Capitals Coach Bruce Boudreau: Winter Classic means 'more than just two points'
As excitement has built for the Winter Classic, players and coaches have pointed to the fact that this still is just a regular season game -- worth two points for a win just like the 81 other regular-season games that a team will play in a year.
But the Winter Classic was created for its spectacle and to showcase hockey in a way that might make it more appealing to people beyond die-hard fans of the sport. It's possible that by having to push the start back to 8 p.m., prime time during a holiday, because of the weather might have unintentional benefits that the original 1 p.m. schedule did not. Such as a larger television audience, airing at the same time as lack-luster college bowls and assuredly a different look than any of the previous Winter Classics even if it's not all that cold out.
During his comments to the media after the Capitals' morning skate at Consol Energy Center, Coach Bruce Boudreau, who has tried at times to downplay the hype, admitted that the game tonight holds a greater significance for the sport itself.
"In the scheme of things, it's two points but as a whole it's a big thing for hockey," Boudreau said. "I think players that have grown up that want the game to grow all realize this -- that it's a big game for the sport and that's why we're hoping the weather cooperates.... For the casual viewers and people that didn't look at the game at all get a chance to see it and say: 'Geez, I might want to watch this sport a little bit longer or get my children involved in that.'
"We understand the whole two points thing," Boudreau continued, "but I think anybody that understands what we're trying to do or what the NHL is trying to do is build the game up, also understands that it's more than just two points."
| January 1, 2011; 3:42 PM ET
Categories: Winter Classic
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