This morning, it was Tweeted by Larry Brooks of the NY Post that it will be the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers facing off in the 2012 NHL Winter Classic. The game will be played in the City of Brotherly Love, but to my knowledge, the venue is still not know. Rumors had been circulating about this matchup for months, but now it has been confirmed. This will be the Flyers’ second showing in the popular New Year’s Day game, that will actually be played on January 2nd this year. They took on the Boston Bruins in the 2010 game that was played at Fenway Park.
Though I suppose most people wanted to see the New Jersey Devils or New York Islanders in there, a game involving the Rangers on this stage needs a team that is actually relevant to the league and has a fan base. The Flyers will bring that, and perhaps the rivalry between these two teams is even greater than the ones against the Devils and Islanders at this time. The Rangers make sense being in here, and probably should have been used earlier. No matter how successful they are, New York is always an attractive market, and it is a shame that they could not have the game at Yankee Stadium or Citi Field, because this event needs the lights of New York City.
Nevertheless, we got what we all wanted here, as this is sure to be an intense matchup. But that is not all. The Rangers and Flyers will also be participating in the acclaimed series 24/7, which began last year on HBO, and went behind the scenes into the daily and gamely lives of the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins. The show was a smash-hit, made even more so by a certain profane tirade by Capitals’ coach Bruce Boudreau. With John Tortorella, and presumably Sean Avery, if he is still on the team, for the Rangers, and the slew of enforcers under the helm of hot-tempered coach Peter Laviolette, this should make for some good entertainment. I suppose I will have to order HBO now; combine this with To Appomattox that is supposed to be out next year, and this channel is going to have some nice programming.
One last item regarding 24/7, and that is how shocked I am that the Rangers are actually involving themselves with this. It is well known that their PR department are a bunch of control freaks who like to present a pristine image to the hockey world, and this series could put a damper on that. I would not be shocked if they ask the production team to censor certain parts. Not trying to be negative here, but it’s the Rangers so who knows…