Skip to content

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

Jan 2, 2011, 12:56 AM EST

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. Flyers rally as Zepp wins his career debut at 33 years old

    Dec 22, 2014, 12:16 AM EST

    Philadelphia Flyers v Winnipeg Jets Getty Images

    He’s the oldest goalie to win his debut since Hugh Lehman in 1926.

  2. Hawks’ Raanta posts 31-save shutout over Leafs

    Dec 21, 2014, 10:07 PM EST

    Toronto Maple Leafs v Chicago Blackhawks Getty Images

    Toronto has lost three straight games.

  3. Oilers squander three-goal lead, lose 18th time in 19 games

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:42 PM EST

    Ben Scrivens AP

    Will this be the worst season Edmonton has ever had?

  4. Pickard makes one last bid to stay, beats Wings in nine-round SO

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:09 PM EST

    Calvin Pickard, Justin Abdelkader AP

    Varlamov is expected to be back on Tuesday.

  5. Oilers chase Lehtonen with three unanswered goals

    Dec 21, 2014, 7:39 PM EST

    Arcobello goal

    The Stars swapping goaltenders didn’t slow Edmonton.

  6. Brad Richards out with upper-body injury

    Dec 21, 2014, 6:48 PM EST

    Brad Richards Getty Images

    He had been playing with Patrick Kane and Kris Versteeg.

  7. Jordan Staal (leg) might return before New Years Eve

    Dec 21, 2014, 5:56 PM EST

    Jordan Staal Getty Images

    The Hurricanes are getting close to full strength.

  8. Roy: 95 percent chance Varlamov will return Tuesday

    Dec 21, 2014, 5:00 PM EST

    DENVER, CO - APRIL 03: Goalie Semyon Varlamov #1 of the Colorado Avalanche makes a glove save against the New York Rangers at Pepsi Center on April 3, 2014 in Denver, Colorado. The Avalanche defeated the Rangers 3-2 in an overtime shootout. Getty Images

    Will Calvin Pickard be sent to the minors once Varlamov is healthy?

  9. Hansen misses Canucks’ practice Sunday

    Dec 21, 2014, 3:00 PM EST

    Jannik Hansen Getty Images

    Collapsed on the team’s bench Saturday night.

  10. Report: Eakins could head back to Toronto

    Dec 21, 2014, 2:15 PM EST

    Edmonton Oilers' head coach Dallas Eakins, center, stands on the bench above David Perron, from left to right, Sam Gagner and Ryan Jones during third period NHL hockey action in Vancouver, British Columbia, Friday, Dec. 13, 2013. (AP Photo/The Canadian Press, Darryl Dyck) AP

    Was fired by the Oilers Dec. 15.

  11. Zepp to make NHL debut in Flyers’ net Sunday

    Dec 21, 2014, 1:30 PM EST

    Philadelphia Flyers v New Jersey Devils Getty Images

    The 33-year-old was recalled Friday.

  12. Could Malkin be the next player to be fined for diving?

    Dec 21, 2014, 12:45 PM EST

    Evgeni Malkin AP

    The Penguins forward was penalized twice for embellishment on Saturday.

  13. Sabres’ recall Pysyk and Schaller from AHL

    Dec 21, 2014, 12:00 PM EST

    Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres Tampa Bay Lightning v Buffalo Sabres

    Torrey Mitchell and Tyson Strachan have been placed on IR

  14. Former Pens Niskanen and Orpik react to Bylsma’s firing

    Dec 21, 2014, 11:15 AM EST

    Dan Bylsma AP

    They’re not impressed with how Bylsma and his staff were treated.

  15. Hurricanes activate Semin from IR

    Dec 21, 2014, 9:45 AM EST

    Alexander Semin Getty Images

    Had just one goal in eight games prior to the injury.

  16. Canucks end five-game skid, extend Flames’ drop to eight

    Dec 21, 2014, 1:18 AM EST

    Chris Tanev, Jonas Hiller AP

    Christopher Tanev scored the overtime winner on his birthday.

Featured video

More than a Stanley Cup hangover?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. S. Crosby (3564)
  2. B. Bishop (3533)
  3. C. Perry (2272)
  4. C. Crawford (2096)
  5. B. Elliott (2077)
  1. D. Krejci (1961)
  2. C. Kunitz (1934)
  3. J. Schwartz (1831)
  4. O. Palat (1660)
  5. T. Oshie (1556)