Sunday, February 20, 2011
Today is the final day of Hockey Weekend Across America, a three day celebration of hockey in the United States.
As part of the fourth annual Hockey Weekend Across America, Friday was "Wear Your Jersey Day", which we were more than happy to participate in, choosing this fine example of the red, white and blue's finest moment, a 1980 United States Olympic Team Mike Eruzione jersey from "The Miracle On Ice", the number one moment in the IIHF countdown of the 100 Top Stories of the Century.
Saturday was "Bring a Friend to the Rink" day, and we obliged by bringing our mite and his friend to the first ever Minnesota Wild outdoor hockey practice today at the John Rose Oval.
We could not participate in the open skate which followed afterwards, as we were on our way to our mite's Minneapolis Storm youth hockey practice at Minneapolis' Parade Ice Garden.
Which bring us to today, which as been declared Hockey Day in America, during which NBC will have six hours of coverage beginning with a pregame show from Chicago at noon Eastern time (11AM Central), followed by three regional games: the Washington Capitals vs. the Buffalo Sabres, the Philadelphia Flyers vs. the New York Rangers and the Detroit Red Wings vs. the Minnesota Wild.
When the early games are completed, NBC will then show the entire nation the Pittsburgh Penguins visiting the Chicago Blackhawks at 3:30. There will also be feature stories throughout the day on other grassroots level hockey stories.
After the conclusion of the Penguins and Blackhawks game, attention shifts north of the border to Canada, where the Montreal Canadiens will face off against the host Calgary Flames in the Heritage Classic outdoors at McMahon Stadium, home to the Calgary Stampede of the Canadian Football League at 6PM eastern, 4PM in Calgary.
As is the case with the previous four NHL outdoor games, both teams will wear special jerseys for the event. While Montreal's jersey is the familiar white jersey worn since 1947, the numbers on the jersey will be in the color combination worn during 1986 and 1989 (two color numbers, blue outlined in red) when the Canadiens faced off against the Flames in the Stanley Cup Finals. It will also have the Heritage Classic event patch on the right chest.
The Flames however, went "off the board" and created a very unusual and unexpected design, done in the striping pattern of the 1924 Calgary Tigers of the Western Canada Hockey League, the first team from Calgary to ever play for the Stanley Cup. The sweaters have the obvious addition of the Flames "flaming C" logo and the Heritage Classic patch on the right chest.
The Calgary Tigers, then and now
Here is video of the official unveiling of the Heritage Classic jerseys.
The game should avoid the weather issues that plagued this year's Winter Classic, with the forecast calling for temperatures reaching a high of -9ºC/16ºF and partly cloudy skies with the temperatures dropping through the game and the skies clearing to close out a great day of hockey on both sides of the border.