Hockey is a sport about traditions, and episode three of Road to the NHL Winter Classic ( aka: Road to the NHL Outdoor Classic) introduces us to the rituals of the season on and off the ice, in Russian and Swedish, and from the streets of New York to the ski slopes of Vail. Both the Washington Capitals and Chicago Blackhawks enter the Christmas break looking to shrug off emotional losses on the ice by re-connecting with family and friends away from the ice, and re-emerge refreshed and refocused, resulting in wins for both teams as they prepare for the January 1 matchup at Nationals Park.
Runtime: 60 minutes
Road to the NHL Winter Classic - NHL Winter Classic - Netflix
The NHL Winter Classic is one of the three series of regular season outdoor games played in the National Hockey League (NHL), and is distinct from the league's other two series, the NHL Heritage Classic and the NHL Stadium Series. The Winter Classic is annually held on or around New Year's Day, generally in a football or baseball stadium, in an area with a resident NHL team. The first Winter Classic was held in 2008 at the venue then known as Ralph Wilson Stadium (now New Era Field) in Orchard Park, New York, between the Buffalo Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins. A total of ten have been held. The most recent game was played during 2017–18 season at Citi Field, in Queens, New York on January 1, 2018 between the New York Rangers and Buffalo Sabres. The Rangers won 3-2 in overtime. After the success of the Cold War at Michigan State University in 2001 and the 2003 Heritage Classic, the NHL's first regular season outdoor game, the league inaugurated the Winter Classic in 2008. It eventually caught on as an annual tradition for the league, suspending only in 2013 due to 2012–13 NHL lockout. The 2014 game between the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings set a new NHL attendance record of 105,491. The Winter Classic has been contested only in the United States, while the Heritage Classic has been held exclusively in Canada. The Winter Classic featured only American teams for its first five games, until the Maple Leafs' appearance in 2014. Along with the NHL All-Star Game, the Winter Classic is considered one of the NHL's premier events; with matchups generally booked to showcase the league's most popular teams and players, the event garners the league its highest attendance and among its highest television ratings. The event is typically promoted as a return to the sport's outdoor roots, meant to evoke memories of pond hockey. Its popularity has led to the scheduling of additional outdoor hockey games, both in the NHL and other leagues worldwide. In May 2014, the SportsBusiness Journal and SportsBusiness Daily named the Winter Classic its “Sports Event of the Year,” the second time in five years the Classic has won that distinction.
Road to the NHL Winter Classic - 2014 game - Netflix
The 2014 Winter Classic between the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs had an NHL-record paid attendance of 105,491, and a television viewership in the U.S. and Canada of 8.2 million television viewers, a North American record for a regular season game. Sportsnet's Chris Johnston said, “The feeling when the players walked into the 87-year-old stadium in front of more than 100,000 fans was truly something special. The biggest and best Winter Classic of them all lived up to its advanced billing.” The game went down to the wire, ending in a 3-2 Toronto victory in a shootout.
Road to the NHL Winter Classic - References - Netflix