Toronto Maple Leafs (20-16-5) at Detroit Red Wings (18-14-9)
|Date & Time||Wednesday January 1, 2014, 1:00 PM (EST)|
The Line: Detroit Red Wings -131 / Toronto Maple Leafs +119 --- Over/Under: 5
|TV Channel||Stream NHL games all season on ESPN+ for only $4.99 a month. Sign up now!|
The Winter Classic is upon us with the start of the new year and the Detroit Red Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in front of what is expected to be a world record crowd for a hockey game. The novelty of the event has lost a little bit of its luster this season with their being so many outdoor games on the slate, but this one should be a lot of fun on Wednesday afternoon. This game could be a lot of fun to watch for those of us that don't have a rooting interest because there's a 70% chance of snow in the forecast tomorrow and it could wreak havoc on the ice conditions. The NHL loves this though and for them that couldn't be better news because it means more eyeballs will tune into to see what's going on. The Detroit Red Wings are just trying to find their way right now but they're having a tough go of it of late. They've lost two of their last three games and even their win wasn't pretty against the Florida Panthers. On Monday night in Nashville the Red Wings were run out of the building by a Predators club that normally has a tough time scoring against even the worst defenses. Trailing 3-1 entering the third period the Red Wings scored three times but also allowed three goals in the 6-4 loss. Justin Abdelkader, Pavel Datsyuk, Kyle Quincey, and Patrick Eaves all scored for Detroit but Jimmy Howard allowed five goals on just 28 shots against a pathetic Nashville team. The Red Wings simply aren't playing very good hockey right now so they have to be thankful that the month of December is over and they get a fresh start on Wednesday. Their opponent will be the Toronto Maple Leafs and there will certainly be plenty of blue in the seats for this one. The Maple Leafs just announced that they've signed captain Dion Phaneuf to a new seven year contract extension on Tuesday. Now they'll take the ice looking to follow up on their 5-2 win over the Carolina Hurricanes on Monday night. Phil Kessel scored twice, giving him 20 goals on the season, and Nikolai Kulemin, Paul Ranger, and Phaneuf also scored for the Maple Leafs who are tied with Detroit for fourth place in the Atlantic Division standings. This should be a lot of fun to watch but with the conditions a total unknown it's a hard game to call. With the way these two clubs have been playing of late it's hard not to give the edge to Toronto in this one.