Originally written on The Rangers Tribune  |  Last updated 10/22/14

GLENDALE, AZ - JANUARY 30: Head coach John Tortorella of the New York Rangers during the NHL game against the Phoenix Coyotes at Jobing.com Arena on January 30, 2010 in Glendale, Arizona. The Coyotes defeated the Rangers 3-2. (Photo by Christian Petersen/Getty Images)
PHILADELPHIA -- The hype leading up to this year's Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic at Citizens Bank Park has been unbelievable. The attention the New York Rangers and Philadelphia Flyers have received has been Stanley Cup-like, as the entire hockey world, as well as the outside sporting world, prepares for what has become an annual main event to bring in the new year. Head coach John Tortorella has done his best to keep his team out from under the microscope despite the HBO cameras following their every move and the additional media now suddenly crowding their stalls in the locker room. So far, considering how the team has performed to this point, he's done an excellent job of that. However, like the coach admitted in his meeting with the media on Sunday, the hoopla surrounding his team and today's outdoor game is like no other his boys have ever faced before. He believes his team will not be distracted, but there must be some concern that the atmosphere may take over and veer the team in the wrong direction. That being said, the Rangers caught a slight break on Sunday when a sudden goaltending controversy emerged on the Flyers end of things. As you should know by now, normal starter Ilya Bryzgalov went against team policy by announcing to the media that he would not be getting the start in today's Winter Classic, and then followed that up with a string of outlandish comments expressing his "feelings" on the decision. In a way, Bryzgalov made the entire scenario into a joke of sorts, especially when he later tweeted a picture of his now infamous thermos. This side-story quickly became the talk of the hockey world and turned the attention to the Flyers locker room, alleviating the Rangers of all the extra eyes at least for the time being. The Rangers, meanwhile, took the ice yesterday afternoon for a very business-like practice in which those on hand reported coach Tortorella put the players through as in-depth of a practice as he normally would if the team were preparing for a normal game at their practice facility. The players went about their business, Tortorella was short and sweet in his post-practice meeting with the media, simply stating that his team's lineup would remain unchanged for today, and they then packed it up and left the stadium to gather for Sunday evening's team meal. Peter Laviolette's club, on the other hand, held a much less serious practice in which the players were sort of soaking in the experience (even though many of them have went through it before), and then Laviolette was faced with question upon question about the goaltending controversy that had been created behind closed doors in the morning. Compared to the Rangers' day, the Flyers' was not routine, normal or as straightforward as they maybe had hoped it would be. For this reason, the Rangers have sort of flew under the radar here in Philadelphia, while the Flyers are entering this afternoon's contest with a whirlwind of negative attention already surrounding them. The Blueshirts will obviously welcome any advantage that is presented to them with open arms, and in my mind, what went on with the Flyers yesterday most definitely favors the Rangers and their mindset going into the big game. * Yesterday during the Rangers practice, back-up goaltender Marty Biron wore a small camera atop his mask while on the ice. NHL.com put together a quick collection of clips from Marty's perspective during practice:   * Hit the streets of Philadelphia last night (quickly learned why it is so often considered "Filthy" Philly), and apparently picked the right place for dinner. Upon the many members of the hockey world who showed up at the downtown steakhouse for a bite were Ranger legend Adam Graves, Ed Olczyk, Ruslan Fedotenko, and there at the table beside me was today's starting goalie for the Flyers, Sergei Bobrovsky. "Bob" showed up by himself, had a very quiet dinner by himself and, I'm not going to lie, looked to be a little nervous. At one point he made a phone call in which he had a concerned tone of voice. I'd tell you what he was saying, but unfortunately I cannot decode Russian. Just a tidbit I thought was worth sharing. Check my Twitter for pictures and more.
MORE FROM YARDBARKER

Seahawks players think Russell Wilson isn’t "black enough"

Bill Belichick sent Darrelle Revis home yesterday as punishment

Report: Texas to pay scholarship athletes $10K per year

Report: Widespread academic fraud occurred at North Carolina

NHL postpones Senators/Leafs game after Ottawa shootings

Lions send player home from London after cutting him

LIKE WHAT YOU SEE?
GET THE DAILY NEWSLETTER:

Brandon Marshall on Jay Cutler: We're like brothers

NBA Board of Governors votes against NBA draft lottery reform

Jamaal Charles admits he hid concussion symptoms

Kobe Bryant on ESPN article: ‘I just kind of roll with it’

Georgia releases statement about Todd Gurley's status

Michigan QB talks about racist messages he receives

Porn star: No one parties harder than Sebastian Janikowski

Outrageous college football predictions: Week 9

World Series Game 2 Preview: Giants vs. Royals

Michigan St. fans troll Michigan campus, paint 'M' green

NFL MVP Watch Week 8: Is Manning still the King?

Fan blows $300 buying hot dogs for his section at World Series

Mo’ne Davis' Chevy commercial won't affect amateur status

WATCH: Isaiah Thomas forces OT, stares down Mayweather

10 bold predictions for Week 8 of NFL season

WATCH: Arkansas St. RB scores improbable touchdown

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1 loss at World Series

Matt Flynn had a blast at Pearl Jam concert

NHL News
Delivered to your inbox
You'll also receive Yardbarker's daily Top 10, featuring the best sports stories from around the web. Customize your newsletter to get articles on your favorite sports and teams. And the best part? It's free!

The San Francisco Giants are zombies

10 bold predictions for NFL Week 8

Pitcher's wife leaves generous tip

Nicklaus defends Jameis Winston

NFL players who could be traded by the deadline

Royals fans sleeping during Game 1

Rice files grievance against Ravens

UEFA Champions League midway report

Cowboys release Michael Sam

Bayless: Kobe's sexual assault trial gave him 'edge'

10 teams that should try to trade for Yoenis Cespedes

Five storylines to watch in the 2014 World Series

Today's Best Stuff
For Bloggers

Join the Yardbarker Network for more promotion, traffic, and money.

Company Info
Help
What is Yardbarker?

Yardbarker is the largest network of sports blogs and pro athlete blogs on the web. This site is the hub of the Yardbarker Network, where our editors and algorithms curate the best sports content from our network and beyond.