Skip to content

Winter Classic post game reactions to Washington’s 3-1 win over Pittsburgh

Jan 2, 2011, 12:56 AM EDT

Comments Off
Alex Ovechkin

After what turned out to be an incredible night of hockey outdoors at Heinz Field, albeit a bit on the soggy side, the Capitals came away with a 3-1 win to send their fans home happy and the homestanding fans away feeling gloomy.

As for the game, Penguins captain Sidney Crosby was disappointed with the loss but the first question that came to him was about the controversial hit he took from David Steckel at the end of the second period. If you’re wondering why there was no retribution for the Pens captain getting taken out, Sid says there’s a good reason.

“I just found out two seconds ago who it was. I couldn’t even tell you what happened. I think the puck was going the other way. And I turned and next thing you know, I am down. I can’t really comment on it,” Crosby said.

Crosby was unhurt by the hit but recounted the situation not really sure how dirty the hit was, if at all.

“It’s pretty far behind the play. Maybe the refs didn’t see it. A lot of people didn’t. Got [hit] in my head, that’s for sure. But I don’t know how it developed.”

As for the victorious Capitals, their post game chatter was much more jubilant and blown away by the entire setting outdoors in front of 68,111 fans, even more so with the heavy representation of Caps fans in Pittsburgh.

“You can see, you can hear when we score goals how many people were fans of Washington,” Alex Ovechkin happily recalled.

“When it was the National Anthem, and they are screaming… It was unbelievable.”

Caps coach Bruce Boudreau added to that sentiment.

“When you walk and you see all those people in there and whether they’re booing or cheering, it’s an experience I’ll never forget. And when you come into this atmosphere and you’re playing arguably the best team in the league and you win, it was more than just a game to everybody.”

With the weather conditions being as seemingly difficult as they were, none of the players or coaches had any complaints about what went down tonight. They made it clear that it was affecting both teams so no one got an unfair advantage out of it. NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman made it clear that the NHL did everything in their power to ensure the integrity of the ice and the game.

“We (Bettman, Colin Campbell, Dan Craig) were at every stoppage, in communication with the officials and both teams and no one was complaining about it.”

Bettman then added this bit that’s likely to get over analyzed by everyone:

“And I’ve heard ice complaints when we’re indoors in a lot of places as well. I think we were fine, just fine.”

The weather tonight is going to be more of a talking point than the game and that’s really disappointing, all things considered, but it wasn’t an issue for the guys playing. Period.

The rain did create issues for the fans in the stands for sure and the elements are a virtually unavoidable aspect in a game like this, but the commissioner does make a good point about the pace of the game. Yes, the passes weren’t as crisp as you’d expect and the offensive creativity was missing in this environment but the teams adjusted to make it work for them. You make the best with what you’ve got and the Capitals certainly did that tonight.

In that respect it makes it similar to playing in a building when it’s 90 degrees outside and the ice is soft and choppy. The speed gets cut down and teams have to win games a bit dirtier than with finesse and skill. For some teams that works in their favor and not so much for others. For teams as good as Washington and Pittsburgh, they could make the right adjustments.

All in all, both teams were grateful for the experience to play tonight both coaches made it clear that having this experience makes it all worthwhile. Basking in the atmosphere here tonight was unlike anything I’ve ever seen and it left as much of an impression on me as it did with the players. All right, not quite as much as celebrating a win or playing in front of that many home fans but memorable just the same.

Latest Posts
  1. Looking to make the leap: Simon Despres

    Aug 21, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Simon Despres Getty Images

    The 23-year-old defenseman may get a real shot this season.

  2. Tanguay helped sell Iginla on Colorado

    Aug 21, 2014, 9:00 AM EDT

    Alex Tanguay Getty Images

    They were teammates in Calgary for two seasons.

  3. It’s Pittsburgh Penguins Day at PHT

    Aug 21, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Evgeni Malkin, Sidney Crosby Getty Images

    The pressure is on Sid and Geno now after a summer of change.

  4. Sens GM says they’re ‘definitely going to try to keep’ Bobby Ryan

    Aug 20, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT

    Craig Anderson, Kyle Turris, Bobby Ryan, Patrick Wiercioch AP

    He can be an unrestricted free agent next summer.

  5. ‘Canes GM Francis says Semin will be ready for training camp

    Aug 20, 2014, 9:02 PM EDT

    Ron Francis Getty Images

    Recovery from offseason wrist surgery put things in doubt.

  6. Poll: Who will replace Hartnell on Philly’s first line?

    Aug 20, 2014, 6:45 PM EDT

    Brayden Schenn Getty Images

    Giroux and Voracek will need someone new to run with them.

  7. Captain no more: Sharks strip Thornton of ‘C’

    Aug 20, 2014, 5:46 PM EDT

    Joe Thornton Getty Images

    Patrick Marleau can coach him through it.

  8. Tank defense: NHL changes up Draft Lottery format

    Aug 20, 2014, 3:59 PM EDT

    Bill Daly lottery Getty Images

    It’s not as good to be the worst anymore.

  9. Under Pressure: Steve Mason

    Aug 20, 2014, 1:55 PM EDT

    stevemasongetty Getty Images

    How will he handle the weight of expectation?

  10. After ‘humbling summer,’ Del Zotto aims to bolster Flyers’ D

    Aug 20, 2014, 12:23 PM EDT

    Michael Del Zotto Getty Images

    “I’m confident in myself and confident I can get back to where I used to be.”

  11. Rangers win Kevin Hayes sweepstakes

    Aug 20, 2014, 11:18 AM EDT

    Kevin Hayes Getty Images

    He’ll be reunited with former Boston College teammate Chris Kreider in New York.

  12. Looking to make the leap: Shayne Gostisbehere

    Aug 20, 2014, 11:05 AM EDT

    Shayne Gostisbehere Getty Images

    The college star could push to make Philly’s blue line right away.

  13. NHL concussion lawsuits to be consolidated

    Aug 20, 2014, 10:01 AM EDT

    Gary Bettman, Bill Daly AP

    And assigned to a U.S. District Judge in Minnesota.

  14. It’s Philadelphia Flyers Day at PHT

    Aug 20, 2014, 8:00 AM EDT

    Jakub Voracek,  Vincent Lecavalier , Claude Giroux AP

    They hope to improve on their first round loss to the Rangers.

Top 10 NHL Player Searches