If you're a Caps fan or a Penguins fan with a brain, it probably really set in over the weekend that celebrating hockey is something you have to do on your own. The Winter Classic was indeed an amazing, primetime event. But between shoddy NBC camera work, completely incorrect weather analysis, and the lack of focus to the broadcast, it was disappointing to say the least. Most people who didn't go are probably glad they didn't deplete their bank accounts in order to go. Much of the game was boring, peppered with bad mistakes that led to goals. Gene scored on the first breakaway he's ever scored on ever, felt like, but damn. What a boring game.
And what embarrassing play by the Penguins. CLEARLY THEY DIDN'T REALIZE THAT IF THEY WON THIS GAME IT WOULD BE LIKE WINNING THE CUP. Boudreau should have reminded them. January. Fuck.
No, what really made this game special was the sheer number of fans and the sheer energy that they put into seeing this game: traveling to Heinz Field, tailgating for nine years in the rain until the game could start, some staying in the city for days from out of town so they could support college hockey, each team's AHL affiliate, and the Alumni Game. Without the fans, this is nothing. Still, fans must have realized on a large scale, whether trying to see the ice through the downpour at Heinz or trying to see the puck from like a mile above the clouds and fog on NBC, that the NHL forced this game in order to make money. We're not saying it's wrong and we're not saying it was a catastrophic idea. Just not the idea that we would have come up with. And that the fans didn't need it. They know how to hate, and love, and get pumped for these teams. The OMG WINTER CLASSIC bullshit overshadowed the actual rivalry between these two clubs. It was little more than a fever dream in the cold, wet night.
The world is kind of lol'ing at Pittsburgh a bit now.
We're excited to see the next episode of 24/7, even though it will probably piss us off, just because we want to see the locker room reactions legit from the Penguins.
We don't think they will embarrass themselves. Let's just say that much.
For now, here are 43 things we learned from episode 3. Valuable life lessons to take with you for the rest of your life, as a hockey fan and beyond:
1. Reason #38403 why Mike Knuble would be a better captain than Ovechkin: he sacrifices his body and doesn't complain. Compare to, say, the last time you saw Alex getting medical attention. Hooo
2. Also, Brooks Laich. Says that leadership is manifested through display of work ethic. Wow. Valid question: does Ovechkin even know why he is captain?
3. HBO really captures the fatness of Uncle Dad.
4. Idiotic Caps fans in hi-def: something you can preserve and show your grandchildren. Sad thing is, the guy in the background to your right saying CROSBY SUCKS might have actually been a fan before Ovechkin was drafted. Look at what the franchise has done to him.
5. Fights are always better in HD slow-mo.
6. We'd still hit it.
7. Maybe they were by December 31st. Shouldn't have beaten them that one time. HRRRR
8. "You look awesome. Girls love." = Gene quote of the decade.
9. Max is lol'ing at Washington on the way to the airport. Damn he loves those cameras in his car. WONDER WHY
10. Brent is a hero, and Goose is a bit embarrassed that he isn't as holiday-inspired.
11. Everything about this screenshot is perfect.
12. Yes, Benny, we can in fact tell that you got hit.
13. Compassion in the Caps organization amounts to not telling a guy he's on IR until after the big game??
14. Even Boudreau knows to tell his players that Gene takes stupid penalties if you poke him too hard. GEEEEEEEENE.
15. Mattie and Paulie look slightly in love but then again Mattie tends to look slightly in love with everyone.
16. Godsy and Engo eat spaghetti dinner together.
17. Remember this game? What on Earth was going on in this sequence.
18. Ovechkin yelling about a penalty is like a kid yelling that he got three Xboxes for Christmas instead of four.
19. Brooks yelling about penalties is like a man demanding his sausage gravy. Much sexier.
20. Sutherland's reaction to the Caps' timeout coordinator getting a puck to the face was hilarious. DID THEY AT LEAST GET HER THE PUCK
21. GREEN YOU PUSSY. thanks HBO
22. FUCKING FUCK. Repeat: does Ovechkin understand what captaincy is?
23. Okay Sid swearing is just hilarious and awkward and a little bit wrong. But maybe the Caps should compare footage and see the Crosby to Ovechkin whine ratio? Just in this episode. Just in this game. FUCKING FUCK
24. not even going to touch this one.
25. Let's get this bitch = about the coolest thing one could ever say before walking away.
26. Maybe he's captain because he's a good cheerleader. Still uncertain.
27. How Chris King manages to talk with that toothpick in his mouth is much more impressive than most video review decisions he's laid down, pretty sure.
28. Seriously, wouldn't you rather have Dupes on a breakaway or shootout at this point than Malks? Malks needs extra home cookin'. Winter Classic goal was awesome though, BUT WE'RE NOT THERE YET FOLKS.
30. oh my god really not sure how Boudreau is allowed out of his own house.
32. Boudreau really doesn't care about what he is getting his wife for Christmas for some reason.
33. Eric Fehr won the Winter Classic for the Caps because he gave presents to this adorable baby.
34. OMG we seriously want to have Swedish Christmas Eve with Nicklas Backstrom. Not even kidding.
35. All the outdoor shots of Pittsburgh in winter were enough to bring a displaced resident to tears. Thank Curry I'm home for the holidays.
36. Where can we get this snowglobe? Probably NHL.com. So adorable.
37. Those gloves are really a stunning accessory for Danny.
39. The Xbox Kinect will take over your family.
40. After Swedish Christmas Eve we want Christmas Morning with Michael Rupp. What a shirt.
41. Eric Godard's face = doesn't look great. At least not a normal version of great.
42. NO THIS ISN'T WHAT WE WANTED WE ARE NOT CELEBRATING THE ORIGINS OF HOCKEY WE ARE LINING POCKETS STFU
43. Not that this isn't a gorgeous setting for a game. Shame about the weather. Better view of the city in PNC Park anyway. Whatever. Beautiful.
we're over it.
Pens don't play til Wednesday. Word on the street is that the January Stanley Cup is still on the line, as it wasn't seen after the Caps victory at Heinz Field.
Also, per Seth from Empty Netters, this guy's an incredible dickwad who probably just wants to bang Bobby Orr.