Bruins Bulldoze Through Flyers at the Lake Tahoe Winter Classic: Remain First Place in the East

The shorthanded Philadelphia Flyers fell way short against the Boston Bruins in a very lopsided, but entertaining game with a 7-3 final score in favor of the Bruins. Efforts from James van Riemsdyk and Sean Couturier, who had three points and two points, respectively, were not enough to mask the incredible game offensively by the Bruins. David Pastrnak led the way for Boston with a three-goal performance for the second time against the Orange and Black this season, along with four shots on goal. The puck was shot around very well by the Bruins which resulted in 35 shots on goal. Unfortunately for the Flyers, this game was already at a disadvantage due to the COVID-19 protocol that the team was forced to go through. Six of the Flyers’ key players were not allowed to travel with the team to the game, meaning that many new players had to see the ice for Philadelphia. Carter Hart, the Flyers starting goaltender, was pulled after allowing 6 goals on only 23 shots in the first two periods of the game. The Flyers only shot 19 total shots on goal during the game, a significantly low performance for the heavily offensive team. 

Aidan Crozier, a local Flyers fan, explained his love for the Flyers along with the Winter Classic game and stated, “I have been a fan of the Flyers for as long as I can remember. The recent Flyers-Bruins game was a big disappointment at least from the point of a Flyers fan since they lost 3-7.” He then went on to discuss how the COVID-19 protocol affected the game and explained that he believes “the team underperformed however they were missing six skilled players (Claude Giroux, Justin Braun Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, and Jake Voracek) which definitely contributed to the loss. The Flyers fan base is proven to range from all different demographics as well. Sabrina Bates, a teacher at Pennridge High School, grew up in the Philadelphia suburbs which aided in her being a fan of all Philly sports teams. Bates did not watch the game, but did listen to the highlights the morning after, and explained that she was glad she did not watch the game because, “it sounded like a hot darn mess.” Although the game had a lot of disappointments to Flyers fans, one highlight that stood out to Aidan Crozier was, “Joel Farbee’s goal which tied the Bruins and Flyers 1-1 towards the end of the first period. His goal stood out because he was able to get a shot off while falling that went right in between the Bruins goalie’s legs.”

The Winter Classic is an annual outdoor NHL ice hockey game that is one of the only outdoor NHL games during the entire season. The games are usually held around New Year’s Day and often are played in either a baseball or football stadium. This year’s Winter Classic was very special because it was held at Lake Tahoe and was played on February 21. The view from the rink was immaculate and anyone who watched the game was amazed by the scenery. The Winter Classic tends to be between the most popular teams/players of the current season in hopes of getting the highest possible viewership. The event garners the league with its highest attendance and television rating of any game of the season. Although the Winter Classic has been very popular every year, it has not been around for too long. The first-ever Winter Classic was on New Year’s Day in 2008 between the Buffalo Sabres and the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium. This annual event came to be 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, in which the league then inaugurated the Winter Classic in 2008. The event is typically held as a promotion to return to the sport’s outdoor roots and is meant to evoke memories of pond hockey.