December 16, 2008

10 Days of Penguins Christmas: Pure Hockey, Outdoors

The year in hockey 2008 was a memorable one for the Pittsburgh Penguins and their fans. As we wind down the year, we'll be taking a look at 10 of the best moments of the past year in Penguins hockey.

Aside from the ice repair delays, everything was perfect on January 1 when the Penguins and Buffalo Sabres took it outdoors at Ralph Wilson Stadium for the Winter Classic. There were snow flurries; extremely chilly weather; and a dramatic, storybook ending if you're the NHL marketing department.

There were likely many fans who predicted that Sidney Crosby would win the game in a shootout before the NBC broadcast even started. That thought was reinforced when the game finally went into the best-of-three skills competition.

While at the basis of everything, it was game worth two points in the standings, in the grand scheme of things, it was a marketing success for the league. The Winter Classic was talked about all over the place for the next couple of days and now fans are pining for this year's edition at Wrigley Field. Various teams are throwing their names into the hat to host future outdoor games with Yankee Stadium (old or new) likely being the favorite for the 2010 Classic.

Victory over the Sabres was the Penguins fourth in a row and the midpoint of an eight game unbeaten streak, thanks to the heroics of Ty Conklin (who may be playing in his third outdoor game this January 1).

Nicklas Backstrom and His Own Goal Sinks the Caps
Malkin Lets Us Know Everything Will Be Alright

Ballhype: hype it up!

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