Winter Classic GameThread: Chicago Blackhawks vs. Washington Capitals
LBC's Live Discussion and Commentary Forum: outdoor style
The Washington Capitals host the Chicago Blackhawks in the NHL's seventh annual holiday outdoor showcase at Nationals Park today at 1 p.m. There is a possibility the start could be delayed due to glare issues as it is expected by a sunny day in the nation's capital.
Corey Crawford is the confirmed starter for Chicago and Braden Holtby is expected to get the nod for the home side.
The clubs met earlier this season with the Capitals taking a 3-2 decision on November 7, at the United Center. The Blackhawks led by two before Washington ran off three straight goals in the second period with Joel Ward bagging the eventual game-winner. Holtby made 38 saves to post the win.
Chicago enters the game with a 25-10-2 record, which puts them on top of the tough Central Division, just a point ahead of the surprising Nashville Predators. The Blackhawks went a scorching 10-2-1 during the month of December.
The Capitals sport an 18-11-7 record (6-1-3 in last 10) and their 43 points currently have them holding the Eastern Conference's second wild card, just one point better than the Boston Bruins and two ahead of our Florida Panthers. At the conclusion of today's game the Caps will have two games in hand on the Cats, so a Chicago win in regulation is the best of all possible outcomes.
For more in-depth information on the two combatants, visit LBC's sister sites for each: Japers' Rink (Capitals) and Second City Hockey (Blackhawks). Becca from Japers' has a nice piece on the game you can check out here.
The SBN mothership has lots more that you can access by clicking here.
Enjoy the game and your day folks, Happy New Year!!!