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NHL weekend preview: Outdoor hockey!

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Hey, remember the Winter Classic? That was fun, right? Wrong, it wasn't fun because the Wings lost, but maybe you enjoyed it anyway. Well, get ready for more outdoor hockey. As part of the NHL's "Sorry about that whole lockout thing" tour, there will be two more outdoor games this weekend, one on Saturday, and one on Sunday. I'm actually not a big outdoor game guy, so I certainly don't need two more. Oh, I'll watch them both, but I'd be watching them both anyway. Overall, there are 10 games Saturday and five Sunday. Here's a closer look at the interesting ones.

Saturday has three afternoon games. None of them are out of doors. Ottawa against Carolina features two teams on the outskirts of the playoff race, so that's pretty good. Boston versus Philly is much better and much more interesting. Washington takes on Montreal. The Capitals are looking to right the ship. Fortunately, they are in the East, so that's not too difficult. Colorado versus Tampa Bay is quite good as well.

Pittsburgh is squaring off with Dallas, who just scored seven goals, and the day ends with Minnesota visiting San Jose. However, before that, at 9:30 Eastern, it's Los Angeles against Anaheim. Outdoors! At Dodger Stadium! Chavez Ravine! Hockey in Southern California! This does kind of interest me. I mean, these are very good teams, so that's cool, but the visuals might be kind of cool, at least at first. I'm not too concerned about the ice. Science is a powerful tool.

Then, Sunday afternoon on NBC, it's the Rangers against the Devils... at Yankee Stadium! This... I don't really care about. I will watch, because it is Sunday afternoon and football isn't on, but the matchup isn't that exciting. Also, the Rangers play the Islanders at Yankee Stadium a few days later. That is particularly excessive. Sunday isn't great. Phoenix against Vancouver is OK. That's about it, though.

So, if you enjoy outdoor NHL hockey, this is the weekend for you. Otherwise, try and enjoy the other games. The ones indoors. The ones that aren't gimmicks.


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