NHL pushing Pens-Caps in Winter Classic 

March, 24, 2010

Here are three thoughts for the middle of the week.

1. The Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals get together tonight in D.C. for the third of their four regular season meetings. Of course, that means Alex Ovechkin against Sidney Crosby. I think we all like that.

The undercard will feature red-hot Caps stopper Jose Theodore (16-0-2 in his last 18 decisions) against Penguins netminder Marc-Andre Fleury. Once upon a time (in 2002), Theodore was a Hart and Vezina trophy winner. If he's recaptured that long-ago form, the Capitals might just be unstoppable.

While I'm talking about the Caps and Pens, I should tell you there's an excellent chance that the two clubs will faceoff in the 2011 Winter Classic on New Year's Day. The game likely would be played in Pittsburgh. There are many details to work out, but the league wisely is pushing for this dynamic matchup.

E.J. Hradek

Senior Writer, ESPN The Magazine
E.J. Hradek is a senior writer at ESPN The Magazine, joining the staff prior to its launch in 1998. He began covering hockey as a writer/editor for Hockey Illustrated in 1989.