Montreal Canadiens forward Brian Flynn gives his perspective on playing in the 2016 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
I grew up 40 minutes away from here, so playing in the Winter Classic in this stadium is extra special to me.
I'm a huge New England Patriots fan, I think all the guys know that. Ever since Tom Brady took over they've always won, and I know how big the franchise is not only for the Boston area, but all of New England. I try to go to a preseason game in the summer every year before I have to start the season, because I obviously can't go to a regular-season game.
I know how important the franchise is, so for me to get out there and kind of look up and see the stands and everything, to see what those guys see, is pretty cool.
I obviously had a lot of family and friends who wanted to come, but we were given four tickets and then we could purchase 10, so I got 14 tickets. My immediate family, my wife Alyssa's immediate family and a couple of cousins got the tickets, then everyone else kind of had to fend for themselves. Alyssa's from Rhode Island, so she's a Patriots fan also.
We've had a bit of a tough stretch coming into the game, but in a lot of ways the Winter Classic couldn't come at a better time. There's a lot of enthusiasm around the rink; the guys are excited for this one. I think the successes and failures leading up to this point kind of go out the window. Guys are just bringing a lot of energy to this game.
It's a game where you have to play very simple; just throw everything at the net, crash the net and usually it's a tight, low-scoring game and hopefully you get a bounce.
I think it could help us a lot. It's a big game, and when you win those big games – especially against the Bruins – it could spark the guys to get a little confidence and hopefully you can start stringing some wins together.
As much as I would love to score a goal in this stadium, you don't go into games thinking that. You're just trying to get a win. Your friends and family are there, and they're invested almost as much as you are in the team. So you just want to walk out of here with two points.