I've covered a lot of sporting events in my three-plus years here in Philadelphia. This might be the most exciting and highly-anticipated one to date.
We're live here at the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic, which pits the New York Rangers against the hometown Flyers at the Phillies' ballpark. Both teams have finished their warm-up skate and shootaround. Sergei Bobrovsky will start in net for the Flyers, as previously reported.
Here are a few facts and figures, courtesy of the NHL.
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POWER PLAY. Flyers boast 19.3 percent power play (eighth-best in NHL). Rangers are at 15.2 (21st)
TALE OF TWO PERIODS. Flyers own the first period, with a plus-7 goal differential, while the Rangers prefer the second, going plus-18.
BEEN HERE BEFORE. The Flyers have nine players with previous Winter Classic experience. New York has just two.
DIRTY THIRTY. Both teams are relatively young with 33 active players under 30 (Rangers: 17, Flyers: 16).
OK, The Roots are in the house and rocking it pregame right now, all adorned in orange Flyers sweaters. Patti LaBelle is scheduled to sing the National Anthem.
Phillies OF Shane Victorino is milling around the auxiliary press box and accepting interview requests. Not sure what kind of insight he'll provide on this hockey game. (Maybe he'll suit up for a line change ...). Oh yeah, and there is a Flyers hat on the Harry Kalas statue. And the first real "Let's Go Flyers" chant has just broken out.
That's it for now. We'll be back after the first period with an update.