The NHL held their press conference to introduce the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh today, and part of the fun, as always, is seeing just what the iconic logos each team will be using for the game. While the Penguins have done this all before back in 2008, this is new territory for the Capitals. Tarik El-Bashir of Capitals Insider was on the scene today and
Pretty snazzy looking and the Penguins logo in particular is interesting because it was the teams mark for just one season in the NHL, their first one. Sadly, the skating penguin with a scarf wasn’t a huge hit right off the bat. That’s no fun at all. If you’re curious about what jerseys the teams might be wearing, Puck Daddy has already dipped into the possibilities and it’s worth a look. Expect that the Penguins will go with the same jerseys they wore in that inaugural season to match the logo. The Capitals don’t really have too many options to run with for a legendary throwback look.
Commissioner Gary Bettman spoke briefly and was obviously very excited at the prospect of having the league’s two biggest stars face each other on arguably the league’s biggest mid-season stage.
While the press conference itself is always a bit of a snoozer, with it taking place at Heinz Field it offered the players the chance to take shots at the uprights on the field. No, seriously. The Penguins’ Sidney Crosby, Max Talbot, and Pascal Dupuis as well as the Capitals’ Dave Steckel and Mike Knuble all had chances to fire pucks through the uprights at Heinz Field and appropriately enough, the further back they got the more impossible it became.
I didn’t think it would be possible for Sidney Crosby’s shot to look scary off the ice, but here we are and I think it might behoove the Steelers to at least ask Sid to try out for the kicking job. Or would it be hurling if he used a stick? Things to ponder for the time being at least. As you know, the Winter Classic will be on January 1, 2011 at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh and will be live on NBC.
What a start.
This series between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals might be headlined by Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, but as many have said in the lead-up to tonight’s opener, there is so much more to this second round matchup than that. Washington’s 4-3 overtime victory in Game 1 tonight could be offered up as Exhibit A.
This game had everything except big offensive showings from Crosby and Ovechkin. They had their moments, but in the end combined for just one assist.
What we got instead was a hat trick by T.J. Oshie that was completed with a game-winning goal that made it past the line by such a narrow margin that it warranted a video review:
This game also featured a sequence of three goals in 90 seconds and yet also some great saves by goaltenders Braden Holtby and Matt Murray. At the other end of the spectrum, there was a controversial hit by Tom Wilson that might lead to a suspension.
There was even some odd stuff. Like how Jay Beagle got a stick stuck in his equipment.
If this game sets the tone for the rest of the series, then we should be in for a closely contested, highlight filled affair.
Tom Wilson has already found himself in a controversy for delivering a late, knee-on-knee hit to Penguins forward Conor Sheary in the third period of Game 1 Thursday night.
You can see that incident below:
Wilson spent two minutes in the sin bin earlier in the contest for crosschecking Evgeni Malkin, but there was no penalty on this play.
Fortunately Conor Sheary was able to stay in the game. The question now is if Wilson’s actions will lead to him being suspended prior to Game 2.
This isn’t Wilson’s first brush with controversy. He delivered a big hit to Brayden Schenn in 2013, but Wilson wasn’t suspended for that incident. Lubomir Visnovsky’s final campaign was cut short due to a check by Wilson that angered the New York Islanders. More recently, Nikita Zadorov was concussed by a crushing blow from the Capitals forward.
In 231 career regular season games, Wilson has 50 points and 486 penalty minutes.
Related: Wilson says ‘I’ve never been a dirty hitter’ after teams voice complaints
For the first 30 minutes of Game 1 between Pittsburgh and Washington it looked like goaltenders Matt Murray and Braden Holtby might outshine these star-studded offenses. Then the floodgates opened up, if only for a moment.
Washington already had a 1-0 lead going into the second frame courtesy of Andre Burakovsky‘s first marker of the 2016 playoffs, but Ben Lovejoy and Evgeni Malkin scored back-to-back goals within the span of 57 seconds midway through the second period to tilt the scale in Pittsburgh’s favor. That lead didn’t last for long though as Capitals forward T.J. Oshie got a breakaway opportunity and took full advantage of it.
In total, there were three goals scored in the span of just 90 seconds and you can see all of them below:
After that sequence, the 2-2 tie held for the remainder of the frame. However, Oshie was able to reassert Washington’s edge just 3:23 minutes into the third period.
Through 40 minutes of action in Game 1 of the second round series between Pittsburgh and Washington and we’ve already seen some big moments, along with a pretty unusual one.
Beagle ended up with a stick lodged into his visor towards the end of the second frame. He tried to get it out himself, but ended up having to go to the bench for assistance. You can see that below: