Hockey Night In Buffalo

It may not save the NHL, especially not from over expansion. But the Sabres and the Penguins put on a good show for over 71000 fans in the Buffalo Bills’ football stadium and millions of TV fans on New Years Day in a rare outdoor, nationally televised hockey game.

A good time was guaranteed for all, especially for those who love snow. ‘Cause it snowed. And it snowed. The fans, who came from Buffalo and Pittsburg and Ontario and Rochester and… They loved it.
This is Buffalo we’re talking about, after all.

The Penguins won, 2 to 1, in an overtime shootout. Not a bad game. Not bad at all.

Some early comments:

11:26 | Don’t forget the additional 14,000 fans that sat in HSBC arena to watch the game. | letsgobuffalo
09:34 | Was there, great game, great time, lets do it every year like the Lions Thanksgiving Day Game, Don, Buffalo, NY | Don, Buffalo, NY
09:01 | I hope this is an annual event in Buffalo. Only there will 72,000 fans party for hours in the lots, then pack into freezing stadium to cheer. The ice bowl proves how much love Buffalo has for it’s teams. It’s the warmest place on earth! Very Classy. | JiminCT

Then again there are some hockey purists who think that this Winter ClassicTM is potentially a big mistake for the NHL.

Had the weather scuttled Tuesday’s game, the contingency plans alone give some insight into the minefield these games represent.Had the game been deemed unplayable after 40 minutes, it would have been “official” with a winner declared, unless the game was tied. In that case, each team would have been given a point and there would have been a shootout, unless they couldn’t do the shootout, in which case, the shootout would have been held Feb. 17 before the next regularly scheduled game between the two teams. If the game had been canceled before the end of the second period, it would have been played in its entirety the next night. If that didn’t work, the league would have rescheduled the game for later in the season.

What a nightmare.

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