It’s been a year and a half of a build up for the 2014 Winter Classic. The NHL lockout prevented the winter classic for happening January 1, 2013, and now a year later, the event being dubbed as “The Biggest Hockey Game Of All Time” is going to take place today, weather permitted.
HBO 24/7 has been documenting two teams: the Detroit Red Wings, who have been struggling with injury and consistency problems and, the Toronto Maple Leafs, who have been struggling with injury and consistency problems.
Toronto recently had Tyler Bozak return to the lineup versus the Carolina Hurricanes and Toronto’s face-off percentage was in around the 60% mark for the first time in some time. Not having to rely on—and overplay—Jay McClement for all of your key face-offs makes a big difference in how you deploy your team and it’s one of the positives of having Tyler Bozak back in the lineup. Constantly losing draws, while not the most important aspect of the game, does come into play in key situations and game breaking goals off of key draws. Bozak was 56% on the dot vs Carolina and hopefully a trend we’ll see continue.
Toronto will be starting Jonathan Bernier, who has a sizzling .949 save percentage in his last five games, settling into a groove in the Toronto crease. much as been made about the goaltending tandem the Toronto Maple Leafs employ and how James Reimer is not a favorite of coach Carlyle, and is not getting the starts and chances he deserves. Reimer has been given every chance to succeed, and Bernier, even by the slightest of margins, is showing to be the better of the two (shootouts not included).
Henrik Zetterberg will be a gametime decision, as will Daniel Alfredsson, who is nursing an injury.
2014 Winter Classic: Maple Leafs vs Detroit Red WingsToronto Maple Leafs vs the Detroit Red Wings matchup.
|Toronto Maple Leafs||Detroit Red Wings|
|GF/G||115 (11th)||107 (19th)|
|GA/G||118 (20th)||117 (19th)|
|SF/G||27.4 (27th)||29.9 (15th)|
|SA/G||36.2 (30th)||28.7 (15th)|
|PP||22.3% (5th)||19.3% (11th)|
|PK||77.5% (27th)||84.4% (8th)|
|5 on 5 F/A||1.16 (8th)||1.75 (2nd)|
|Sh%||9.71% (5th)||8.66% (17th)|
|Sv%||0.923 4th)||0.906 (22nd)|
|FO%||47.2% (25th)||51.3% (12th)|
Toronto Maple Leafs 2014 Winter Classic Lineup
James van Riemsdyk
Detroit Red Wings 2014 Winter Classic Lineup