Sure, the weather produced rain (and the requisite delay) instead of Buffalo’s snow globe effect. And maybe there wasn’t a storybook moment like Sidney Crosby’s shootout game winner in that same 2008 Winter Classic.
But those minor quibbles aside, the 2011 Winter Classic was a fantastic event. The Washington Capitals beat the Pittsburgh Penguins 3-1, but the real winners were hockey fans (but hardcore and new), who were treated to a hard-fought game between two teams who truly dislike one another. The game featured a lot of rugged play and a couple ugly goals, but there were also some brilliant moments, even without a goal (that counted) by Sidney Crosby or Alex Ovechkin.
Check out the game’s highlights in the video below.