With a nice fresh blanket of snow on the ground and a new year fast approaching, I can't help but look ahead at the Wild Stadium Series game and this weekends Winter Classic as well.
Are you aware that we are just 3 sleeps away from the New Year, and with that the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic? The mighty Canadiens of Montreal travel south to Foxboro, Massachusetts to do battle against the Bruins of Boston in what is sure to be a game at the very least. Rumor has it that Tom Brady of the New England Patriots has been seen trying to jam a deflating needle into a hockey puck. The poor guy doesn't realize both teams play with the same set of pucks (like it should be with footballs in the NFL) and of course the obvious fact that pucks are extremely difficult, if not impossible to deflate. I'll just leave you with that little bit of hope Brady. Keep trying! You're doing a great job kid!
Is anybody going to watch this madness? I mean actually watch it and not just have it on as background noise while you take down your Christmas tree while nursing a new years hangover because you thought the night before, "Tequila sounds fun"? Two things folks, Tequila is always without exception, a bad idea, and watching the Boston Bruins play in any arena or stadium has got to be considered torture. Who wants to watch Brad Marchand's stupid face not getting punched for 60 minutes? Not this guy!
The saving grace about this whole outdoor spectacle is that on New Years Eve-day there will be a NWHL vs CWHL game between the Boston Pride and Les Canadiennes. Even this however cannot be done without some measure of controversy. Now I can certainly understand the beef, the NHL acts like they are doing the ladies a favor and turn around and say media time with the boys will be during the ladies game. It is pretty shitty, and I'm far more interested in watching the ladies game than the boys. They still have time to adjust the timing, so maybe if we all write Gary Bettman and the NHL's media department a firm but fair letter they will reconsider and make a schedule change. (Holding your breath is optional, but not recommended)
Speaking of outdoor madness, the Wild are on tap to hold their outdoor game late this February. This is a little more up my alley. I'm much more prone to care when it's a team I root for playing than not, and that's just a simple fact of life. Another fact, the Stadium Series alumni game jerseys for the Minnesota Wild/North Stars will outsell the actual jerseys to be worn by the Wild for the big outdoor game. Maybe I'm just an old guy, biased towards the nostalgic. The actual game jerseys for the big boys club are available now, while the alumni sweaters will not be available till February, so they have a nice head start going for them. Still though, those North Stars logos on the front, that's just going to always be popular in this state.
So the hometown hero's will take to the outdoor ice against the Chicago Blackhawks, the eyeball paper cut of Conference III. The game will take place at TCF Bank Stadium, or "The Bank", which is quite befitting because the NHL will not have to go far to cash the check from the games revenue. Being an outdoor game in Minnesota, late February, I can only hope the the wind is biting and vicious that evening, and will certainly pray for buckets of snow to fall throughout the game.
That's really what we're all hoping for, right? As much fun as it is to play hockey, when you are given mother nature a shot at getting in the game you want her to play up to her potential. Will it be easy to see the puck? Not a chance! And that would be all of the excitement right there. The game will drag out as they'll need to stop every so often and shovel. But just imagine Matt Dumba ripping one of his shots off and the puck comes rifling out of an explosion of snow! Assuming he's still on the team of course, you never know when this Johansen guy will show up.
No, I'm not going to start discussing trade rumors. Plenty of other people have weighed in on that and I don't much feel like tossing my hat in there to get lost. I'll just leave it at, it will take a miracle, so don't hold your breath.