This morning, news broke that the Washington Capitals and the Chicago Blackhawks were going to play each other in the Bridgestone Winter Classic on January 1st, 2015 in Washington D.C. (Sad Trombone) For good reason, a lot of people on twitter didn’t like it. It’s not often I agree with people on twitter but they are all right. This is a bad matchup.
Here’s some reactions to the news:
The Blackhawks and the Capitals aren’t rivals, they aren’t perennial powerhouses (well, Chicago is). It’s not like these two teams have even been matched up in the Stanley Cup Playoffs before (which would be the Stanley Cup Finals). They haven’t played a game against each other where it has gotten heated between the two, probably because they aren’t in the same division let alone conference. Who cares? Probably no one, because when these two teams play each other, the games mean practically nothing.
What about the Rangers, Flyers, Bruins or Penguins?
The Capitals vs the Rangers would have made a lot of sense. The Rangers and the Capitals have been matched up in the Stanley Cup Playoffs four out of the last six playoffs. 18 of the 26 playoff match ups between the now rivals have been decided by one goal. Washington won the first two series’ in 2009 and 2011 while New York won the last two in 2012 and 2013. Regular season games have become important wins for both sides and their fan bases. The Rangers and the Capitals are currently in the Metropolitan division so a Winter Classic matchup would have division implications. The two cities are merely 226 miles apart and both fan bases have the backing to afford the tickets.
After Braden Holtby got senselessly attacked by Ray Emery last season in a 7-0 Capitals route in Philadelphia, who knows what this matchup would have brought between the two teams and their fans. Historically speaking, the Flyers and the Caps have seen their fair share of on ice antics in the past. The Flyers and the Capitals have also seen each other in recent playoffs history and they are in the Metropolitan division. Again, division implications would be on the line. 139 miles are between D.C. and Philadelphia.
The Bruins aren’t in the Metropolitan division so there wouldn’t be division implications in a Winter Classic matchup, but, the Capitals game 7 overtime winner from Joel Ward in 2012 has ignited some things between the two teams and their fans. You can relive the moment here (sorry Bruins fans). The racist comments that were made to Joel Ward from Bruins fans might also have something to do with it.
I understand not having the Capitals play the Penguins as they played in the Winter Classic four years ago in Pittsburgh. Regardless, a Capitals vs Penguins Winter Classic in Washington D.C. would have gained a much better reaction and fan interest then Caps vs Hawks.
Washington really wanted a Winter Classic and they got screwed.
In 2011, when the Capitals and the Penguins played in the Winter Classic at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, Gary Bettman made a commitment to Capitals owner Ted Leonsis to get a Winter Classic in Washington D.C. Little did Capitals fans know it was going to be a snore of a matchup between two teams that have no relation to each other.
Baseball Stadiums DO NOT make good venues for ice rinks and here is why:
The rink will go from right field to left field. The outfield seats will allow fans to have an ice level view of the rink up close. However, those tickets will be more than you will want to pay. First row seats behind home plate are amazing seats for a baseball game but the same can’t be said for the Winter Classic. You’ll be at ice level and thus won’t be able to see above the boards. Not to mention, the rink will be too far away to see anything. You’ll pay lots of money for those seats, but you’ll probably be freezing you ass off and watching the game on the jumbotron. Save your money and watch the game at home with lovable Pierre McGuire and learn everything possible about players family members and their junior careers.
Seriously Gary Bettman, why you do dis?
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