Monthly Archives: December 2013

Winter Classic … This and that

ANN ARBOR — The Wings hope to have Daniel Alfredsson in the lineup. He was a last minute scratch Monday suffering from back spasms. If he can’t, Patrick Eaves will take his spot in the lineup. Mikael Samuelsson will be a healthy scratch.

— Goalie Jonas Gustavsson (groin) said he’s day-to-day and won’t dress as the backup.

— Johan Franzen is still a ‘ways away’ according to general manager Ken Holland. “He’s getting better every day, but until you see him practice with us every day for three of four days. I don’t know that he’s that far away, but he’s away.”

— Goalie Petr Mrazek has decided against wearing his customized snowman pads to backup. Mrazek wasn’t able to take part in Grand Rapids’ outdoor game since he was backing up in Nashville. “That’s how it is,” he said. “I’ve just got to stay positive and keep working hard.”

— The game is a sellout with 105,500 tickets sold according to NHL COO John Collins. That’ll set a world record, breaking the previous mark of 104,173 for The Big Chill at the Big House between Michigan and Michigan State.

Snow in the forecast

ANN ARBOR — It wouldn’t be a Winter Classic without a concern about the weather.

And that will again be the case Wednesday at Michigan Stadium where the Wings will host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the NHL’s annual outdoor event.

Up to five inches of snow has been forecasted to fall that day.

Wind will also be a factor, like it was at practice Tuesday.

“The puck is a lot harder when it’s cold,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “It bounces around a lot more. It’s tougher to skate with the wind in your face than your back. It’s hard. I heard snow is coming so I’m sure they’ll shovel the ice a few more times.

Cleary skating with an open nerve on his tooth; may have to play with it like that

ANN ARBOR — The plan was for Daniel Cleary to have an open nerve fixed on his tooth prior to the Wings’ outdoor practice, but it never came to fruition.

“My concern now is the wind on my tooth that has the exposed nerve,” Cleary said after practice. “I closed my mouth going one way.”

Cleary had planned on having the procedure done in the morning, but because he didn’t get to sleep until around 3 a.m. he decided against it.

He didn’t know if he would be able to get it fixed before Wednesday’s game.

“I don’t want to make a bigger deal than it is, but it’s uncomfortable to say the least,” Cleary said.

Glendening gets a chance to play in his fifth outdoor game

ANN ARBOR – Luke Glendening may be a rookie in the NHL, but he’s a veteran of the outdoor hockey games.

Glendening will play in his fifth outdoor game Wednesday at Michigan Stadium when the Wings host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Winter Classic.

He got the news Monday night while driving home with his mom from Comerica Park after he took part in the Grand Rapids Griffins’ game against the Toronto Marlies.

“I was planning on watching this one on TV, excited to see how it turned out,” said Glendening, who played four seasons at the University of Michigan. “Now that I have the opportunity to be a part of it, I’m excited.”

He played in three outdoor games while at Michigan, including the Big Chill at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 11, 2010.

“It was great to be back on the ice, to be back in Ann Arbor is fun for me,” Glendening said. “It’s a little overwhelming, but I’m just trying to take it all in and enjoy it.”

Glendening scored two goals in the Griffins’ shootout loss to the Marlies.

“I had a great time playing in the game with Grand Rapids,” Glendening said. “That was a special moment, special game, but obviously it was a little disheartening not to be able to play in this one, and now that I have the opportunity it’s pretty cool.”

He’s 2-1-1 in his previous four outdoor games.

Glendening was needed when Wings coach Mike Babcock decided to rejoin Pavel Datsyuk and Henrik Zetterberg on the same line.

“The reason Glenny went back and didn’t play the other night was I wanted Glenny to get in a Winter Classic game,” Babcock said. “They had a Winter Classic game in the American League, and I thought I wasn’t sure he was going to be able to play in this game for us. I thought it was unfair if he didn’t play, and I was planning on playing Z and Pavel. I needed another center. It’s unfortunate for Jurco, now he misses playing outdoors, which wasn’t our plan at all, but that is the way it happens. That is the change in day-to-day and business in our league.”

Alfredsson chance at playing in Winter Classic seems slim; Glendening recalled and Jurco sent to GR

ANN ARBOR — Quick update from Wings practice outdoors at Michigan Stadium.

Daniel Alfredsson came out and took a laps around the ice before leaving. He didn’t skate on a line and it looks as if his hopes of playing in the Winter Classic are over.

He was a last minute scratch from Monday’s game in Nashville with back spasms.

Wings coach Mike Babcock looks like he’ll rejoin Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk on the same line, skating alongside Todd Bertuzzi.

The team also made a roster move, sending Tomas Jurco back to Grand Rapids and recalling Luke Glendening.

The rest of the forward lines were Justin Abdelkader-Darren Helm-Patrick Eaves; Tomas Tatar-Joakim Andersson-Drew Miller; Daniel Cleary-Glendeing-Gustav Nyquist.

Jimmy Howard will make the start in goal.

Jonas Gustavsson (groin) came out of the team photo, but did not face any shots.

Mikael Samuelsson appears to be a healthy scratch.

The Winter Classic by the numbers

Here’s a release from the NHL.

0 — Per stadium policy, zero bags are allowed into Michigan Stadium, including all bags, backpacks, purses, camera and binocular cases, etc.; fans should plan on leaving bags and purses locked in the trunk of their vehicle.

1 — Cable cam that will be used in network coverage by NBC and CBC

4 — Of the five most-watched NHL regular-season games in the U.S. since 1975 were NHL Winter Classic games

4.5 — Approximate drive, in hours, between Toronto and Detroit by car

7 — Number of times the Maple Leafs and Red Wings have faced off in the Stanley Cup Final (1936, 1942, 1945, 1948, 1949, 1963, and 1964)

10 — Most number of goals teams have combined to score in a single NHL Winter Classic, six of which were scored by the Red Wings in their 6-4 defeat of the Chicago Blackhawks in the 2009 NHL Winter Classic at Wrigley Field

11 — Detroit Stanley Cup Championships (since 1918); one has come in a Final against Toronto

13 — Toronto Stanley Cup championships (since 1918); six of which have come by defeating Detroit in the Final

15 — Number of satellite uplink trucks on site to cover the event

18 — Number of NHL corporate and broadcast partners activating at the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® Spectator Plaza, a free, interactive hockey and entertainment fan festival, open to the public at 9 a.m. ET on game day

23 — Playoff meetings between the Maple Leafs and Red Wings (Toronto has a 12-11 series edge)

31 — The combined number of Grammy and Juno awards won by the musicians that have performed at the NHL Winter Classic since 2009, including James Taylor, Patti LaBelle, the Zac Brown Band and more (15 Grammy Awards, 16 Juno Awards)

39.1 — Average temperature in Fahrenheit at puck drop for the five NHL Winter Classics (2008 – 31.1°, 2009 – 31.9°, 2010 – 39.6°, 2011 – 51.7°, 2012 – 41°)

43 — Most shots by one team in an NHL Winter Classic, recorded by the Red Wings at Wrigley Field on Jan. 1, 2009

53 — Length, in feet, of the world’s largest mobile rink refrigeration unit, specially built for the NHL Winter Classic

82 — Broadcast cameras (all networks) that will capture all the NHL Winter Classic action at Michigan Stadium, including a cable cam, an airplane cam, and, for the first time ever, a rink-side camera cart

96 — Rows of seats at Michigan Stadium

145 — Players that have worn both the famed Maple Leaf and Winged Wheel

160-plus — Approximate number of countries and territories that will carry the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® game broadcast

230 — Approximate number of miles that separate Toronto and Detroit

276 — Number of wins for both the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Detroit Red Wings in their 645 regular-season meetings since 1926-27

300 — Ton capacity of refrigeration trailer that will keep the ice cool at Michigan Stadium

350 — Gallons of paint used to make the Michigan Stadium ice white

645 — Number of times, prior to the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®, the Maple Leafs and Red Wings have met in the regular season since 1926-27

646 — Total number of points earned by Maple Leafs in their 645 meetings vs. the Red Wings

648 — Total number of points earned by the Red Wings in their 645 meetings vs. the Maple Leafs

1927 — Year Michigan Stadium, the largest college football stadium in the country, was completed, initially seating 72,000 fans

1,846 — Concessions staff manning the food and beverage outlets at Michigan Stadium during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®*

1955 — Year that the official capacity for Michigan Stadium topped 100,000 for the first time

2003 — Year the Heritage Classic was played in Edmonton between the Oilers and the Montreal Canadiens, the first regular season NHL outdoor game in history

2008 — The year the first NHL Winter Classic was played in Buffalo between the Sabres and Pittsburgh Penguins, with Sidney Crosby netting the game-winner in a shootout

3,000 — Gallons of coolant used to freeze the Michigan Stadium rink

3,688 — Gallons of hot chocolate expected to be brewed at Michigan Stadium on Jan. 1*

14,150 — Pretzels projected to be purchased by fans during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®*

38,450 — Hot Dogs projected to be purchased by fans during the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®*

104,173 — The largest confirmed audience for a game of ice hockey, which is the current GUINNESS WORLD RECORDS title, set at “The Big Chill at the Big House” between the University of Michigan and Michigan State University at Michigan Stadium on Dec. 11, 2010; the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® is anticipated to host a potential world record-setting crowd on Jan. 1.

175,000 — The estimated value, in dollars, of the resources and materials the NHL and Detroit Red Wings Foundation, in conjunction with DTE Energy, Johnson Controls, and York, funded in upgrades and renovations to the outdoor rink operated by the Clark Park Coalition, a recreation center in Detroit. The donation to Clark Park’s rink was part of the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic® Legacy Initiative.

250,000 — Approximate number of visitors expected to visit downtown Detroit and the SiriusXM Hockeytown Winter Festival™, an outdoor celebration of hockey held at Comerica Park in partnership with the 2014 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic®.

265,226 — Total spectators in attendance at the first five NHL Winter Classics

*According to Sodexo, the food service provider for Michigan Stadium

Quote of the day … Pavel Datsyuk

DETROIT — Pavel Datsyuk on Christmas, “I love it. I love it. I love it. We need more Christmas and not only one in a (calendar year). A couple is not enough, (maybe) three, four.”