Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 12/29/10 at 02:33 PM ET
via the NHL,
Firmly established as a New Year’s Day tradition among fans, the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic will mark the fourth consecutive season the NHL has played a regular-season outdoor game on New Year’s Day. The Buffalo Sabres hosted the Pittsburgh Penguins at Ralph Wilson Stadium on New Year’s Day 2008, the Chicago Blackhawks hosted the Detroit Red Wings at Wrigley Field on New Year’s Day 2009 and the Boston Bruins hosted the Philadelphia Flyers at Fenway Park on New Year’s Day 2010.
Two of the NHL’s biggest stars, Sidney Crosby and Alex Ovechkin, bring their rivalry to the big stage of the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic. Their rivalry has blossomed into one of the most intriguing individual matchups in all of sports. Both No. 1 overall draft choices (Ovechkin 2004 and Crosby 2005), the superstars have been linked since they entered the League at the same time at the beginning of the 2005-06 NHL season.
Below is a look at the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic “By the Numbers”:
0 Commercial time available on NBC’s NHL Winter Classic broadcast
1 Cable cam will be utilized in NBC’s coverage, a first for an NHL game
3D The NHL Winter Classic will be broadcast in 3D worldwide
4 Webisodes Geico will create from the “Caveman’s” appearance at the NHL Winter Classic Spectator Plaza fan festival
5 Year extension of its NHL deal signed by Bridgestone, title sponsor of the Winter Classic
17 Hours of NHL Network live coverage of NHL Winter Classic activities
20 Percentage sponsorship revenue increase over last year’s NHL Winter Classic
22 Million dollars of economic impact to the city of Pittsburgh, according to VisitPittsburgh
25 Game scoring streak by Sidney Crosby. This is longest streak in the NHL since Quebec’s Mats Sundin had a point in 30 straight games during the 1992-93 season.
31 Percentage increase in traffic to NHL.com last year over 2009 Classic
37 Commercial spots have been bought by NHL sponsors on NBC’s broadcast, up from 28 last year
38 The rink build at Heinz Field began Dec. 23, 38 years to the day of the “Immaculate Reception” by Franco Harris in the 1972 Steelers-Oakland Raiders AFC Championship Game
53 Length, in feet, of the world’s largest mobile rink refrigeration unit, specially built for the NHL Winter Classic
66 Number worn by NHL legend Mario Lemieux, playing in the Dec. 31 alumni game at Heinz Field
76 Broadcast cameras (all networks) will capture all the NHL Winter Classic action at Heinz Field including a cable cam and an airplane cam
300 Ton capacity of refrigeration trailer that will keep the ice cool at Heinz Field
350 Gallons of paint to make Heinz Field ice white
498 Combined career goals scored by Alex Ovechkin (283) and Sidney Crosby (215) in 844 career games
571 Points accumulated by both Alex Ovechkin and Sidney Crosby individually in career regular-season NHL games
2003 The Heritage Classic is played in Edmonton between the Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens, the first NHL outdoor game in history
2008 The first NHL Winter Classic is played in Buffalo between the Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins, with Sidney Crosby netting the game-winner in a shootout
3,000 Gallons of coolant used to freeze the Heinz Field rink
5,000 Square foot temporary Winter Classic store created by Dick’s Sporting Goods in Pittsburgh leading into the event
10,000 Gallons of water needed to create a one-inch deep ice surface on Heinz Field
30,000 Fans from the Washington D.C. area are scheduled to make the trip to Pittsburgh for the NHL Winter Classic
38,000 NHL Winter Classic jerseys sold thus far
68,000 Approximate number of fans will attend the NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field (subject to change)
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
From breaking news to in-depth stories around the league, KK Hockey is updated with fresh stories all day long and will bring you the latest news as quickly as possible.
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