The Running Diary of the 2010 Winter Classic

The Winter Classic is slowly becoming the Super Bowl of the NHL. Problem is, there are no trophies awarded and everyone knows who’s playing more than two weeks prior. But the hype is there, most importantly. We’ll see the same amount of commercials (so it seems) for the same repeated products or the spots for the same TV shows that the network is trying to push, but moreover, the same excitement, especially since hockey is making its mark yet again in America.

Living in Boston, it’s nice to see everyone wearing their Bruins gear and throwback Classic jerseys. This game, as important as it is to the NHL, is also pretty important to the B’s. What a lot of media outlets and fans are forgetting is that the game is still a, well, game. The win counts in the standings despite all of the glitz and glamour as much as any game played in the Garden this season. The Bruins are in the midst of a division race with the Buffalo Sabres leading and the Ottawa Senators close behind the B’s while the Flyers are attempting to inch into the playoff hunt.

With everyone who’s everyone actually being at the game, here’s a running diary of what those 38,112 in attendance at Fenway missed at home.

Return of the Orange Army: Flyers 2009-10

Once again the Flyers are orange. The black jerseys that Philadelphia has worn for years have been dropped for the more traditional look. The former orange thirds have become the new home jerseys as the blacks will now be scheduled in for specific games. The change comes at an important cross-roads in the team’s history of course; one that leaves many to speculate whether or not the 2009-10 Philadelphia Flyers have an identity crisis.

Flyers Camp Opens to Record Attendance

Flyers training camp opened to a record attendance for the Flyers Skate Zone in Voorhees, NJ early Sunday morning. The excitement had not yet worn off from the incredible rookie scrimmage between the Flyers and Capitals where former second overall selection James van Riemsdyk showed exactly why he was taken so early with a four goal, five point performance. It had been standing room only in the Skate Zone for all open to the public practices all weekend.

After 40 Years, Flyers Still Goons?

In 2007-08 the Flyers intended whole heartedly to come back into the NHL with a sense of vengeance. It wasn’t necessarily a plan to beat up physically and mentality anyone who stepped on the ice with them, but bitter after the worst season in franchise history, the Flyers had an impressive parade of five total Flyers that watched some games instead of skating on the ice due to suspensions. Steve Downie and Jesse Boulerice were the first to fall to the trend, Boulerice with 25 games for a clearly dirty cross-check to the face of Ryan Kesler (video) and Downie with 20 games for a black and white call for leaving his feet when he lunged into a check on Dean McAmmond even though the result was far worse than the intention (video). While those were clear cut with their intentions to punish a certain player on the ice, two other suspensions to Randy Jones (video) and Scott Hartnell (video) didn’t show any true intent to injure. Both were hits when the player was in a vulnerable position and nobody wants to see that in the NHL of course. Still it’s clear that league cracked down more on the result because these are just penalty worthy offenses in an ordinary game when no one is hurt. The Flyers in fact have taken quite a few of these in the past two season and bounced right back up to not even a powerplay. It’s a shame that the league works this way, but there’s not much that can be done about it. The last of the Flyers to see time on the suspension list was Riley Cote with three games on a hit from behind on Dallas Star blueliner Matt Niskanen.