Boston, MA - For only one day in the entire calendar year, no professional sports games are played. In the middle of the summer, when the NFL, the NBA, and the NHL are in their off-seasons and the MLB is on the All-Star Break, there is a sports void that, naturally, the industry filled with the ESPYs, a sports award show in the same vein as the Oscars and the Grammys.
Because of this, it’s safe to say that sports are a year round staple and they’re a part of the lives of fans, no matter what day. Including holidays! On Christmas Day, NBA fans are treated to the best teams in the league squaring off against each other. On Independence Day, baseball teams were red, white, and blue themed uniforms while families have cookouts. And on Thanksgiving, fans can always count on seeing the Detroit Lions and the Dallas Cowboys play.
Tradition is a major part of sports and sports culture. And for hockey, there is no exception. Every New Year’s Day, two hockey teams in the NHL are selected to square off against one another in an outdoor ice rink venue. And for Boston and Chicago sports fans, they were gifted with this year’s Winter Classic seeing the Boston Bruins take on the Chicago Blackhawks.
This year’s game took place at Notre Dame and it saw the Bruins down the Blackhawks by a score of 5-2, dropping Chicago to a 1-5 record in outdoor games. Perhaps it was always a cinch for Boston!
As we know, though, nothing has been guaranteed with the Bruins this season, so it was good to see them secure a solid holiday victory against a team that, while it has a lesser record than them, is still more than capable of surprises.
Tuukka Rask was in the net for Boston and while he did allow the two goals, he did a solid job of keeping Boston in the game, he also managed to record thirty-six saves in a strong defensive effort.
The game was even heading into third period, with Boston’s two goals coming from David Pastrnak on a power play as assisted by Patrice Bergeron and then by Bergeron, who was also on a power play and was assisted by Pastrnak (and also Torey Krug)!
Boston pulled away, though, when Sean Kuraly and Brad Marchand buried the winning goals in the waning minutes of the game. A New Year’s Day victory in the outdoors is a seminal moment in a season that Boston is bound to keep up!