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(Page 8 of 12)
2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic - Rangers v. Flyers

Flyers look to avenge loss at Winter Classic

Emily Kaplan - NHL.com Staff Writer

A lot can happen in 10 days.

Between Philadelphia's 4-2 loss to the Rangers on Friday night and the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on Jan. 2, the Flyers will have a two-day holiday break, play two road games against Eastern Conference rivals and perhaps welcome a player or two back from injury.

Time will have passed, circumstances will have changed.

Graves looks ahead to the Classic Alumni Game

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Adam Graves will look across the red line on Dec. 31 at Citizens Bank Park and see many aging yet familiar, and mostly unfriendly, faces.

He'll see Eric Lindros and John LeClair, two-thirds of the Legion of Doom line that created so many problems for the Rangers in the mid-90s. He'll see Mark Recchi, his former roommate during the 1988 World Junior Championship in Moscow, who became an enemy when he was traded from Pittsburgh to Philadelphia in 1992.

He'll see Kjell Samuelsson, the towering Swedish defenseman who made life so difficult for him for so many years.

Howe's familiarity with Ranger alums helped decision

Davis Harper - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- In hockey, the best rivalries are nurtured by proximity, or passionate fans, or maybe even a particularly feisty regular-season affair. But these, all of them combined, pale in comparison to the animosity that a Stanley Cup Playoff series can spawn.

Just ask Hockey Hall of Famer Mark Howe.

"Rivalries just don't usually happen until you get to the playoffs, and the wars that get built up over a seven-game series."  Howe told NHL.com. "It's kind of a hatred for each other."

And Gordie's son should know. In nine seasons in Philadelphia, his Flyers saw the neighboring New York Rangers in the postseason on five separate occasions. Howe remembers the good -- he scored his only career overtime playoff goal to help the Flyers oust New York in 1985-86 -- and the bad -- a slew-footing in an early-1980s series left him with a severe concussion -- of the fierce rivalry with the neighbors to the north.

Many of the skaters who faced off in those bitterly contested series will go head-to-head once more at the Winter Classic alumni game at Citizens Bank Park at 1 p.m. on New Year's Eve.

Time to go slushing -- ice build at CBP moves forward

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- With the glycol coolant circulating through the panels on the Winter Classic rink Friday morning, the next step in the ice build took place Friday afternoon: slushing.

Snow from an ice event at Wells Fargo Center was brought across the street here to Citizens Bank Park, where NHL Senior Facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig and his crew turned it into slush and used it as a sealant on different parts of the rink surface. 

Classic Alumni game to be televised in U.S., Canada

NHL Public Relations

NEW YORK, NY --  For the first time, fans throughout North America will be able to enjoy live broadcast coverage of the Molson Canadian 2012 NHL Winter Classic® Alumni Game when Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers legends meet outdoors at Citizens Bank Park in Philadelphia on Saturday, Dec. 31 at 1 p.m., ET. A reunion of celebrated names in the proud histories of both franchises, the game will be broadcast live on VERSUS in the United States; CBC in Canada and Comcast SportsNet Philadelphia in the Philadelphia area. MSG Network will show the game on a tape delay in the New York area at 4 p.m. E.T p.m.

In partnership between the NHL® and its broadcast partners, there will be one broadcast, using talent across all networks. CSN Philadelphia's Jim Jackson will handle the play-by-play, CBC contributor and NHL Network's Kevin Weekes will serve as analyst and MSG's Al Trautwig will report on the Rangers' bench while CSN Philadelphia's Steve Coates will handle the Flyers'.  

NHL Network will provide a comprehensive look of the event post-game across the U.S. and Canada with its Molson Canadian 2012 NHL Winter Classic® Alumni Game Recap show from 3:30 p.m. – 5 p.m. ET. 

Creativity went a long way in solving rink-build issue

Adam Kimelman - NHL.com Deputy Managing Editor

PHILADELPHIA -- Each of the venues that have held an outdoor game -- Winter Classic or Heritage Classic -- has supplied its share of unique obstacles that had to be overcome.

Citizens Bank Park, home of the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, is no different.

NHL Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig has been able to conquer all those previous obstacles, some of which he had seen variations of during his long career. But one aspect of this year's rink build was a new one even for him.

Hockey paves way for Watkins football glory

Tal Pinchevsky - NHL.com Staff Writer

The road to the NFL is generally a pretty standard path.

Start as a child with Pop Warner before graduating to glory with high school and college teams. Then, if you are extremely good and extremely lucky, you may just get to play on Sundays in the NFL before millions of fans.

Danny Watkins, however, was so far off the path that a road map couldn't even put him in the general direction of football glory.

So, how did Watkins, from Kelowna B.C., end up as an interior lineman for the Philadelphia Eagles despite not even playing in a competitive game until he was 22?

He had hockey to help with the navigation, of course. 

Flyers and Rangers set for Friday showdown

Dave Lozo - NHL.com Staff Writer

NEW YORK -- It could be easy for an NHL team to lose focus heading into its final game before a two-day holiday break. Brandon Dubinsky of the New York Rangers doesn't foresee that being a problem against the Philadelphia Flyers on Friday night.

"I don't think anybody has Christmas on their mind," Dubinsky said following the Rangers' 4-1 win against the Islanders on Thursday night. "I haven't even finished my shopping yet, and I don't plan to until that game's over."

Girardi becoming household name in NHL circles

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

Exactly how much did John Tortorella know about defenseman Dan Girardi when he was hired to coach the Rangers nearly three years ago?

"I called him Joe Girardi for about three weeks, no lie," Tortorella said, referencing the current manager of the New York Yankees. "I didn't know his name. I didn't know who the heck he was."

Tortorella eventually learned Girardi's first name, and soon after he realized how important the defenseman is to the New York Rangers. This season, the hockey world is getting the same introduction.

Girardi's steady progress from an undrafted free agent to a minute-munching blueliner has been praised within the Rangers' walls since Tom Renney was the coach. But now that he's wearing an "A" on his sweater due to Marc Staal's season-long injury and playing an almost flawless 27 and a half minutes per game, his days of flying under the radar on the big team in the big city are over.

Classic growth a reflection of investment by NBC, NHL

Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer

The National Hockey League and NBC expect the growth of the League's marquee regular-season event to never be more evident than it will be both inside and outside Citizens Bank Park and in homes across the United States during New Year's weekend.

The Molson Canadian 2012 NHL Winter Classic Alumni Game on Dec. 31, as well as the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Rangers and Flyers on Jan. 2 are both sold out. For fans at home, the alumni game will be shown on Versus and the actual Winter Classic game will be on NBC. Both are scheduled for 1 p.m. ET.
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