We know that on January 2, 2012 there’s going to be the Winter Classic in Philadelphia between the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers. The game is listed as a Monday afternoon game on the NHL schedule. Flyers fans have even been sent their season tickets containing the ducats that will get them into Citizens Bank Park that afternoon but the NHL still has yet to make the game official with a press conference to announce the teams and date.
Is there an issue that’s holding up the game from being made official? Not exactly.
CSNPhilly.com’s Tim Panaccio finds out that while the game is going to happen and the Philadelphia Phillies are out of town this week, we’re not likely going to see an official announcement anytime soon.
According to a source involved in the negotiations, no announcement is anticipated this week, after all.
Other sources told CSNPhilly.com that the Flyers had anticipated an announcement two weeks ago, saying that terms and conditions between the NHL and the Phillies at Citizens Bank Park were completed. Never happened.
All right, so what gives here? The 2012 Winter Classic is perhaps the world’s worst kept secret. After all, we’ve had other reports come out since the playoffs were going on back in May and now it’s September, less than four months from the game, and there hasn’t been anything official from the NHL. At this point it’s just funny. We all know when the game is going to be, we know where it’s going to be played and even sillier still, the past games have all been taken care of by this point of the offseason.
The announcement for the 2011 Winter Classic in Pittsburgh happened in late July 2010. The same mid-summer press conference happened for the announcement of the 2010 Winter Classic in Fenway Park back in 2009. Perhaps things in dealing with the sale of the Atlanta Thrashers helped keep the NHL too busy to take care of making their single biggest TV event outside of the Stanley Cup finals from being made official. Who knows?
All we know here is that we know everything going on with the event itself. It’s up to the league to get it together and just gather everyone around to make it all completely official.
The St. Louis Blues won’t be thrilled with the way they played in the third period, but in the end, they did just enough to come away with a 4-3 overtime win over the Dallas Stars in Game 2. The Blues’ win means that the series will head to St. Louis tied 1-1.
The Stars opened the scoring in the first period, but the Blues responded by scoring three unanswered goals (Patrik Berglund, Joel Edmundson, Troy Brouwer) on five shots. Stars coach Lindy Ruff had seen enough from starter Kari Lehtonen at that point. He yanked Lehtonen in favor of Antti Niemi at the start of the second period.
Neither team was able to find the back of the net in the second period, but things got crazy in the third.
With his team still trailing 3-1, Mattias Janmark split Alex Pietrangelo and Colton Parayko before scoring a great goal.
Moments after Janmark’s goal, Brian Elliott took a Jason Spezza blast off the mask. Elliott was shaken up on the play (he even lost one of his contact lenses), but he did stay in the game.
Stars captain Jamie Benn (surprise, surprise) leveled the score by burying a goal by Brian Elliott with under three minutes in regulation.
Like they did during their first round series against Chicago, the Blues took some time to regroup before finding a way to get the job done.
The Blues’ power play went back to work after Antoine Roussel took his third penalty of the game. That’s when the birthday boy, David Backes, came through.
That’s a nice way to celebrate your 32nd birthday.
Game 3 goes Tuesday night in St. Louis.
This definitely wasn’t the way the St. Louis Blues drew it up.
The Blues entered the third period of Game 2 with a 3-1 lead. Unfortunately for them, they weren’t able to shut the game down on the road.
St. Louis jumped ahead 3-1 after 20 minutes before Dallas decided to pull Kari Lehtonen in favor of Antti Niemi. The move didn’t provide any results in the middle frame, but something certainly sparked the Stars in the third period.
Mattias Janmark cut the deficit to 3-2 with this beauty (notice how he split Colton Parayko and Alex Pietrangelo).
With less than three minutes remaining in regulation, Stars captain Jamie Benn tied it up (top).
It’s safe to say this wasn’t a memorable third period for the Blues.
A bit of a scary moment in the third period of Game 2 between the Stars and Blues.
Less than five minutes into the third period, Jason Spezza took a shot that caught Blues goalie Brian Elliott square in the mask. Play was halted as Elliott remained down. It appears as though the shot to the mask also made Elliott lose one of his contacts.
Thankfully, Elliott wasn’t seriously injured on the play. After being examined by the team doctor, he was allowed to stay into the game. He did need a new mask though (he got his original one back a few minutes later).
You can watch the play by clicking the video at the top of the page.
The Blues currently lead 3-2 late in the third period.
Here’s some Twitter reaction:
Kari Lehtonen might have been more hit than miss in the playoffs going into today’s action, but Game 2 against St. Louis was certainly a start he’d like to forget.
Dallas outshot St. Louis 10-5 in the first frame, but the Blues still managed to take a 3-1 lead. Antti Niemi replaced Lehtonen for the second period which means, barring another goalie change, Lehtonen will actually end up with a sub-.500 save percentage this afternoon.
The numbers obviously look bad and it’s hard not to blame Lehtonen in the face of that, but the Blues deserve a lot of the credit for those goals. Patrik Berglund had a great shot on goal for the first marker, Joel Edmundson‘s first career playoff goal came after a nice setup by Troy Brouwer, and when Brouwer collected his own goal it was off of a rebound during a power play.
So to an extent, you could say Lehtonen looked bad due to circumstances that were very unfavorable to him. Nevertheless, the Stars needed to shake things up after what was unquestionably a bad period for them.