Montreal Canadiens forward Brian Flynn gives his perspective on playing in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, a 5-1 victory Friday.
FOXBOROUGH, Mass. -- We just wanted to win the game.
And since we did that, I can fully appreciate the experience of playing in the Winter Classic.
I was really happy to have a lot of my family and friends here who helped me get here, especially my parents Christine and Michael.
Your parents are the biggest part of why you make it here. It's a lot of early practices, traveling, the cost to play hockey growing up, it's one of the most expensive sports to play. In terms of the time and financially, it's a huge commitment. So it was great to be able to experience this game with them.
There's been a lot of build-up and anticipation leading up to this game, and it definitely lived up to it. It's tough to prepare for. It's an incredible experience, but you don't really know how you're going to react once you walk up through that tunnel and see the fans.
It kind of makes you feel like a little kid again.
This was just an amazing opportunity. I feel pretty fortunate, and I'm especially happy that we won. It just makes things that much better and you can enjoy it a lot more instead of having that sour feeling in the back of your mind even though it was a great experience.
It's tough to describe when you get out there; at the whistles you're just looking up and taking it all in. There's a lot of people there.
But all that aside, winning was the most important thing. And it's a big win for us.
We approached it like a normal game once we got to the rink. It just takes a little bit longer to walk out to the ice and back. But we started the game strong and kind of took the crowd out of it early, which was big.
I had the feeling the tough month we just went through wouldn't carry over to this game because it's such a unique situation, and it didn't. It was nice to score five goals; that's where we've been struggling recently. In the month of December we just weren't scoring. So maybe that will get our confidence up a little bit.
Now we'll see if this can spark us.