2017 is only a calendar flip away now, as we'll celebrate the start of 2017 as of midnight tonight and with that will bring the continuation of the outdoor games pool and the commencement of the 100th year of the NHL. In order to do that properly, the NHL has sent an outdoor game to Toronto, where the Maple Leafs will host the Detroit Red Wings at BMO Field, the home of Toronto FC and the Argonauts.
The Centennial Classic gets the January 1st spot, which is normally reserved for the Winter Classic, but this has been deemed the bigger of the two games, so they moved the Winter Classic to January 2nd (preview coming tomorrow!).
So, now to the outdoor games mini-game, where we actually have some money riding on this one. Down below is the pool participation, which looks to be a busy one, regardless.
|Brenda & Seward||Tyler Bozak|
|Brian||Niklas Kronwall||Frederik Andersen|
|Clayton||Danny DeKeyser||James Van Riemsdyk|
|Dale B.||Frans Nielsen||Mitch Marner|
|John S.||Dylan Larkin|
|Kristy & Don||Thomas Vanek||Nazem Kadri|
|Stacey C.||Petr Mrazek|
|Stacey M.||Gustav Nyquist|
|Troy||Tomas Tatar||Matt Martin|
** Players in red are injured
After the Heritage Classic, Marcie walked out with 4 points to lead the pool, thanks to a Cam Talbot shutout and her team will get some help in the Centennial Classic, thanks to a pair of Toronto defenders in Jake Gardiner and Nikita Zaitsev.
Stacey C. and Jeremy were the only two other teams to pick up points in Winnipeg and Stacey might have the starting goalie for the Red Wings, in Petr Mrazek, while Jeremy will hope that teams don't get too far away from his 1 point, as he doesn't have anyone going today.
Kristy & Don are hoping for a barn burner, as they have three players going in this game, two scoring forwards and a top end defender.
All indications are suggesting that it will be a Frederik Andersen start for the Maple Leafs, which is great for Brian in his run for top spot overall in the pool standings.
It seems like a tall order to ask for a high scoring game in these outdoor affairs, but we'll continue to do so. It just seems right to ask.