Dallas Stars forward Blake Comeau is keeping his own blog throughout the 2020 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic between the Stars and the Nashville Predators, held in Dallas, at Cotton Bowl Stadium on Wednesday (2 p.m. ET; NBC, SN, TVAS).
In his first entry, Comeau talks about the Stars' practice session and family skate at Cotton Bowl Stadium. He also talks about his previous outdoor experience, the 2016 Stadium Series between the Colorado Avalanche and the Detroit Red Wings at Coors Field. Comeau was a member of the Avalanche for that game.
By Blake Comeau
Special to NHL.com
This, honestly, is just a great experience to be a part of. What I love most about it, I feel like it's all inclusive with the families and they get to enjoy the experience with you. You know, my kids are a little bit older now from when I did my first outdoor game, so they got to enjoy it more. I have three kids. Zoie is the oldest, at 6. Finley is in the middle and she is almost 4 and Rowan is a year old. They're out there on their skates, tooling around. My mom and dad and my sister and her husband are down as well, and they get to experience what this is about.
Plus, the Cotton Bowl is such a cool spot. There is so much history here. I've learned about some of the history since I started playing here, but you know that a ton of big games have been played at this stadium and now we get to play here and create our own history.
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We are going to be able to play in front of our home fans and it should be an incredible atmosphere.
It's just a great game that the NHL puts on and the guys that get the play in it should feel very fortunate. I know I feel fortunate to have the opportunity to do this. It will be a game I will never forget.
Video: Making the 2020 Winter Classic at Cotton Bowl Stadium
I bring my kids to the Texas State Fair here every year and it is right next door to the Cotton Bowl. So it's definitely a different feel to be playing hockey here after coming to the fair in the past. But even just walking down the long tunnel from the dressing room to the playing field, you kind of get goosebumps and a little bit of adrenaline going -- even just on the practice day. It will be cool to be in here with the rides from the state fair midway all open and the people enjoying that part of the experience before and after the game.
Basically, they are going to have a mini state fair along with the hockey game. It's just a great venue to have it at.
I'm excited for tomorrow when there will be 80,000 fans in the stands, and you get to walk down in front of the crowd and play in front of your family. It's going to be an awesome time.
I know most guys are going to have the goosebumps and the adrenaline will be going when they walk down onto the field tomorrow afternoon, I know I felt that when I walked out at Coors Field. With the long walk to the ice and the bowl shape of the stadium and the fans making all that noise, it's probably going to be ramped up even more.
When I played the one in Colorado, all the stuff that went on before the game or during the intermissions had you caught up a little in the moment, but once the puck is dropped you just were so focused on the game that you didn't really notice anything else.
We can't afford to be distracted against Nashville. There's not much of a difference between us in the Central Division right now. We only have a six-point lead on them for third place. They are a big divisional rival, especially after we played each other in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs last season. I'm sure they'll want to try to chase us down in the standings and we want to try to add a little cushion, so we have to make sure that we're channeling our emotions and everything in the right direction and make sure that we're ready to go.
This game will be a bit different than the one at Coors Field. That game was at night if you remember. It was beautiful, I think it was like 65 degrees or so at the start of the game and then the wind started to pick up and the fake snow on the field started to fly around. It was wild. So I think it'll be a little different playing during the day, but it is hard to tell though. I felt like when we played at night, you didn't have to deal with the sun so I'm not really sure how that's going to affect things. I think the weather is calling for clouds tomorrow, so that should be good. We'll see how it goes.
I think at the end of the day, when you play at 1 p.m., or you play at night, it's kind of the same thing. We've had one o'clock games throughout the season, so we are used to it. It doesn't matter. I can't wait for tomorrow.