Why the Winter Classic gets me out of bed on New Year’s Day

After a night of revelry with friends, there’s not much that can get me excited about crawling out from under my covers the next day. One thing that can is the Winter Classic.

It doesn’t really matter which teams are playing or which historic stadium is featured. I don’t even really care who wins most times. It is just another two points, after all.

Buffalo Sabres, Pittsburgh Penguins, Winter Classic

The first Winter Classic played in Buffalo. Or the best one thus far.

What gets me excited is the idea of my favorite game in the world getting some air time on a national holiday. I love the idea that some kids might watch their first hockey game that day. It thrills me when a hockey game is nationally broadcast on a major cable network. The attention is fabulous.

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Hockey for a purpose

October is Hockey Fights Cancer Month in the NHL. The movement, which began in 1998, brings all of the teams in the league together to raise awareness and money for cancer-related organizations and research. In addition to league-wide promotions and purple apparel, each team hosts its own Hockey Fights Cancer Awareness Night.

Hockey Fights Cancer, Colorado Avalanche

A Colorado Avalanche helmet sporting the Hockey Fights Cancer logo. Photo courtesy of NHL Pinterest page.

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Back in the lineup…

It’s a great day for hockey. And I’m not just saying that because I love the Penguins tagline. It’s a great day for hockey because I feel like playoff hockey is within reach. The season is coming to a close, teams are leaving it all out on the ice and my team is looking like a top contender for the Cup.

Not to mention that Sidney Crosby is back.

Sidney Crosby returns

Sidney Crosby back on the ice and making an impact. Photo by Getty Images.

Regardless of whether you’re a fan or not, you have to appreciate what it means to have him back in the game. The entire league benefits from having the best player in the world back on the ice.

Stay tuned for the latest and greatest hockey news. It’s only going to get better and better the closer we get the playoffs.

It’s a great day for hockey blogging…

2011 Stanley Cup Playoffs
Back in time to see Lord Stanley!

Well, my friends, I’m back! I’ve been feeling the itch to blog lately and was inspired by Erin Orsini over at Pink Cleats. EO is one of my best friends. When she started up her sports blog again, it made me want to do the same. And it is NHL playoff time, after all. This is the best time for hockey, and the best time to start up my blog again.

After my senior PR course came to a close last week, I found more time to devote to the best sport in the world. Then I proceeded to watch more overtime hockey than I’ve ever watched in my life. OT is the story of this year’s Stanley Cup Playoffs.

Now it’s probably best for me to disclose my personal opinions regarding playoff teams. I have three that I’ve been closely following:

Pittsburgh Penguin Max Talbot

Pittsburgh Penguin Max Talbot gets fired up during the first round of the playoffs. Photo courtesy of Eliot J. Schechter/Getty Images.

Pittsburgh Penguins: My all-time favorite team. I became a hockey fan because of the Pens. There’s nothing better than a hockey night in Pittsburgh.

Chicago Blackhawks: My Western Conference team. They’re just exciting to watch! I’m also fascinated by the way that the franchise recently turned itself around in PR terms.

Boston Bruins: My dream team. I spent last summer in Boston, and the Bruins will always hold a place in my heart.

I obviously won’t be worrying about the Hawks anymore after they blew it last night. I woke up at 1:18 a.m. to a text message telling me the Vancouver Canucks won the series in overtime, and it was hard to fall back to sleep after that. It was a tough year for Chicago.

The Penguins and the Bruins are both facing the pressure of Game 7 tonight. The Pens are up against the Tampa Bay Lightning (Fun Fact: A Kent State grad is the Lightning’s in-game host), and the Bruins are battling the rival Montreal Canadiens. I’m hoping they’re both able to pull it off. In which case, I would love to watch the Caps and the Flyers get knocked out in the next round. I’m ready to say goodbye to Ovechkin and the entire city of Philadelphia.

So what do you think? Who are you pulling for this year?

Getting back to a love of the game

Well, that hiatus was definitely not a short one. I got my computer back a few weeks ago, but I’ve been busy celebrating the 4th of July and visiting my sister in North Carolina. Then today I got online and read my friend Erin’s blog. She posted a great, opinionated piece about LeBron James turning his back on his hometown. It made me realize that it’s about time I step up and get back to work on this blog.

I love hockey. I love writing. I love writing about hockey. So why on earth am I not updating this more? I’m not sure. It might be because I’m interning for a hockey team this summer, and it’s making me see hockey more as work and less as fun. And that’s a damn shame.

To get back to my love for the game, I need this blog to keep me sane. I’m switching over from a hockey PR blog to just a general hockey blog about my thoughts on the game, with a focus on the NHL and maybe some occasional college hockey posts.

My first order of business: Let’s consider the fact that Ottawa Senators player Mike Fisher just married country music star Carrie Underwood.

Mike Fisher and Carrie Underwood

Hockey and country music? It doesn't get much better than that. Photo by John Shearer/WireImage.

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