The puck will drop in the NHL’s sixth outdoor installment around 6:05 est time today when the Calgary Flames host the Montreal Canadiens in front of 40,000 fans in McMahon Stadium. Calgary, winners of 10 of their past 13 games, are right back in the middle of the Western Conference playoff race while Montreal is in the midst of a mini 2 game losing streak and have lost 5 or their last 6. The Habs will be looking for a boost from sniper Michael Cammalleri who is expected to make his return to the lineup Sunday afternoon.
Past Outdoor Game Results:
Historically the visiting team has fared well in the outdoor elements with only the Boston Bruins hosting and winning on ice guru Dan Craig’s makeshift arena’s.
Nov. 22, 2003: Canadiens 4, Oilers 3 at Commonwealth Stadium
Jan. 1, 2008: Penguins 2, Sabres 1 (Shootout) at Ralph Wilson Stadium
Jan. 1, 2009: Red Wings 6, Blackhawks 4 at Wrigley Field
Jan. 1, 2010: Bruins 2, Flyers 1 (OT) at Fenway Park
Jan. 1, 2011: Capitals 3, Penguins 1 at Heinz Field
Star Selector Starting 5:
If you have ever been to a CFL game in McMahon Stadium you know how much of an impact wind can have on the contest and the NHL is prepared to have the teams switch ends at the 10 minute mark of the third period to insure a level playing field. The potential winds and expected -10 degree temperature screams out low scoring game so I will be starting both goalies, Carey Price (despite his scary Jacques Plante tribute mask) and Miikka Kiprusoff. Curtis Glencross, in the midst of a six game scoring streak, Jarome Iginla and Scott Gomez round out my starting five. Gomez might seem like an odd choice considering his recent struggles of late but I am banking that the Anchorage Alaska native adjusts well to the outdoor elements.
Montreal’s Defence is banged up. James Wisniewski, who took a Taylor Hall shot to the face on Thursday, is a game time decision but neither Jaroslav Spacek or Hal Gill are expected to play.