Toronto at Detroit: Game number 36
3:00 pm Eastern Time
Due to sunlight on the ice surface and in the interest of Player safety, the start time of #CentennialClassic will be delayed by 30 minutes.— NHL Public Relations (@PR_NHL) January 1, 2017
Location: A bumpy and rutted spot cleared out on Lake Ontario
Broadcast/Streaming: Sportsnet, TVAS, NBC, GCL (not blacked out)
Opponent SBNation Site: Winging It In Motown
This whole outdoor game business is all about nostalgia, so if you’re going to go for the nostalgia, go for it. The alumni game is where it all works.
Yesterday, the Detroit Red Wings Alumni beat the Maple Leafs Alumni in a game that was exciting and hard fought—nearly for real when Kris Draper and Gary Roberts got all up in each other’s faces. There was real goaltending; CuJo was good, but the Leafs couldn’t win it for him. (Speaking of CuJo, check out Frederik Andersen’s special pads for today’s game.) There were guys on the ice who still had it—Brendan Shanahan, for example, Tie Domi, Gary Roberts, Dave Andreychuk, Niklas Lidstrom, Igor Larionov, Chris Chelios.
But the best part was 69 year old Mickey Redmond and 65 year old Börje Salming who were still skating like they knew how to fly on the ice. You can read about Mike Palmeteer here as well. It was a fun game, and the Leafs put up a good fight.
Prior to the game, the Leafs organization set up the locker room to put the members of the team of today interspersed with the Alumni. It was a surprise to the players, and they reacted like the kids most of them are:
Mitch Marner's circling the room to have a stick signed by the alumni. pic.twitter.com/y7nIploezi— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 31, 2016
For some, it was a chance to learn about a part of the Leafs history they could relate to:
This was cool. Dmitri Yushkevich talking to Nikita Zaitsev and Nikita Soshnikov. pic.twitter.com/N3PrLRFpiJ— David Alter (@dalter) December 31, 2016
But is wasn’t just kids who grew up in Toronto like Marner, Brown and Hyman who met legends:
En liten pojke i Leafs omklädningsrum vill ha Börjes autograf. pic.twitter.com/WsclxPdwGy— Jonatan Lindquist (@Lindquistik) December 31, 2016
“I thought it was a real classy move by Mike Babcock and Brendan Shanahan to put us with the current team.” - Lanny McDonald on today.— Scott Wheeler (@scottcwheeler) December 31, 2016
Toronto Maple Leafs
(a guess at a home game alignment)
Zach Hyman - Auston Matthews - William Nylander
James van Riemsdyk - Tyler Bozak - Mitch Marner
Leo Komarov - Nazem Kadri - Connor Brown
Matt Martin - Frederik Gauthier - Nikita Soshnikov
Morgan Rielly - Nikita Zaitsev
Jake Gardiner - Connor Carrick
Matt Hunwick - Roman Polak
(Byron Froese, Josh Leivo and Frank Corrado are all on the roster right now, so hopefully they get a little heater for the “press box” at the game.)
Detroit Red Wings
Tomas Tatar - Henrik Zetterberg - Anthony Mantha
Gustav Nyquist - Frans Nielsen - Thomas Vanek
Riley Sheahan - Dylan Larkin - Luke Glendening
Drew Miller - Andreas Athanasiou - Steve Ott
Danny DeKeyser - Xavier Ouellet
Niklas Kronwall - Brendan Smith
Jonathan Ericsson - Nick Jensen
Petr Mrazek (starting)
Getting some inquiries about who is starting for #RedWings today, it is Jared Coreau. Has earned it with wins last 2 starts.— Helene St. James (@HeleneStJames) January 1, 2017
Your weather forecast on the lake today at start time is 2°C and sunny with winds at 16 km/h from the SW. Sunset is at 4:52pm, so a lot of the game should be played under lights.
The Leafs are bringing a four-game winning streak into this game while the Red Wings are three points behind Toronto in the standings after they won their most recent game.
And now it’s time to get serious for a moment. Leafs fans, don’t make a drinking game out of every mention on the broadcast of how Auston Matthews grew up where it’s hot and has never played pond hockey. Your future health and well being is too important to waste on an ironic gesture of disdain. Your liver will thank you, and this way, you’ll remember more than the first few minutes of the game.
In conclusion: Go Leafs Go!