PHILADELPHIA -- It wasn't the outcome we hoped for, nor was it the outcome it seemed we were going to get midway through today's Winter Classic, but when all's said and done, it's hard not to sit here and be happy about the way the 2012 event at Citizens Bank Park turned out.
Sure, the Flyers blew a two-goal lead, and they absolutely couldn't beat the brick wall that is Henrik Lundqvist. At least not outside of a 1:51 stretch during the second period.
And yeah, the several thousand or so Rangers fans left the ballpark all smug, with huge smiles on their faces. They have a four-point lead in the Atlantic Division, they've beaten the Flyers three times already this season, and they're a really strong hockey team that seems to have our number.
But as big as this game was for the Flyers, the lasting memories of a pretty incredible weekend are more important than two points in the standings.
- Packing 46,000-plus people into the ballpark for a game between a bunch of old people.
- Seeing Eric Lindros pull on a Flyers sweater with a smile on his face.
- Putting on a perfectly executed Main Event that couldn't even be derailed by manufactured Philly fan controversy.
- Watching old white dudes dance to The Roots during the second intermission.
- Getting the opportunity to celebrate the game of hockey and the history of the Philadelphia Flyers in what's become the modern-day sports cathedral of our city.
No matter if you were able to make it down to Citizens Bank Park or not, this experience rubbed off on all of us. The list could go on and on, but no matter what your favorite memory of Winter Classic Weekend 2012 turns out to be, it'll stick with you much more than a 3-2 loss to the Rangers in Game 37 of the regular season.