Today, as promised, a guest blogger takes the helm at the Sports BBQ.
Let me introduce Marc, a friend since about third or fourth grade (as I recall, he was a GREAT kickball player), a true sports hound (which, I truly heart) and knower of all things hockey.
So, hot off the grill today is what's sizzlin' on the ice tomorrow. Hope you have a happy and safe New Year's Eve and a prosperous, blessed New Year!
Tomorrow is a big day in the hockey world. Once a year, the NHL takes the game back to where is got its start, outside.
Most of the players on the ice were raised with skates on their feet and a huge part of that was going out on a cold winters day for a game of shinny on a frozen pond or river. Now, the NHL has come out of its shell and come up with a great idea to get more people to watch their game, even if it is only for one day.
The tradition started in 2003 as my favorite team, the Montreal Canadiens, traveled to the wilds of Edmonton to play the Oilers in Commonwealth Stadium. The outdoor game was renewed in 2008 as Pittsburgh traveled to Buffalo and, again, last season as venerable Wrigley Field hosted the Hawks and the Red Wings.
Now it is Fenway Park's turn as the Boston Bruins take on the Philadelphia Flyers. Players to watch on both teams:
> Philadelphia's leading scorer Mike Richards
> future Hall of Famer defenseman Chris Pronger
> goalie Brian Boucher
> Boston's Patrice Bergeron, 6' 9" Zdeno Chara
> goalie Tim Thomas.
Both teams started the year slowly, but now each hold a playoff spot going into the New Year.
> One of the more interesting items of the game is the team's jerseys. As has been the case in the past, the teams have decided to honor their past by wearing jerseys, or sweaters as they used to be called, representing each team's past.
> So if you want to see hockey as it was meant to be played, catch the game tomorrow at 1pm on NBC.