Play Fantasy Use your Fantasy skills to win Cash Prizes. Join or start a league today. Play Now
Tag:2012 Winter Classic
Posted on: December 20, 2011 11:19 am

Bryzgalov's Winter Classic Philly mask is awesome

By Brian Stubits

All Ilya Bryzgalov has to do is stop the puck more often than not to endear himself to the Philadelphia faithful. Or he could just make the most awesomest Philly-centric mask ever for the Winter Classic.

The Flyers goaltender who has already won legions of fans from the Legion of Doom faithful with his appearances on the debut of HBO's 24/7 is having a mask made just for the Classic. That's not unusual. In fact, it's commonplace. Henrik Lundqvist has his special mask ready to go.

The mask isn't completely finished in the video shown on the Flyers website, but it doesn't have to be to see how amazing it will be.

Bryzgalov's request for the design? He wanted it to showcase Philadelphia sports. So the top of the mask has the Winter Classic logo displayed prominently. On one side are images of Reggie White and Michael Jack Schmidt airbrushed on. The other side is still being worked on. It already has Julius Erving at the top and then it will have toothless Bobby Clarke below him. On the front of the mask is a banner that looks to be waving in the wind that just says "BRYZ" with the Philly Phanatic peeking his head around. Lastly, the back of the mask will feature a photo of Philly's boxing icon. No, not Rocky, but the late, great Joe Frazier.

The mask will only be worn once and after that it will be sold to charity. I can only imagine how many Philly fans will be trying to get their hands on this mask. It's pure awesomeness.

More Winter Classic News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: December 14, 2011 11:34 pm
Edited on: December 15, 2011 12:48 pm

24/7: Flyers-Rangers Episode 1

By: Adam Gretz

HBO's 24/7 kicked off on Wednesday night, following the two participants in this year's Winter Classic (the Flyers and Rangers) as they prepare for their Jan. 2 showdown in Philadelphia.

Unlike last year's matchup between Pittsburgh and Washington, where one team (Pittsburgh) was playing on top of its game and the other (Washington) was struggling, there was little contrast this time around as both teams came into this year's documentary near the top of the NHL, giving most of the episode an "all is well, everything is cool" sort of feel.

It was difficult to find any real adversity for either team until the end of the episode when Claude Giroux's concussion was featured. It was obvious right from the start that it was't going to be good, and while we didn't get to see anything involving Giroux's time in the quiet room after the collision, we did get a brief glimpse of the Flyers trainer telling coach Peter Laviolette that Giroux simply wasn't feeling like himself.

A few quick takes on Episode one...

Episode one MVP: Flyers goalie Ilya Bryzgalov

He wasn't featured all that much, but wow did Ilya Bryzgalov make a first impression. His only two appearances were a brief stretch early in the episode that was nothing but him spending a minute talking about the size of the universe and space, and how it makes everything that happens on Earth, as well as our solar system, seem so insignificant. "Just be happy," he said.

Later, he was presented with a rare bottle of Russian liquor that featured a picture of a Tiger on the bottle, and he then went into a discussion about how there are so few tiger species left in the world and how it is illegal to hunt them.

An entire episode that simply follows him around for a day would be pure insanity.

Four moments that stood out

1) The mini-brawl that was sparked by the shooting gesture of Rangers forward Artem Anisimov against the Tampa Bay Lightning last week had a big part in the episode, including him pleading his case to the officials in the penalty box, why he did it, and the sight of him apologizing to his teammates in the locker room for putting his team at a disadvantage. When asked where he learned it, Anisimov sighted an unnamed player he played with in Russia that used to do it after big goals and how it always fired the crowd up. He said he always promised himself that he would do it if he scored a big goal in the NHL. Apparently that goal was big enough.

When asked if he was "shooting at the goalie," he simply smiled and said "Just reloaded my weapon."

2) The New York Rangers pay for dinner on the road by putting all of their credit cards in a hat and then pulling them out, one at a time, until there is only one card remaining. And that's the person that gets stuck with the bill.

3) The Philadelphia Flyers post-game victory celebration in their locker room? Dancing to the song "Knock Knock" by Mac Miller. Very bizarre.

4) Perhaps the best, nicest moment of episode one: Rangers captain Ryan Callahan giving his grandmother a kiss after scoring a goal in his hometown of Buffalo and bringing a tear to her eye.

The unnofficial F-bomb count

If you had Flyers coach Peter Laviolette as the first person to drop an F-Bomb, you win the prize, as he let loose with four of them in an eight-second span in the shows opening minutes.

The unofficial final tally (by my count): 44
John Tortorella F-bomb count (again, by my count): 11

Biggest complaint of the night

Needs more Bryzgalov.

More 2012 Winter Classic News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: December 8, 2011 8:11 pm

Mark Messier confirms he'll play in Alumni Game

By Brian Stubits

So far, almost all of the attention on the Winter Classic Alumni Game has centered on the Philadelphia Flyers. The Legion of Doom? Two of the three are playing at least. Just this week, former Flyers goalie Bernie Parent said that he'll be playing for the black and orange.

But what about the New York Rangers? Who is Mike Keenan going to be coaching?

Well the obvious became official on Thursday. The Rangers announced that their old captain and one of New York's more revered sports Stars, Mark Messier, will be playing for the Blueshirts on Dec. 31.

To see the full Rangers alumni roster as of this point, you can find it here.

We were all waiting for Messier to commit, but not with a lot of suspense. There was little doubt that Messier would eventually commit to playing. Now everybody wants to know if he'll commit to guaranteeing a win in the game like Rangers GM Glen Sather did about the one contest that will matter.

The Alumni Game is obviously just a show for the fans, nothing more than a little throwback fun. So it's great to see Messier confirming his spot. His presence is always welcome for Rangers fans.

Plus, he should be in excellent shape for the game. He just ran the New York Marathon at the beginning of November.

More Winter Classic News Here

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 28, 2011 9:33 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:30 am

Brandon Dubinsky rips Flyers Shelley, Rinaldo

By Brian Stubits

December 14 can't get here soon enough.

The inaugural edition of HBO's 24/7 hockey series was gripping and award-winning. I don't think I met a hockey fan that didn't enjoy every minute of it (except those turned off by Bruce Boudreau's potty mouth, that is). The rivalry between the Washington Capitals and Pittsburgh Penguins only sweetened the pot.

That's why I can't wait for this year's show to start. The two sides are ramping up the rivalry nice and early in the season.

In case you didn't already know, the Flyers and Rangers don't like each other. The Rangers have two teams in their market, but probably dislike the team from Philadelphia the most. I don't think you can say the same about the Flyers due to their feelings with the Pittsburgh Penguins, but the Rangers are close behind.

When the two played over the Thanksgiving weekend, Brandon Prust decided to mix it up with not one but two Flyers. The game came just after the 12-minute trailer for the series aired on HBO over the weekend. In the teaser, a clip of the Flyers' Jody Shelley was shown where he was talking about some of his former teammates in New York and calling Brandon Dubinsky a weasel. Here's the teaser in case you missed it.

Of course it didn't take long for that to get back to Dubinsky. It took even less time for him to respond. Check out what he told Pat Leonard of the New York Daily News.

“First of all, if I was him, I’d keep my mouth shut if I don’t play, especially since I never see him on the ice,” Dubinsky said of Shelley, who has played in only 10 of Philadelphia’s 23 games this season. “He’s usually just yapping from the bench, and I guess now he’s yapping from behind the video camera. So that’s about all I have to say.”

That was not all Dubinsky had to say. “Jody Shelley - it won’t be long before he’s out of the league, because he’s a terrible hockey player,” he added.

Dubinsky didn't limit his words for only Shelley, he threw some barbs in Zach Rinaldo's direction, too.

“I think he’s an idiot,” Dubinsky said of Rinaldo. “And I think that, I mean, he’s not really a good hockey player. So if that’s what he tries to do to get under our skin, I don’t think it works very well. He’s not very effective at it. I think they should just keep putting him on the ice, because he’s a liability against us.”

Some good ol' trash talk is great. Here's hoping that the month of November has a lot more waiting for us.

More Winter Classic News Here

H/t to Pro Hockey Talk

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 28, 2011 4:45 pm
Edited on: November 29, 2011 10:31 am

Here is the Rangers winter classic jersey

By: Adam Gretz

The New York Rangers had a ceremony on Monday afternoon to show off their new threads for the Winter Classic on Jan. 2 in Philadelphia, where they will take on their heated rivals, the Flyers, at Citizens Bank Park.

The Flyers already unveiled their jersey last week, and this is the jersey the Rangers have decided to go with.

It's a simple, throwback look. What do you think, Rangers fans: Yay or nay?


More Winter Classic News Here

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 25, 2011 3:27 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 4:48 pm

Winter Classic alumni game rosters announced

By: Adam Gretz

Before the current Flyers and Rangers meet on the ice for the Winter Classic on Jan. 2, a pair of teams made up of players from their past will hit the ice for an alumni game on Jan. 31 at Citizens Bank Park. After a few confirmations and several rumors of the players involved, we finally have the rosters, and no, Wayne Gretzky will not be suiting up for the Rangers, and we won't be seeing a legion of doom reunion due to the absence of Mikael Renberg.


Coaches: Pat Quinn, Keith Primeau, Mike Nykoluk

Players: Neil Little, Mark Laforest, Chris Therien, Derian Hatcher, Kjell Samuelsson, Larry Goodenough, Eric Desjardins, Terry Carkner, Joe Watson, Brad Marsh, Mark Howe, John Leclair, Eric Lindros, Mark Recchi, Bobby Clarke, Rick Tocchet, Shjon Podein, Jim Dowd, Orest Kindrachuck, Bob Kelly, Reggie Leach, Bill Barber, Ken Linesman, Brian Propp, Al Hill


Coaches: Mike Keenan, Emile Francis, Colin Campbell

Players: Glenn Anderson, Dan Blackburn, Paul Broten, Ron Duguay, Nick Fotiu, Mike Gartner, Adam Graves, Ron Greschner, Pat Hickey, Darius Kasparaitis, Kris King, Nick Kypreos, Tom Laidlaw, Darren Langdon, Brian Leetch, Dave Maloney, Stepane Matteau, Brian Mullen, Dale Purinton, Mathieu Schneider, Darren Turcotte, John Vanbiesbrouck

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 21, 2011 12:24 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 4:47 pm

Flyers unveil Winter Classic Jersey's


By: Adam Gretz

Finally, the speculation and guessing can end. The Philadelphia Flyers have unveiled the jersey's they will be wearing during the Winter Classic on Jan. 2 against the New York Rangers, and you can see them in the photo above which comes via Flyers beat writer Frank Seravalli.

As you can see, the sweaters are mainly orange with black shoulders, black numbers and some black and white stripes on the sleeves.

Since the Winter Classic began back in 2007 teams have been wearing special jersey's for the game, usually going for a retro look. The Flyers look isn't a bad one, but of all the special jersey's we've seen in the past I'm still a fan of the ones worn by Chicago, Detroit and Washington in recent years.

(H/T The 700 Level)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: November 5, 2011 12:10 pm
Edited on: November 28, 2011 4:49 pm

Mike Keenan to coach Rangers alumni game

By: Adam Gretz

Mike Keenan spent one season behind the bench coaching the New York Rangers, and what a glorious season it turned out to be.

It was the 1993-94 campaign, and it was the season the Rangers ended their 54-year Stanley Cup drought thanks to a classic Game 7 victory over the Vancouver Canucks in the Finals.

Keenan, however, did not return to the Rangers bench the following season, even with the championship, due to a dispute with then-general manager Neil Smith, and instead moved on to coach the St. Louis Blues for the three seasons.

On Friday, TSN's Darren Dreger reported, via Twitter, that Keenan will be returning -- sort of -- to the Rangers bench this December when he coaches the Rangers alumni during the Winter Classic alumni game that will take place on Dec. 31 at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia, against a team made up of Flyers alumni.

Here's hoping he makes four random goalie changes in one period, just for old times sake.

In stops with eight different teams throughout his coaching career Keenan recorded 631 wins with the Flyers, Blackhawks, Rangers, Blues, Canucks, Bruins, Panthers and Flames, making the playoffs 13 times in 20 seasons.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or