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Expectations High As Flyers and Bruins Get Set for Winter Classic (Live Now)

Mark RitterSenior Writer IJanuary 1, 2010

BOSTON - DECEMBER 31:  The Philadelphia Flyers pose for a team picture before practice for the Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic on December 31, 2009 at Fenway Park in Boston, Massachusetts.  (Photo by Elsa/Getty Images)
Elsa/Getty Images

Written By: Mark “The Hard Hitter” Ritter

The streets are electric outside Fenway Park this morning. The noise is familiar, but the jerseys being worn by the boisterous crowd are not.

Boston Bruin and Philadelphia Flyers fans are playfully taunting each other, the mood is generally light hearted and, to their credit, the fans are having fun with the Winter Classic.

For the lucky few that have tickets for today’s event, they are sure to experience a unique event, one that should see both the Bruins and Flyers put on a show.

The weather outside is right around freezing; not ideal, but better then the rain forecast a few days earlier. The warm temperatures should create a slow ice surface for the players, but with all the adrenaline running through the players' veins, they should be able to overcome the elements.

NHL facilities Operations Manager Dan Craig said of the conditions, "Awesome! The good Lord couldn’t have done better for this right now." As for the temperature of the ice, Craig responded, "Right on target-within tenths of a degree of the target, which is 24 degrees. We’re right where we want to be."

Not to be lost in all the hoopla is the fact that today’s game, while an incredible event, still counts in the standings. The players, coaches, and general managers have not lost sight of the fact that there are two points at stake.

Given the parody of the league, both clubs understand the importance of today’s two points, especially given the fact that both the Bruins and Flyers are Eastern Conference rivals.

Both the Flyers, who have won four straight, and the Bruins, who are 5-3-2 in their past 10, are hoping to use their momentum to gut out a win today. The Bruins seemingly have all the pressure on them as the crowd is bound to be filled with Bruins fans.

That said, the Flyers will have their own jitters to deal with, as every game going forward for them is essential to them securing a playoff spot, of which the Flyers sit six points out.

Coverage of the game will commence at 1:00 p.m., but numerous ceremonies are expected to delay the drop of the puck until about 1:15 p.m.

Check back with me later as I will be giving a full recount of the days events and, of course, some postgame comments from the players.

Until next time,

Peace!

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