For the second time in three seasons, Baltimore hosted a hockey a game. The ice might have sucked and the glass may have nearly injured one of the NHL’s star players, but dammit, professional hockey was played in Charm City.
Well, preseason professional hockey — and they had to play it in the Baltimore Arena, but other than that everything was awesome.
A tip of the cap to the Washington Capitals for making the trek to Charm City for the “Baltimore Hockey Classic.” I’m sure they’re trying to expand their reach to our city and maybe in return Baltimore hopes to lure a minor league franchise. Personally, I don’t see that happening unless they bulldoze our current arena and build something that Alex Ovechkin doesn’t refer to as “kind of dangerous” and “kind of scary.”
Yes, actual quotes from the Caps’ captain.
With four minutes remaining in the second period, Ovechkin made the softest contact against the glass a guy on skates can make only to watch it shatter. Russian Machine Never Breaks shared the GIF below.
Capitals beat writer Katie Carrera of the Washington Post reports that the ice was better this year than two seasons ago, but it still wasn’t up to NHL standards.
The Baltimore Arena was colder than it was two years ago and there weren’t any puddles forming lakes around the rink. But the ice quickly grew choppy and full of ruts each period, making caution a necessary focus for players.
Passes and shots, rolled and bounced unpredictably all over the rink. Perhaps the best example was when Mike Green was unable to stick handle down center ice during the shootout because the puck started bobbling the moment he tried to pull it back across.
“First five minutes [ice] is well but after it’s kind of, you can’t hold the puck you can’t shoot it and you’re afraid to go to the boards because it’s too dangerous out there,” Alex Ovechkin said. “I think in the third period, the end of the game we start to feel little better. It’s end of the game and you get into the game, you get good sweat and [you want to] win. But first couple periods it was hard to be out there because you know it’s kind of dangerous out there and you see what happen with the glass. It’s kind of scary.”
Washington lost in a shootout, but someone did throw a crab on the ice, which I have to admit is pretty cool.
As a Capitals fan living in Baltimore, I’m extremely grateful to see this event continue. Even if it doesn’t lead us to a minor league franchise (I don’t think it will) at least it will grow the Capitals fanbase and at the very least highlight our desparate need for a new arena.