2017 NHL Centennial Classic Preview

Photo Courtesy: NHL.com

The NHL is celebrating 100 years in 2017, To begin its centennial year, It will start with the Centennial Classic at BMO Field in Toronto. where The Red Wings and The Maple Leafs will play Outdoor. This is the 2nd of the 4 outdoor regular season games during this 2016–17 NHL season. This also will mark The 100th year for The Maple Leafs.

Detroit Red Wings – 90th Season (1926-27 to 2016-17)

Photo Courtesy: Yahoo Sports

3197-2830-815 All-Time
325-296 Postseason
NHL Playoff Appearances: 64
NHL Championships: 11 (11 Stanley Cups)
Conference championship: 6
Presidents’ Trophies: 6
Division championships: 19

The Red Wings come into this game 16-16-4 = 36 points on the season. They started the season 6-2, they have gone 10-14-4 since that start. They stand 15 points out of the final Wildcard spot in the Eastern Conference. They are led in scoring by their captain; Henrik Zetterberg – 7 Goals, 18 Assists = 25 points, +9 in 36 games. Dylan Larkin after a terrific rookie season has 10 goals, 14 points in 36 games this year but is a -12 in +/- this year. The 2 Big additions in free agency; Thomas Vanek, who has 7 Goals, 13 assists = 20 points, +1 in 25 games. The other is Frans Nielsen who offensive is producing with 8 goals, 11 assists = 19 points but defensively has really struggled with a -13 in +/-.

Goaltender Petr Mrazek after a fine season last year has been inconsistent this year. Last season, he was 27-16-6, a 2.33 GAA with a .921 Save%. This year, he’s jus 9-8-3, Save% of only .896 and The GAA is at 3.11.

The offense has been the issue for Detroit all season long as they just 23 in Goals scored in the league with only 89 goals scored, and they are a -13 in Goal differential.

Going forward if the Wings are to keep their 25 years playoff streak alive they have to find some offensive punch or they’ll miss the postseason for the 1st time since the 1989-90 season.


Toronto Maple Leafs – 99th Season (1917-18 to 2016-17)

Photo Courtesy: The Hockey News

3053-3125-788 All-Time
248-269 Postseason
NHL Playoff Appearances: 65
NHL Championships: 13 (13 Stanley Cups)
Division championships: 5

The Toronto Maple Leafs are in year 2 of The Brenden Shanahan/Lou Lamoriello/Mike Babcock Era and so far it’s turned rosy. They come in 16-12-7 = 39 pts on the year. They are 5 points out of the final wildcard spot in the East. They are 6-2-2 since Dec 7th, 14-8-4 since the 1st of November. they have been headlined by a core of young studs led by the rookie phenom; Auston Matthews, the #1 overall pick in the draft. He’s 5th in the league in goals with 18, leads the leafs in scoring with 30 points, had a 4 Goal game in his NHL Debut game. He’s been the talk of the NHL.

But it’s not just Matthews, the Leafs have gotten contributions from other young players in their system like Mitch Marner, William Nylander, Morgan Reilly, Connor Brown, Zach Hyman, Nikita Zaitsev, and Connor Carrick. Along with them are guys like Jake Gardiner, Tyler Bozak, James van Riemsdyk, Nazem Kadri, Leo Komarov, Matt Hunwick and a host of other.

So far, Year 2 under the new regime has turned in very positive results in Toronto for the Leafs. If this keeps up who knows what the future this season could hold and in years to come.

Series History:

Photo Courtesy: ClickOnDetroit

This is the 775th meeting All-Time between these 2 Original 6 teams. The Red Wings own a slim 342-339-93 edge in the series. The Leafs own a 197-140-47 edge in games played in Toronto over the Wings.

The Wings have won 8 of the last 13 meetings between the 2 teams. The Wings have a 9-7 edge since 2010.

This is the 2nd time these 2 teams will play in an outdoor game, that was the 2014 Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, MI at The Big House (Michigan Stadium). The Leafs won it 3-2 in a shootout.

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