Since Claude Julien was hired as coach of the Boston Bruins in June 2007, the Bruins have gone from basement dwellers to Stanley Cup contenders. Making the playoffs for three consecutive years, and reaching the Eastern Conference Semi-Finals in back-to-back years for the first time since 1992.
But coming off of the now infamous playoff collapse against the Philadelphia Flyers, the Bruins needed to make a statement in the regular season. They needed to prove that they were tough, they were resilient, and that they were ready to compete for hockey’s greatest prize. So far this year, it looks like just another Claude Julien era Bruins team.
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.