Posts Tagged ‘Winter Classic’

My Winter Classic Story

So, the idea was to watch the Winter Classic.

Four of the bartenders where I’m a regular had tickets, but the manager and others were going to be there, so I had made plans to watch it with them, even bust out my Letang Winter Classic jersey (which I also wore to the Baby Pens/Bears game, so I’m figuring my jersey is cursed).  The game got moved to 8 p.m. and I didn’t think anything of it.

Well, since it was the holiday, the bar closed early.  I didn’t even think about that, figuring it would be open for the game and since it was a Saturday.

So a buddy and I pull into the parking lot to see the building dark and empty.  We swear and try to figure out where else to go.  We decide on Dingbats, which just opened a new location at Monroeville Mall, where Houlighan’s used to be.

We head there and to the bar, and there are maybe ten people in the whole place, if that.  Having never been inside, I didn’t know what to expect.  Aside from no customers, the place is barren.  Maybe it’s just a shock from Houlighan’s, but there is nothing on the walls, everything is stark.  There are some very nice leather chairs and couches, had we not been at the bar, I probably would have headed there.  And let me note, I had the mushrooms from the appetizer menu, and they are absolutely amazing.

Since they were so slow, the manager closed after the first period.  So once again, we had to figure out where to go.

Primanti’s!  It was packed, filled with Pens fans (and some very oblivious customers as well) and a great atmosphere.  As the end of the second period approached, most of the televisions were switched to the UFC fight, which they had purchased (I’ve been there before when they buy the fights, must be their thing).  But thankfully, once the intermission was complete, the sound switched back over the the last of the Winter Classic, else we would have gone for the hat trick and found a third place to go.

A few comments about the game:

  • Pensblog has, as always, an awesome write up, so make sure to check it out
  • Ummm, NBC?  Why did you go to the blimp cam during play?  Was someone asleep at the switcher?  Aerial shots are awesome while things get set up, going to commercial, etc.  Not during play.
  • The cameras were pretty crappy, but then again, Heinz Field is not set up for hockey.  That being said, from the second period on, it was better.
  • Disco Dan’s hat is awesome.
  • Yeah, the loss sucks, we’ll see how everything gets edited together for the last episode on Penguins Capitals 24/7.  I might pick up the series if they offer it as a DVD set.
  • The weather kind of sucked, but as Pensblog pointed out of course, it sucked for everyone, not just one team.  And I realize that meterology is not an exact science.  However, I’m pretty good at reading a radar map.  Not for hours and hours in the future, but for at least the next four hours, I can read a radar map and tell you what’s going to happen, usually within about five minutes (it’s kind of scary).  So when you’re standing outside and it’s raining, don’t tell us that it’s going to rain.  Tell us that it’s raining.
  • Most importantly, I hope this brought some more fans to the game.  I find football boring, so I don’t watch the Steelers (but will route for them), and baseball is boring as it is (unless you’re at a game with friends, then it’s fun).  Hockey is what I really like to watch, so if this gets more people energized about the sport, then good on the NHL.

Update: Added my comments about the whether, which I forgot to add earlier.

Road to the Winter Classic

HBO has been running “Penguins Capitals 24/7” and the three episodes have all been amazing.  I’m going to attempt to embed the third episode below (Yeah that didn’t work), if it doesn’t work, check it out here.  The music and editing throughout the series has been nothing short of amazing, and the last five minutes of this episode in particular features an awesome rendition of My Chemical Romance’s “Welcome to the Black Parade.”  Before you judge, it’s instrumental, and works very, very well.

Make sure to check it out, just not at work, as there is a lot of swearing.  The whole series has given a great look not only into the professional lives of the athletes and coaches, but also how they relax, and a fleeting glimpse into their personal lives as well.  It has been really nice to see both head coaches with their families, and members of both teams give back to the cities they live in.  Check it out, and enjoy the game tonight!

Update: The whole clip is good (it’s the last part of the third and latest episode), but skip ahead to 8:46 to catch the last segment that I referenced above, or in the youtube clip below, jump to 8:42


Winter Classic and public rink schedules

Festivities for the NHL Winter Classic begin today, here’s some highlights to enjoy the next week or so:

Friday, December 24

Public Skate at the community rink (parking lot between Heinz Field and State AE): 3-9 p.m.  Santa will be there between 4 and 6 p.m.

Saturday, December 25

Public Skate at the community rink: 12-9 p.m.

Sunday, December 26

PAHL Youth Hockey: 8:40 a.m. – 2:50 p.m.
Public Skate at the community rink: 7-8:20 p.m.

Monday, December 27

PAHL Youth Hockey and Hockey is for Everyone games: 9 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
Public Skate at the community rink: 3-4:20 p.m.
PIHL (High School) Hockey: 9:40-11:40 p.m.

Hockey Hall of Fame and Pittsburgh Penguins Trophy Display at the Carnegie Science Center and Sports Works (Through December 31, times vary)

Ice Carving Displays at North Shore Riverftont Park (Through December 30, dawn-dusk daily)

Brighton Heights Deck Hockey: 8 a.m.

Tuesday, December 28

Penguins vs. Thrashers: 7 p.m. at the Consol Energy Center

PAHL Youth Hockey: 12-1:20 p.m.
Public skate at the community rink: 3-4:20 and 6:30-7:50 p.m.
Pittsburgh Firefighters vs. Police: 8-9:20 p.m.
Pittsburgh Celebrity Game: 9:30-10:50 p.m.

Wednesday, December 29

Elite Tournaments: 1-5:30 p.m. at the Consol Energy Center

PAHL Youth Hockey: 7:30 a.m.-2:50 p.m.
Public Skate at the community rink: 3-4:20 and 6:30-7:50 p.m.
PIHL (High School) Hockey: 8 – 11:50 p.m.

Thursday, December 30

Riverftont Park: Installation of two life-sized ice sculptures: 2-5 p.m.

Robert Morris and The Baby Pens doubleheader at the Consol Energy Center: 3 p.m.

City of Pittsburgh Pep Rally: 12 p.m., Market Square

PAHL Youth Hockey: 8:30-9:50 a.m. and 8-11 p.m.
USA Hockey (Clinics): 10 a.m.-12:50 p.m.
Penguins Skating School: 1-2:45 p.m.
Public Skate at the community rink: 3-4:20 and 6:30-7:50 p.m.

Friday, December 31

Alumni Game at Heinz Field: 9:30-11 a.m.

Penguins open practice at Heinz Field (ticket from Alumni game required): 11:30 a.m.-12:30 p.m.

NHL Spectator Plaza (Art Rooney Way, outside Heinz Field): 8:30 a.m. – 5 p.m.

First Night Pittsburgh, Cultural District: 6 p.m.-midnight

The Art of Play Exhibit at the Warhol (time unknown, I’m guessing it will be presented all day and during the First Night festivities)

PAHL Youth Hockey: 8 a.m.-12:20 p.m.
Elite Tournament: 12:30-4:50 p.m.
Hockey is for Everyone Game: 5-6:20 p.m.
Public Skate at the community rink: 6:30-8, 8:10-9:30 and 9:40-midnight

Saturday, January 1

2011 NHL Winter Classic at Heinz Field: 1 p.m.

NHL Spectator Plaza (Art Rooney Way, outside Heinz Field): 9 a.m.-1 p.m.

Elite Tournament: 8-11 a.m.
PAHL Youth Hockey: 11:10 a.m. – 1 p.m.
Public Skating at the community rink: 4:10-5:40 and 6-7:30 p.m.
PAHL Youth Hockey: 9:10-11:10 p.m.

Sunday, January 2

PAHL Youth Hockey: 7:30-8:50 a.m. and 1:30-2:50 p.m.
Hockey if for Everyone Game: 9-10:20 a.m.
Elite Girls: 10:30-11:50 a.m.
PIHL (High School) Hockey: 12-1:20, 7-9 and 9:10-11:10 p.m.

Click here to get a 2 for 1 coupon from PNC for the public skating rink and click here for the fan guide to the Winter Classic (including fulls schedule and map).  Full details about each days events are available here.

Winter Classic banners go up

Winter Classic banners have gone up around town. Seen here, is one outside of the Steel Building.

PATransit Tuesday: Free Rides for Winter Classic

I meant to post this yesterday, but wasn’t able to, but it is exciting news!

Pepsi MAX is sponsoring free rides on the Port Authority January 1 in celebration of the NHL Winter Classic!  Rides on the entire system will be free from 4 a.m. January 1 through 2 a.m. January 2.

That is a normal day for the Port Authority, service begins at 4 in the morning, and runs until 2 the next morning.

PAT will be running on a holiday schedule, so not all routes will be up (specifically, don’t look for commuter buses), but if you take the T, make sure to go to Steel Plaza or the Wood Street station to get free Pepsi MAX between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m.  Special routes for the Winter Classic will be in service though, those schedules can be found here.

From where I stand. Or, What I’ve been thinking about during my summer (not-so) vacation

Summer is very hectic with work for me, and this summer has been no different.  But for now, here’s a quick recap of some of the things that have been bouncing around inside my head:

Laura revealed herself to be Secret Agent L.  Her missions continue, not only through her, but also her Affiliated Agents.

The East Busway is under construction, which makes a wicked detour from Penn Station.  My bus now goes through the Strip, which is fun, although messes me up in the afternoon, but I’m certainly dealing.  You know, since I still have a bus.  That won’t be a problem come September when my neighborhood loses service (boo park-n-rides).  But then again, come January, when the Port Authority explodes and simultaneously vomits all over itself while shooting its one remaining foot, things will just be great!

Well that was an interesting sentence.  Check out coverage over at That’s Church, Pittsburgh Magazine (same author), and of course, the hilarious and full-of-spin (because they have to) FAQ from the Port Authority [PDF].

I’ll be covering more about the Port Authority once work settles down, hopefully there will be some sort of resolution by then, but we’ll see.  Will this be the end of PATransit Tuesdays?  Probably not, but it will certainly evolve if I’m not riding the bus anymore!

I’m super excited about the Winter Classic.  I’m sure I won’t be able to afford tickets, which I’m looking at as a plus, that way I don’t have to deal with the traffic nightmare that it will be.  But I’m super excited that it’s here in Pittsburgh.  Also, as if we needed any more reasons to love Talbot:

“(Teammate Evgeni) Malkin knew Ovechkin and introduced me to him and the first impression wasn’t great. I’m not really gonna say what happened but I’m like, ‘OK, this guy is a real douche.'”

It was announced that there will be a public viewing area, so it’s nice to see Mario’s TV back, hopefully it will be not on the North Shore to save some traffic headaches.  Overall, I’m very excited, but it would have been cool to see it played in Beaver Stadium (even bigger than Heinz) and between us and the Flyers.  Or at PNC Park, much more picturesque.

Side note since we’re talking about the winter classic.  These little heat waves this summer have been rough.  That is all.

Table games opened up at Rivers!  I don’t know how to play any of them!  I’d still like to know what you have to do to get a drink at the bar there.  I did enjoy myself last year (went for my birthday), but that’s only because they had Star Wars slots.  Still need to check out the buffet one of these days too.

I finally saw “She’s Out of Your League.”  It is a really fun movie, I highly recommend it.  I loved being able to pick out all the locations around town.  And the ones I couldn’t, my buddy who I was watching it with was able to.

The days I work downtown, I walk past the Mellon Arena.  This last week I noticed the words are up on the Consol Center (I’m usually dodging traffic at that point in my walk, so I concentrate on that feat).  It will certainly be sad to see the Igloo go, and I really do think that we can’t save it, not to say we shouldn’t try, I just think we’re going to lose it, but it’s been wonderful watching the Consol Center slowly take shape.

Well this has been a fun stream of consciousness.  I’m sprinting towards the end of this summer schedule, so I’ll be back writing more regularly very soon.  Until then, I’ll try to pop in as much as I can, have a great one!

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