Bob Costas, NBC to Broadcast Winter Classic Game Between Bruins and Flyers


December 16, 2009

Bob Costas is getting in on the Winter Classic fun.

The NBC host will cover the New Year's Day game between the Bruins and the Flyers, and he will be joined by play-by-play man Mike "Doc" Emrick, game analyst Eddie Olczyk, inside-the-glass analyst Pierre McGuire and studio analyst Mike Milbury.

"The buzz for it is like nothing I've ever seen," Costas said on Wednesday. "This really is an event. It attracts a lot of people who don't necessarily follow hockey closely throughout the course of the year."

The Jan. 1 game in Boston marks the third outdoor NHL game played in the United States, each of which has achieved unprecedented success. Last year's Blackhawks-Red Wings game at Wrigley Field was the most-viewed NHL regular-season game in 34 years.

"The first one turned out even better than we thought it would," Costas said. "It snowed in Buffalo and was a tremendous atmosphere with that snow-globe effect on camera, [and then] Sidney Crosby wins it with the winning goal in a shootout. And then we go to Wrigley Field last year and the rivalry between the Blackhawks and the Red Wings — and now we take it to Fenway Park."

NESN analyst Mike Milbury is no stranger to the Bruins, but he couldn't be more excited about taking part in this particular game.

"The energy has been building since the announcement," he said. "It's the toughest ticket to get that I have seen in all of my years in Boston, including Bruins playoffs, Red Sox playoffs, Patriots championships and Celtics championships. This is an event. It's going to be a spectacular event and I'm proud to even be a little bit a part of it."

Of course, given the history between these two teams — and given the way the Flyers dismantled the surging Bruins at home on Dec. 14 — this matchup promises to be a good one. 

"This rivalry goes back to the late 1960s, early 1970s and right through that decade in particular," Milbury said. "It got its roots there. These were some of the nastiest battles that I've ever been involved with. Both teams, in their own way, have adapted to the new rules, but they listen to their fans and kept it constant. They want hard-nosed hockey. They want physical hockey. They want people to show up saying that we want to prove to you that we're tough players and we've come to play every night."

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