BUFFALO – NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman today released the following statement regarding the AMP Energy NHL Winter Classic:
“This was a memorable and outstanding afternoon, and I want to thank everyone who had something to do with making this game possible – in particular the Sabres and Penguins, the Bills, the city of Buffalo, the NHL’s ice crew and the entire NHL staff. Their close collaboration conquered significant challenges and achieved a superbly successful event.
“I also thank the fans. This was a fun afternoon – fun for the 71,000-plus in attendance and fun for the viewers of NBC, the CBC and RDS, all of whom did a terrific job covering the game. Based on the response, on our ability to execute, and the inquiries we’re getting from other clubs for similar activities, this obviously is something we’re going to look at doing again. This is the type of event we certainly will be looking at doing in the future.”
For six months, it's a really good accomplishment. But as soon as April [11, the end of the regular season] comes around, no one thinks about the regular season anymore. For six months, it's a real battle to get into the playoffs in the NHL these days. There are a lot of good teams, and it takes consistency over a long time.
— Ducks coach Bruce Boudreau on clinching a playoff berth after a win against the Islanders on Saturday