Sunday, December 31, 2017

2018 Winter Classic Preview

It's that time again!  It's time to ring in the New Year and nurse our hangovers with an outdoor NHL game on the television.  Yes, the Winter Classic is back on January 1st and will go tomorrow afternoon at Citi Field in New York, with the Rangers taking on the Sabres.

These games haven't exactly been the goal scoring feasts that us poolies would have ever hoped for, as teams find one way or another to tighten up defensively, trying to limit their mistakes on the outdoor ice or in the less-than-controlled conditions, but still, it's a marvel to watch from time-to-time.

These two teams line-up rather lopsided to the visitors in pretty well every fashion.  The Rangers hold a playoff spot, while the Sabres are last in the Eastern Conference heading into this game.  The players divvied out in the hockey pool are very heavily weighted towards the Rangers, as you can clearly see below.

New York Buffalo
Benson Rasmus Ristolainen
Brian Mika Zibanejad
Henrik Lundqvist
Cam Mats Zuccarello
Dale C. Ryan McDonagh
Wilton Zach Bogosian
Eric Nick Holden Evander Kane
Jeremy Chris Kreider
Kristy & Don Jason Pominville
Robin Lehner
Mike Kevin Hayes
Brady Skjei
Scott Rich Nash
Stacey C. Pavel Buchnevich
Stacey M. J.T. Miller
Steve Michael Grabner
Tony Sam Reinhart
Troy Kevin Shattenkirk
Wes Jack Eichel
Ryan O'Reilly
Kyle Okposo
Marco Scandella

Of course, if this was a mini-game, we would all be chasing down Tony's team, which leads after the NHL100 Classic with 4 points and he does have representation in this game, in the form of Sam Reinhart of the Sabres.

Wes bought heavily into the Sabres as well and he leads all teams in the pool with four players likely to play in this game.  He had a player playing in Ottawa in the first outdoor game of the season, but didn't come away with any points, so his team would start 4 points back and in need of a big game from the home side.

Three other pool teams had points in Ottawa, but two of those teams don't have any representation in tomorrow's game, only Stacey C., who has Rangers forward Pavel Buchnevich.

There is also two goalies, and the likely starters, taken in the pool, with Henrik Lundqvist probably taking on Robin Lehner, which actually is a top 10 match-up between Brian's free falling team against Kristy & Don, who remain entrenched in the money conversation. 

There's plenty going on in this game, pool-wise... it's a shame there is no money on it.

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