Charlie Coyle of the Boston Bruins will blog for NHL.com before and after the Pittsburgh Penguins play in the 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic at Fenway Park in Boston on Monday.
In his first installment, the 30-year-old forward, who grew up outside of Boston, discusses the powerful month of December, attending the 2010 Winter Class at Fenway Park and interacting with fans at the Winter Classic Plaza this week.
I was told after our game on Saturday (a 4-3 overtime loss to the Buffalo Sabres) that I had 10 points (three goals, seven assists) in December and nine (six goals, three assists) in the previous two months combined. I didn’t know that stat about my scoring surge. You want to contribute as much as you can, but I’m trying to focus on my overall game and being solid defensively. When you do that, you play more in the offensive zone and then you want to be a factor there.
Whether it’s just moving my feet or using my body to take a penalty, sometimes you have a great shift and you take a penalty. You do something good that doesn’t show up on the score sheet and then the power play goes out there and gets the job done. I am very proud of such things.
After this game, we can turn our attention to the Winter Classic. I think the atmosphere will be very good at Fenway compared to TD Garden. I think the fans are always great, they put that out there first, but I think when you’re playing good hockey, and it’s been a pretty good year so far, the fans are always a little bit more optimistic than they usually are, so I think it will be a cool atmosphere.
[RELATED: 2023 Discover NHL Winter Classic coverage]
I went to the Winter Classic at Fenway as a fan in 2010 (the Bruins beat the Philadelphia Flyers 2-1 in overtime), so I remember what it was like back then and would expect this time to be no different, if anything. better.
The fan interaction at the Winter Classic Plaza on Friday was great. I didn’t know what to expect, really. When you play on different days, you forget what day it is. It was a Friday so I didn’t realize people would be out during the day because it was still a weekday but there were so many people there. They had games going on, things you could do for the kids and anyone, really. It was like a mob scene, but it was pretty cool though.
This is the atmosphere it will be, except on a larger scale come Fenway time. I haven’t been on the ice at Fenway yet, I just saw the pictures on Instagram. Tomorrow we have ice practice and then we have a family skate so that will be nice and we will have everyone out there with us. This is going to be one of the cool moments, so we’ll kind of take the awe out of it on Sunday.
It’s hard to know exactly what the ice is going to be like, what the boards are like, how the puck bounces off the ice, if there’s going to be any tweaks, so that’s going to be something that we’re just going to have to get used to, and get it out of the way and when it’s game time, we’ll be ready to go.
Thanks for checking out my blog before and after the Winter Classic!