Just because Peter Laviolette
has already experienced the spectacle that has become the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, don't think for a second he considers having the perfect recipe for success.
Laviolette, whose team dropped a 2-1 overtime decision to the Boston Bruins
in the 2010 Classic at Fenway Park, does feel that each player needs to enjoy the experience since, for some, it will be a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity.
"I think the Winter Classic presents itself a little differently than the Stanley Cup Final," Laviolette told NHL.com. "It's a tremendous event and there's always a focus
that goes into winning hockey games so that can't be lost in it. But you also need to enjoy it. It's not very often you get to play outside in front of 40,000 or 50,000
fans and those opportunities are rare. The day will be terrific and the days leading up to it. It's nice that family members get to be a part of something like this do, so the players will really enjoy it from both sides so the game.
"I don't think you'll have to worry about the game being competitive, but the thing is, you want to make sure you enjoy the event too."
Rangers coach John Tortorella can't wait to play hockey where the Phillies play baseball.
"I'm a huge baseball fan and I've run around this ballpark but never have been inside," Tortorella said. "There may even be some World Series' games here. I asked some people where the rink would be placed and they said they always put it behind the pitchers' mound because they don't want to take the mound out. I can't really envision it right now but to have this park packed … it'll be exciting for us all."