Hockey, the Way it was Meant to be Played, Outdoors!
The NHL and Coors Light have teamed up for what is being called the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. There will be four games featured in the series: Anaheim Ducks vs. Los Angeles Kings, New York Rangers vs. New Jersey Devils, Pittsburgh Penguins vs. Chicago Blackhawks, and New York Rangers vs. New York Islanders.
The Islanders and the Rangers will do battle January 29, 2014 at Yankee Stadium. While the Rangers have played the Philadelphia Flyers in the Winter Classic and will be playing the Devils earlier in January, this will be the first outdoor game in the history of the New York Islanders.
The NHL could not have picked a better team for the Islanders to play than the Rangers. These two teams do not like each other, and their fans do not like each other, but everyone circles the dates when they face one another. January 29th has been highlighted, circled, and starred by Islanders and Ranger fans.
Besides being a tremendous fan of hockey rivalries, I also am a big supporter of hockey being played outdoors. The Winter Classic is always so festive, showcases stadiums packed with die-hard hockey fans, and has had some great games as an added bonus. It is almost like an all-star game with the buzz the city gets surrounding the game.
Some have argued having a total of six games outdoors (Toronto Maple Leafs vs. Detroit Red Wings and Ottawa Senators vs. Vancouver Canucks) are too many and it will take away the excitement and make the stadium series “just another game.”
Personally, I disagree. I would love to see every team get the chance to play an outdoor game. The combination of the young and exciting talent in the league today there will be no difficulty selling tickets. There is a level of intrigue seeing a game outside and there is no guarantee that you will see your team play outdoors in the future.
If the NFL is going to have the Super Bowl in New York City, why can’t the NHL have an outdoor game in LA? Dodger Stadium is going to be a great place to watch a hockey game. No one will be complaining it is too cold, and the NHL is sticking it to Mother Nature!
I finally want to wrap up my opinion of outdoor games with the jerseys. I love the fact that teams wear special jerseys for the games. It is cool, and keeps the festive mood of the game. The classic has used some historic jerseys in the past; I think that is going to change for the stadium series.
The stadium series is going with a chrome design for all of the team’s logos. They are pretty cool, and should make awesome jerseys.
Islander Highlight of the Week
Each week, I am going to post a video here of an Islander goal, fight, or interview that will be my Islander highlight of the week.
This week I chose Pierre-Marc Bouchard’s power-play goal in Montreal on Sunday. What a rip by Bouchard! If you have never been I highly recommend putting a trip to Montreal on your bucket list. It is a beautiful city and the Bell Centre is an excellent atmosphere to enjoy a game.