The 2015 Winter Classic competitors have been finalized. The Washington Capitals will face the Chicago Blackhawks on New Year’s Day 2015. Though the location hasn’t been finalized quite yet, the Capitals will play as host. Nationals Park will likely be the location, but the NHL hasn’t made an official announcement.
The Capitals will be playing in their second Winter Classic after taking on the Penguins outdoors in 2011. The Blackhawks hosted the Winter Classic in 2009 at Wrigley Field against the Detroit Red Wings. This will actually be the third outdoor game for the Blackhawks as they faced the Penguins in the elements during the 2013-14 Stadium Series.
Fans wanting new teams in the Winter Classic aren’t going to be happy. Considering the Classic has only been around since 2008, it’s kind of silly that the two teams competing in 2015 are two organizations which have already played in the league’s prized outdoor game. The Capitals will be playing in their second Classic in four years. The Stadium Series has helped spread the wealth, but the NHL has been giving plenty of teams the cold shoulder (bad outdoor pun) when it comes to competing in the Classic.
Aside from selecting the same teams over and over again, it’s interesting seeing the league pick two teams which aren’t rivals. The league will have to abandon their usual “Watch two rivals in the elements” marketing angle for a game which features two very distant clubs.
If you’re keeping score at home, visiting teams have thrived during the Winter Classic. The home team has just one win in six chances. Will Washington change that?
(H/T Washington Post)