The 2012 NHL Winter Classic was a very special experience from the fans, to the players and even to the media members who were lucky enough to cover the game.
It really couldn't have been a more perfect atmosphere, with the snow, the Philadelphia skyline in the background, Citizens Bank Park and the 47,000 screaming fans to boot.
Ryan McDonagh, who almost didn't play because of the flu, was also awestruck by the allure created by the crowd during the game.
"It's a different kind of atmosphere," he said. "They're not right on top of you, the crowd, it's almost like the roar of a huge army because it's almost off in the distance. You can definitely feel it when there are ups and downs, during big saves and hits they're there, and that roar is pretty loud."
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"I think the best part was having my whole family here to share this with me," Rangers' captain Ryan Callahan said of the Winter Classic. "[Sunday] was great, hitting the ice with my family. And then the atmosphere, you don't get a chance to play in front of 47,000 people every day."
Henrik Lundqvist felt the same way, citing the progression to the Winter Classic as being special as well.
"It's been amazing. The whole build up, we had two games against the Flyers going into this, and then good games, there's been a lot of talk about this game already during camp," he said. "So it was exciting to be here and already at practice [Sunday], it was fun to get a feeling for it, and today, it was just amazing, the atmosphere. I thought they did a great job with the ice. It was all great I think, and coming out with two points and a big win, obviously adds to it."
Of all the experiences of the day, Lundqvist's favorite and most memorable one happened before the game even started.
"Walking out in the warmup, it was a great crowd, and you got really excited, and then you kind of have to calm yourself down a little bit," he said. "You'll be tired after warm up because you go so hard. Just the whole game, the way we bounced back and the finish obviously later in the game. But so far the build up and all of the talk, all of the focus, it was worth it. It's been an amazing experience."
John Tortorella spoke after the game about his experience with the Winter Classic, along with his thoughts on the HBO crew doing their work for 24/7.
"I think that they have -- they certainly have shown us as an organization, the people doing it, certainly understand how they need to handle themselves," he said. "They are impressive as far as how they show respect as far as our business. The players loved it, and it's such a great experience. I look at some of the family things that these players are going to be able to have on film with their family at such a young age when they grow up and to see this, it's great stuff. So I have no problem being involved in this, because they have really -- it's a first-class outfit as far as how they went about their business."
In the end, the experience seemed to be a very positive one for everyone involved. Which is a good thing for the league and for NBC as well.
Thoughts on some of these emotions guys?