:

    I certainly agree with your comments regarding the pre-game display of Uncle Sam and military might.

    The game itself was fun and entertaining and must have been a blast to partake in for the players.

    Bettman felt it was a resounding success, and that there very well may be more of these “Winter Classics” in the future. In my opinion, what was a resounding success for Bettman was the “re-sounding” of the cash register opening and closing. Let’s be real here, 70,000 plus tickets sold for this “classic” is what it is all about. You can bet the farm that there will be more of them.

  57. G-Man says:

    For those of you watching (but not paying attention, it seems)the pre-game. Our troops in Kandahar were mentioned. That’s right, the Sabres and Penguins sent a big hello to those serving overseas. This was in no way comparable to Hitler’s Olympics or Soviet parades. Not even close.
    Shouldn’t be so anti-everything without listening first.

    Gilbert

  58. Wayne says:

    Now THAT was funny! ‘specially the helicopter gunships,.. Yanks,.. oye


Leave a Comment

You must be logged in to post a comment.