Sunday, September 21, 2014
Inquirer Daily News

The Winter Classic Curse

Visiting teams have used the Winter Classic as a springboard.

The Winter Classic Curse

For the fourth consecutive season, the team that hosted the NHL's Winter Classic (the Flyers) had a worse record after the big event than they had heading into the Classic.

It also is starting to look like the New York Rangers are going to be the fourth of the five Winter Classic visiting teams to reach the Stanley Cup Finals. (Only last year's Washington Capitals failed to do so.)

Those five home teams are just 24-24 in playoff games following their Winter Classic hosting. The visiting teams are breezing along at 56-31 going into Wednesday's Rangers-Devils game.

A quick pre- and post-Winter Classic recap:

HOME TEAMS
Year Team Before WC   Pct. From WC On   Pct. Playoffs 
2008   Sabres   19-16-  2 .541    20-15-10 .556     0-  0
2009 Blackhawks     20-  7-  7 .691   26-17-  5 .594   9-  8
2010 Bruins   20-12-  7 .603   19-18-  6 .512   7-  6
2011 Penguins   25-11-  3 .679   24-14-  5 .616   3-  4
2012 Flyers   22-10-  4 .667    25-16-  5  .598    5-  6 
  Totals 106-56-23 .635 114-80-31 .576 24-24
 
VISITING TEAMS
Year Team Before WC Pct. From WC On Pct. Playoffs
2008 Penguins   20-16-  2 .553   27-11-  6 .682 14-  6
2009 Red Wings   24-  7-  5 .736   27-14-  5 .641 15-  8
2010 Flyers   19-18-  2 .513   22-17-  4 .558 14-  9
2011 Capitals   22-12-  5 .603   26-11-  6 .674   4-  5
2012 Rangers   23-  9-  4 .693    28-15-  3 .641   9-  6
  Totals 108-62-18 .622 130-68-24 .640 56-31
Bob Vetrone Jr.
About this blog

Boop – who goes by Bob Vetrone Jr. when he is undercover or paying bills – has been at the Daily News since 1982, after working for five years at the Philadelphia Bulletin up to its closing. Along with helping to build the sports scoreboards most nights, he has had great input into the papers’ special sports pullouts – March Madness, Broad Street Run, Record Breakers, Greatest Moments – as well as its day-to-day, award-winning event coverage.

A 1980 graduate of North Catholic, he took some evening college courses. Those lasted right up until the first conflict with a Big 5 doubleheader.

His favorite books growing up were the NBA Guide and the Baseball Encyclopedia, which was, for all intents and purposes, the Internet before there was an Internet.

He has been immersed in sports statistics since the early 70s, when his father (long-time sports writer, broadcaster and the Daily News’ Buck The Bartender), would take him into the Bulletin newsroom overnight in the summer and let him update the Phillies statistics in a little, black spiral notebook. But things have changed tremendously in the decades since … He now uses a big, black spiral notebook.

To listen to Boop on 94WIP, click here.

Reach Bob at vetronb@phillynews.com.

Bob Vetrone Jr.
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