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Hockey Invades the Bank

(Photo by Patrick McDermott/Getty Images)

For one week, Citizens Bank Park was turned into a Winter Wonderland filled with hockey action.

The action featured Philadelphia hockey in it’s most beautiful and elegant form, which was in front of 45,000-plus diehard Flyers fans for the whole world to see.

The past week was the fifth annual NHL Bridgestone Winter Classic. For the third time it was held in the confines of a true American landmark: a ball park. After Chicago’s Wrigley Field and Boston’s Fenway Park, Citizens Bank Park played host to the growing winter sensation the NHL created with the Heritage Classic in Canada almost a decado ago.

The fantastic week of hockey, which we will recap with a little help from “The Checking Line – Flyers Edition“, began on New Years Eve and concluded this past Friday, January 6.

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Winter Classic today at 3:00

Phillies fans, if you really want to see Citizens Bank Park filled with your fellow brethren, check out NBC today at 3 PM.

The Philadelphia Flyers and New York Rangers will turn one of America’s most beautiful baseball parks into an outdoor hockey barn for one day.

The Classic will showcase Philadelphia as a fervent hockey town, a diehard sports town and a great city overall.

For a preview of today’s game, check out Larry D’Angelo’s (@Wrectangled) post up on The Checking Line – Flyers Edition.

If you’re not out there freezing your butt off, sit at home, crack open a few beers and enjoy one of the most incredible rivalries in the NHL.

It’s New York/North Jersey vs Philly/South Jersey; cheesecakes vs cheesesteaks; Rangers vs Flyers.

Your daily Winter Classic post

It’s the off season so spare me your dramatics. We’ll be back to real news and well thought out content in no time.

So Adam Kimelman (@NHLAdamK) has been a champ at posting photos of Citizens Bank Park as it prepares for hockey. The photos he tweeted today include Ashburn Alley being given a little makeover and the progress being made on the rink.

Rink after the jump…

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The Winter Classic ice truck is in Philly

As per the Flyers official Twitter page:

Photo courtesy of @NHLFlyers

Yep, that is indeed the truck that carries the magical ice for the Winter Classic. It is parked outside of the Wells Fargo Center for the Flyers 1:00 PM showdown with the Boston Bruins.

Today’s game will be the last game in Philadelphia for the Flyers before January 2. The team closes out December on a five-game road trip.

Depressingly enough, the picture includes only one active player for the Flyers as captain Chris Pronger (center) is out for the season with severe post-concussion syndrome and the NHL’s leading scorer Claude Giroux (right) is out indefinitely with a concussion as well.

For more Winter Classic news, check out the official Winter Classic page.

Winter Classic tickets have arrived

Photo tweeted by @AlexisCicc

The Winter Classic tickets look absolutely gorgeous.

Christmas is coming early for Flyers fans, who are finding very special envelopes from Santa Claus… eeerr the Flyers. Tickets are slowly arriving to those fortunate (and with fatter wallets) to attend the 2012 Bridgestone Winter Classic held at Citizens Bank Park on January 2.

In the coming month, this site will turn into a mini hockey blog to lead into the Winter Classic, a certainly special event that’s going to bring out the hockey fan in a lot of people.

As one of the most influential franchises in the NHL, Philadelphia is going to help expose the NHL to the rest of the country in a very positive way.

Rangers versus Flyers: it’s NHL hockey at it’s finest.

Winter Classic jerseys revealed

Photo courtesy of Dave Isaac

The Checking Line confirmed the leaked jerseys a couple weeks ago.

Today, they were made official at 11:30 ET.

The jerseys are in fact very classy, including an already popular accessory: the laces at the neck. The jerseys will go on sale at the Wells Fargo Center at 1 PM.

More pictures after the jump:

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Winter Classic jerseys confirmed

The Bridgestone Winter Classic, which will be held at Citizens Bank Park on January 2, 2012, was completely finalized minus the jerseys.

Well, now that part is official too. Philly Sports Daily’s David Isaac has a handful of sources confirming the Flyers Winter Classic jerseys, which are NOT the horrible Tony the Tiger jerseys that have been sold on eBay. And to the fools who bought them… I’m sorry, but you’re a fool.

Anyway, after the jump are the jerseys… Read more of this post

The stage is set: Cardinals to face Rangers in World Series

One team has unfinished business to settle.

The other has destiny on it’s side.

On Wednesday, those two teams will meet in the 2011 Fall Classic. The St. Louis Cardinals, who capped off a miraculous September run to steal the Wild Card from the Atlanta Braves. They will host the Texas Rangers, who are playing in their second straight World Series.

St. Louis is the first Wild Card team since the 2006 Detroit Tigers to have home field advantage in the World Series. The 2004 Boston Red Sox are the last Wild Card team to host the World Series and win it. The latter knows a little bit about miracles, especially when the comeback against the New York Yankees in the ALCS and the end of an 86-year curse were complete with a sweeping of the Cardinals in the 2004 World Series.

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Rangers move on to ALCS

Texas' Adrian Beltre hits one of his three homers in Game 4. (AP Photo/Mike Carlson)

The Texas Rangers finished off the Tampa Bay Rays earlier today.

After getting blown out in Game 1 in their home park, the Rangers took the next three games to win their series, advancing to the ALDS while waiting for the New York Yankees and Detroit Tigers to finish their series. The Tigers currently hold a 2-1 series lead with Game 4 tonight at 8:37.

Today’s Game 4 win was a thriller. Adrian Beltre, acquired this off season as a free agent, continued his tear from the regular season. The third baseman slugged three homers, his third providing the most important run when Tampa Bay cut the lead in half in the 9th inning.

The Rays, trailing 4-2 going into their final three outs, got a run back with one out when Casey Kotchman drove in Nelson Cruz. But the Rangers closer Neftali Feliz got the next two outs rather easily and the Rangers moved on.

ALDS Preview: Texas Rangers vs Tampa Bay Rays

Texas: 96-66; 1st in AL West
Tampa Bay: 91-71; 2nd in AL East (Wild Card winner)

Schedule
Game 1: Sep. 30, 5:07 PM – (C.J. Wilson vs Matt Moore)
Game 2: Oct. 1, 7:07 PM – (Derek Holland vs James Shields)
Game 3: Oct. 3, 5:07 PM – (TBD vs TBD)
Game 4*: Oct. 4, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)
Game 5*: Oct. 6, _PM – (TBD vs TBD)

Road to the Playoffs
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