The Winter Classic

January 01, 2011 | Paul Hoke

As I sit here 5 hours from tuning in to the 2011 NHL Winter Classic featuring my beloved Washington Capitals going up against the hated Pittsburgh Penguins, led by Nancy-boy Cindy Crosby, I have to dole out credit to the NHL for moving this game to 8 PM.  It was a good move given the weather conditions, and forecasts, but also, as much as I’ve enjoyed the previous winter classics, especially the snowy one in Buffalo a couple of years ago, watching one in Prime Time really kind of ramps me up a little bit.

A part of that is because I didn’t wake up until 2 PM today.  No, Dad, not because I had too much to drink last night.  In fact, it was one of the few recent New Year’s Eves where I didn’t wake up with a headache the next day.  Now, in the interest of full disclosure, I did enjoy my beer, wine, and midnight glass(es) of champagne.  But I didn’t want to get drunk because I really wanted to enjoy the evening with the wife and kids.  Usually they are the reason I over-indulge, but for one night, I figured, what the hell.  It also allowed me to stay up until 3 AM playing Playstation with my son, which was the reason I slept in.  So the NHL’s decision to push the game back allowed me to get the requisite sleep.

Now, the game itself, to me, should be epic.  For all intents and purposes, these are the two best teams in the Eastern Conference.  For you Flyer fans who think your team should be ranked ahead of either the Caps or Pens’, you’re wrong, your team sucks, your success is paper, and I hate your city.  Thank you for your time.

Glad I got that out.  I really freakin’ hate the Flyers.

I hate the Penguins too, but for much different reasons. Unlike the Flyers, the Penguins have actually been successful since I became a hockey fan.  They are hockey’s version of the Steelers to me.  Now the Caps have helped in that because they have not been able to put it all together and reach the same heights that the Pens have been able to.  They got close in 1998, but a four game Stanley Cup Finals sweep at the hands of the Detroit Red Wings squelched any noise of a championship.  They were the #1 seed and President’s Trophy winner a year ago, but that first round collapse stings to this day, and once again prevented the Caps from doing something that candy-ass Crosby has done…hoisting the cup.  For me, if the NHL puts my Capitals in the Winter Classic, there isn’t a team other then Pittsburgh that I would want them to face.  It’s hockey gold.

So, having said all that, I’m looking forward to sitting down with my boy and watching the game while I text my Dad about how good the Caps look, and how ragged the Penguins look, and how Alex lights the lamp 3 times in Prime Time enroute to a 5-1 Capitals victory.

Let’s hope it all plays out like that.

C-A-P-S, CAPS, CAPS, CAPS!!!!!!!!!!!!