Maple Leafs to Host First Centennial Classic on New Year’s Day

The first ever Centennial Classic will take place at BMO Field in Toronto on New Year’s Day. It is the latest in an ongoing string of outdoor games hosted underneath the natural elements, just like the game of hockey was initially created.

Detroit vs. Toronto

The Detroit Red Wings will square off against the Toronto Maple Leafs. Detroit has made three appearances in outdoor games in the history of their illustrious franchise, most recently earlier in 2016. They prevailed 5-3 over the Colorado Avalanche. They also appeared in the New Year’s Day game in 2014 at the massive Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor, where they were beaten by the Maple Leafs 3-2 after a shootout in front of well over 105,000 fans.
The game marked the single biggest attendance total for any outdoor game in NHL history, and it is difficult to imagine how that would be eclipsed anytime soon. The second-biggest attendance total in the history of NHL outdoor games happened on New Year’s Day in 2008, when the Pittsburgh Penguins took on the Buffalo Sabres at Ralph Wilson Stadium in Orchard Park, New York.
Many of the games have been sellouts, including the third-most attended outdoor match, which went down at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh on New Year’s Day of 2011, featuring the Washington Capitals and the Pittsburgh Penguins.
As for now, fans of the Red Wings and the Maple Leafs can find affordable tickets with just a few simple clicks or taps. As of press time, Detroit is in the middle of the pack in the Atlantic Division. They are performing below standards by the lofty expectations of their huge and passionate fan base. But things can turn around quickly once the calendar turns from 2016 to 2017.
Toronto is actually a few games below Detroit, looking up at a host of teams in a competitive Eastern Conference. The squad is talented, but they have lost seven overtime games this year, showing an inability to close out matches and play smart hockey when it matters the most. The squads have a long-standing rivalry, and the two cities are only 220 miles apart, as the crow flies. It is unclear if a crow can fly 220 miles in one expedition as of press time, but anything is possible when two titans of professional hockey take to the ice in a game such as this.


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