2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Alumni Game

Today on NBC: The 2012 Winter Classic

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This is it, today is the day we take it outdoors for all the action between the Rangers and Flyers (coverage starts at 1 p.m. ET, game time 3 p.m.). It’s Winter Classic day in Philadelphia and for both sides, the drama level is rather low for now.

The Flyers got all of their excitement out of the way yesterday when Ilya Bryzgalov announced that he wouldn’t be starting and Sergei Bobrovsky would get the call instead. While Peter Laviolette never confirmed that to be the case himself, the Flyers confirmed last night that Bobrovsky would be the man.

Things are a lot more simple for the Rangers who see Henrik Lundqvist get the call in goal while coach John Tortorella keeps his lineup the same. That means we won’t get a surprise start for Marc Staal, so there won’t be a surprise Staal comeback for the second Winter Classic in a row.

As for the stars in play here, NHL points leader Claude Giroux leads the way for Philly and having future Hall Of Famer Jaromir Jagr on his wing helps make his line with Scott Hartnell the one to watch for Philly. New York rolls with captain Ryan Callahan as well as big point scorers Brad Richards and Marian Gaborik.

Both teams are coming into today’s game with questions on defense and notable absences which should help open things up just a little bit more. Seeing a ton of goals in the Winter Classic isn’t something we’ve seen in the past and today’s game doesn’t figure to be any different.

Weather watching: The weather for the game should be just fine. Weather.com says the game time temperature will be around 40 degrees with a minimal chance of precipitation and breezy conditions. If you’re worried about the ice, don’t be, neither of the teams have any complaints about that.

No hearing scheduled for Burmistrov after Bergeron headshot

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Winnipeg forward Alex Burmistrov isn’t in line for a disciplinary hearing for his elbow to the head of Boston’s Patrice Bergeron on Thursday night, an NHL spokesman confirmed to PHT.

Burmistrov was tagged with an illegal check to the head minor late in the first period. Bergeron received a minor roughing penalty for retaliating on the Russian forward, but was able to finish the contest.

Afterward, B’s head coach Claude Julien expressed frustration with the hit.

“It will be interesting how that is being reviewed, and especially to an elite player in the league who’€™s had some [concussion] issues in the past,” Julien said, per WEEI. “I hope they look at it seriously. In my mind, I don’€™t see why there wouldn’t be further consequences [for] that.”

Bergeron said that, while it was “definitely a hit to the head,” Burmistrov did come up to him afterward and apologized.

According to sources of CSNNE’s Joe Haggerty, Burmistrov received a warning from the Department of Player Safety.


After lopsided loss, Julien says it’s ‘not about the young D’

Claude Julien

The Boston Bruins’ young, makeshift defense failed to come through Thursday night as the B’s were thumped, 6-2, on home ice by the Winnipeg Jets.

Without injured veterans Zdeno Chara and Dennis Seidenberg, the defensive pairings were as follows:

Torey KrugAdam McQuaid
Joe MorrowKevan Miller
Matt IrwinZach Trotman

And let’s just say, turnovers were a factor:

That was Irwin getting checked off the puck there.

“I had the puck behind the net, and I went to one side of the net, and then I just didn’t use the net to my advantage,” he explained afterwards, per CSN New England. “He got his stick in there, obviously stripped me of the puck, and we all know what happened after that. I take full blame for that one.”

But head coach Claude Julien wasn’t willing to blame inexperience for the poor outing.

“It’s not about youth. It’s not about the young D,” said Julien. “It’s about our game without the puck. I think we might have gotten a little excited here about our offense and forgot about the other part of our game.”

And to be fair, even Boston’s more accomplished d-men had their challenging moments.

Here’s Krug failing to get position on Nicolas Petan in front of the Bruins’ net:

All in all, it was a tough night.

“We’ll correct those [mistakes] tomorrow in practice,” said Irwin. “We’re a confident group in here. We liked our offense. We liked the chances we were getting. All those mistakes, D-zone, are something that we’re going to work on and get better every day.”

The Bruins host their rivals from Montreal on Saturday.