The Malik Report
Katie Baker of Grantland wraps up the Winter Classic,
They arrived in waddling droves, bundled in their winter warmest so that they all looked twice their size. They hopped off yellow school buses and emerged from SUVs dusty with salt and snow and trudged toward a college football stadium, in the heart of bowl season, for a professional hockey game.
These hundred thousand hockey fans had waited almost two full years to make this walk. The NHL first announced in February 2012 that the next Winter Classic would feature the Detroit Red Wings and the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium in Ann Arbor. In November of that same year — thanks to the lockout — the league's much-trumpeted event was officially postponed.
But that all seemed like a distant memory on a cold and snowy New Year's Day that Detroit coach Mike Babcock, even in defeat, would later call "a home run for hockey." Before a reported 105,491 in attendance and beneath photogenically inclement conditions, the Maple Leafs edged the Red Wings in a shootout, 3-2.
FYI, George is taking care of getting a rental car, checking on the repair of his car after sliding into a ditch yesteday while driving to the Winter Classic.
He will return tomorrow.
5 1/2 minutes of Mike Babcock meeting with the media after the Winter Classic game.
Watch the crosscheck below...
Credit goes out to both teams, the NHL and the folks at Michigan for putting on a great show even though the game was played in frigid weather conditions.
I hate to see a game like this end in a shootout, to me it is an anti-climatic finish.
The Wings can now get back on a regular routine, no more HBO cameras or Winter Classic to worry about.
They now head out to Dallas to play on Saturday, then San Jose, Los Angeles, Anaheim and then across county to play the Rangers.
You can watch the regulation goals from Alfredsson and Abdelkader below...
I just received a phone call from George and as soon as I saw his name, I knew what the call would be about.
He slid off of the road and he is okay bur vehicle suffered some bumper damage.
He is waiting to get towed out of the ditch and will head back home to catch the game from there.
I know he was looking forward to covering the game so he has to be disappointed but the good news is he did not get injured.
from John Paul Morosi of FoxSports,
On New Year's Day, more than 100,000 people are expected to gather at America's largest football stadium to watch a hockey game. It will be a spectacle, because of the setting (Michigan Stadium), the ancient rivals (the Detroit Red Wings and Toronto Maple Leafs), the prospect of a world-record crowd, the sheer curiosity in the sports version of a hey-wouldn't-this-be-cool 1 a.m. barstool conversation coming to fruition.
The event is many things: a marketing bonanza for the NHL, a hockey diversion on a football day, a Snow Bowl quagmire if it turns out that Mother Nature is an Ohio State fan. But the Winter Classic also is the latest triumph for one of the greatest American sports owners of all time.
Without Mike Ilitch, the Red Wings would not have won the Stanley Cup four times since 1997 while building the longest active streak of postseason appearances (22 years) in major North American professional sports. Without Mike Ilitch, the Tigers would not boast a large-market payroll while accounting for three MVPs, two Cy Young Awards and one World Series appearance in the past three years.
Without Mike Ilitch, Detroit (and, in this case, Ann Arbor) would not have the cachet to host a marquee event like the Winter Classic.
Good morning. The Detroit Red Wings tangle with the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Winter Classic today (1 PM EST, NBC with pre-game coverage on WDIV in Metro Detroit and post-game coverage on WDIV and FSD, CBC, 97.1 FM) at Michigan Stadium, and both sides' bluster (see Mike Babcock's presser and Randy Carlyle's insistence that more Leaf fans than Wings fans will be among 105,000-or-so spectators)--and the blustery conditions--aside, today's game is about two things:
1. It's about the players and fans having fun amidst the spectacle, pre-game introductions, Olympic announcements and the insistent forecasts of anywhere from 2-7 inches of snow that have yet to play out as promised, at least sa I look outside and see three quarters of an inch of snow on my trusty Pacifica...
2. And it's about the Red Wings attempting to "sort out" their season on the biggest stage they'll have at their disposal.
NHL Alumni Showdown, game 2 in six minutes...
The Detroit Red Wings alumni's kids are skating at the rink at Comerica Park as attendants roll up the fake snow, with the Red Wings' alums having defeated the Maple Leafs' Alums 6-5 in a shootout.
After the game I went into the locker room and I did my best to do what I try to do. I stopped at the first stall as a gigantic surge of press headed into the Tigers' clubhouse, and who happened to be there? The overtime hero, Tomas Holmstrom. We spoke for about four minutes regarding his overtime heroics--and Mickey Redmond's advice--his status as sadly heading back home to Sweden(!) once he's built a house there, playing in the Alumni Showdown, getting in shape and whether he was in Scotty Bowman's Dog Yard:
Two of the highlights of the Alumni Showdown actually happened before the puck was dropped for the 2nd game today.
Below, watch Gordie Howe and Ted Lindsay drop the puck and the 2nd video is the Russian Five reunited including Vladimir Konstantinov.
About The Malik Report
The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.