Winter Classic Roots

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There have now been six games played outdoors by the National Hockey League dubbed “Winter Classics”.  Three have been played on football fields, three have been played on baseball diamonds.  All have met the corresponding fanbases with impressive shows.

Will this year be the best?  In each venue, there have been positives, there have been negatives.  I don’t think you can compare one year’s classic to the next on the whole, but there are definitely single points to the series that have differed from year to year.

What made the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins version of the game better than all the others?  As the NHL tries to out do itself each year, Ralph Wilson Stadium will always have the first.  The first outdoor game, the first shootout in an outdoor game.  It pitted two of the biggest names in the league together – Ryan Miller versus Sidney Crosby.

It will be a game that will forever be in the memory of Buffalo Sabres fans, right up their with the Fog Game, The Bat Man game, Gilbert Perreault‘s last game, the final game at the Aud, No Goal, and most recently The Butt Goal.

Thanks to our reader Dano for sending over some images from the famed first NHL Winter Classic.  Enjoy this slide show of images from the original game.

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  • Thomas Eric

    I think the home team has never won

  • Dano

    Just returning from Michigan.

    I must say, after attending 4th ‘ Winter Classic ‘ games, NONE have been as good as the First one at RIch Stadium.

    The Game today ( yesterday for some ) was boring. It wasnt due to the weather which had an effect on ice speed. The game at Rich Stadium saw several stoppages in play for ice repair. It was more of the 2 teams playing.

    Unlike having Miller, Crosby, Malkin and the thought of Peters-vs-Laraque throwing down, it was a game of ‘ dump the puck , the other team recovers it ‘ then go the other way. I would call it a game of ‘ euro hockey ‘ more then anything else. No scrums, hardly any passion..

    The plates on the cars in the Parking lots were from all over. Same as it was with the Original and the others I have attended.

    ‘ Original 6 ‘ or not, I would have to put this past game in comparison as the lowest in ranking compared to the others for ‘ entertainment ‘ value.

    I probably took at least 100 pictures at the PIT/BUF game. This one? All of 50 maybe? There just wasnt ‘ anything there ‘.