The NHL Winter Classic Creates Great Moments
The NHL Winter Classic is the annual outdoor match played between two of the league’s best teams. An Original Six team is often involved in the game, and the outdoor nature of the game typically invites snow and ice to the event. Hockey is played in indoor stadiums with temperature control, but playing the game outdoors as it was once played is the ultimate goal of the Winter Classic. The game has created many classic plays, exciting chances to bet on hockey, and some awesome memories.
2015 Nationals Park
The 2015 Winter Classic at Nationals Park featured the Capitals and the Blackhawks in a match that came down to the final seconds. A former Blackhawk scored the winner with less than 15 seconds to play, and the Blackhawks did not allow the game to sour their mood. The Winter Classic has featured a Stanley Cup Final participant nearly every year, and the Blackhawks would go on to win their third title in six years that spring.
2014 At Michigan Stadium
The 2014 game should have been the 2013 game, but the lockout caused the season to be canceled. The game featured the Leafs and Red Wings played a match that came down to the final seconds again, but the game was a harbinger for change for both teams. The Leafs would fire their coach soon after, and they would ask former Wings coach Mike Babcock to handle the coaching duties. The 2014 contest was one of change just as much as it was about hockey.
2011 At Heinz Field
The Caps and Pens played in 2011 at Heinz Field, and the contest featured something that come to be known as the hit. Sydney Crosby is the most noted player in the game, and he was nailed to the boards by a player who likely did not know the hit was coming. Crosby missed most of the rest of the season, but there is no way of knowing that he missed the season because of the hit. A game with bad weather and visibility made the Winter Classic hit a low point in 2011, but it was still a game to remember for that singular hit.
The history of the Winter Classic is one of bringing back the rustic beginnings of hockey. There are many signature moments in the history of the game, but these three are the most memorable.