By Christopher Decker (@HockeyGuy_Chris)
Photo Courtesy of Getty Images
It was cold; it was intense; and it lived up to its hype.
The 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic was one that many will most likely never forget.
After the initial 1 p.m. start time was pushed back to 3 p.m. due to weather conditions, there were concerns that the ice wouldn’t be up to par. But let’s face it; the ice is really never up to par when playing an outdoor game – that’s just the way the cookie crumbles.
When game time arrived, you couldn’t have asked for operations personnel to have done a better job with every aspect of the rink.
But even before the game started, excitement began to build. A press conference announced the return of Ranger all-star defenseman Marc Staal, who had been sidelined all year with post-concussion symptoms. The team and the fan base received a jolt of excitement and joy at hearing this news. What a stage for Staal to step on the ice for the first time this year.