Archive for the ‘Winter Classic’ Category

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UPDATE: Gary Bettman has made it official. The Leafs and Red Wings will play the Winter Classic at the “Big House” in Michigan.

Here are the jerseys they will wear.

 

And the alumni jerseys as well.

 

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The 2013 Winter Classic between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings was cancelled due to the lockout, but according to multiple reports, the league will announce the two Original Six rivals will be meeting on January 1st at Michigan Stadium.

The league is expected to unveil the jerseys the two teams will wear during the press conference, but it’s expected the Maple Leafs will wear something similar to this logo that leaked weeks back.

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wclass

The biggest casualty of the 2012 NHL Lockout, other than the missed games, lost revenue, hurt businesses, insulted fans, and the NHL Podium was the 2013 Winter Classic. The outdoor game/cashcow has become a highlight of recent seasons, if only for the pure joy that a toque on top of a goalie mask can bring. Wow, I’m Canadian. Since 2008, many a New Years Day hangover has been spent in front of the television watching an outdoor hockey game which, if you believe Hockey Day In Canada, is the way the game was meant to be played. Preferably with some good ol’ boys. Or something.

It was, much to my dismay as both a Leafs and a hockey fan, that the 2013 Winter Classic never came to be due to the lockout. In many ways it was just another hockey game and it wasn’t like I was planning to attend the game in person, either, but there’s something novel about having your team involved in such a giant stage. Not that the Leafs need any more exposure or anything but being able to actually be invested in such an event is one of those wonderful, little things that can make sports great. Alas, ’twas not to be.

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As temperatures started dropping during the 2012 Winter Classic, the action finally got hot (the awful start deserves that awful sentence). Fortunately, the second half of the game made up for the relatively painful early stuff.

I figure the game excitement path was ideal – early on, it’s easy to ignore the game and get lost in the “OMG we’re outside”-ness of the event (“weeee, a fly-over”), so it takes you a little while to remember that teams are playing one of those hockey game things.

Below are the big moments from this year’s Winter Classic game.

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Playing hockey is hard, apparently. Outdoors, it's just as hard.

Blocking a shot has to be a hard thing to do, and I bet it hurts like hell.

I wouldn’t know for sure. Ask Justin, and I’m sure he’d be able to tell us all about the stories of his teammates getting massive bruises endured from taking pucks routinely off the legs. I’ve never blocked a puck before, but I did one take a saucer pass off the ankle and that really hurt. It almost sort of tripped me up as well and I smashed my elbow on the ice when I fell over.

A couple of months or so ago, we were discussing how much more it would hurt to block a shot outdoors relative to being blocked indoors. We developed a theory that there were fewer shots blocked in Winter Classic games because it was colder and common sense dictated players to stop throwing themselves in front of shots.

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After a redeye flight, some lost sticks, being stuffed in a broom closet and multiple delays, it finally happened: Pizzo and I got out on the ice at Citizen’s Bank Park in Philadelphia to play in the media game. We’ll run the highlights from our hard-fought battle tomorrow.

I realize our travel and the game made today a slow day on the blog, but do not fear: the next few days the blog is going to be packed with goodies, including  interviews with alumni, vodcasts with Pizzo and I, game footage, our year-end top-10 rundowns and more.

For now, we’ll greet you with our opening clip. Stay tuned in the coming days. We may just end up having fun.

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