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Wings to ring in New Year at Wrigley

Cup banner-raising set for Oct. 9 vs. Toronto

Wednesday, 07.16.2008 / 11:59 AM ET / News
By Bill Roose  - Managing Editor | DetroitRedWings.com
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Wings to ring in New Year at Wrigley
Chicago's snow belt often leaves Wrigley Field in a wintery grasp, even in early April. Imagine what the weatherman might have forecasted for New Year's Day.
DETROIT – Usually the smell of peanuts and Cracker Jack fills the air around Wrigley Field on the north side of Chicago.

However, that traditional atmosphere will be interrupted – albeit for one winter afternoon -- with the sounds of bodychecks and slap shots when the Red Wings and Chicago Blackhawks renew their Original Six rivalry on a frozen pond constructed in the middle of the field at the Friendly Confines.

The outdoor game, set for 1 p.m. ET on New Year's Day, will be the first such game in Red Wings’ franchise history, and has many fans and players excited about the opportunity.

“I’ve been there once for a baseball game a few years ago,” Red Wings forward Kirk Maltby said. “It’s a chance of a lifetime, obviously with two Original Six teams playing in a ballpark with the history that Wrigley has. It’s going to be great, but everybody is going to have their fingers crossed for good weather to allow us to play on some good ice.”
WINGS CORNER

Wrigley Field, the second oldest major league ballpark (after Boston’s Fenway Park), has been home to the Chicago Cubs since 1916. Cubs great Ernie Banks dubbed the ballpark the “Friendly Confines” for its intimate setting in the Wrigleyville neighborhood.

The New Year’s game will be the fourth meeting of the 2008-09 season between the Central Division foes. The game comes two days after the two clubs play at Joe Louis Arena on Dec. 30.

“The NHL is delighted to bring its most historic rivalry to one of the most historic venues in sports,” NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman said in a staement. “We thank Rocky Wirtz and John McDonough for their vision. We thank Mike Ilitch and the Red Wings for their cooperation.”

The Wrigley game will be the third time that the NHL has hosted a regular-season contest in an outdoor facility. Last January, the Pittsburgh Penguins defeated the Buffalo Sabres, 2-1, in a shootout before 71,217 fans at Ralph Wilson Stadium in upstate New York.

In Nov. 2003, the Montreal Canadiens beat the Edmonton Oilers, 4-3, at Commonweath Stadium. Then dubbed the Heritage Classic, a crowd of 57,167 braved sub-zero temperatures.

The Red Wings will be the third Detroit team to venture into Wrigley, joining the Tigers, who
Wrigley Field joined the progressive era when in August 1988 lights were installed for night-time baseball at the Friendly Confines.
captured the 1945 World Series in the Cubs’ ballpark. Since baseball has added inter-league play to their schedule, the Tigers have played a pair of three-game series at Wrigley since 2000. In those six games, the Tigers have posted a 5-1 record.

The NFL’s Detroit Lions also have a history at Wrigley, which was the home of the Bears from 1921 to 1970 when they moved to Soldier Field. The Lions compiled a 11-23-3 record in games played at Wrigley. They were victorious in their field Wrigley encounter, beating the Bears, 16-10, on Oct. 25, 1970.

The football field at Wrigley extended from home plate to leftfield. Each year a set of temporary stands was erected in rightfield, providing an additional 9,000 seats. The ballpark’s current configurations makes it the fourth smallest in the major leagues with a seating capacity of 41,118.

NBC will broadcast live coverage of the Winter Classic in the U.S. In Canada, CBC and RDS will televise the event live. NHL Radio will provide coverage for radio stations across North America, and NHL.com will provide extensive digital video coverage.

The Wings learned on Wednesday that they host the Toronto Maple Leafs in the season-opener on Oct. 9. Prior to the game, the Wings will raise their 11th Stanley Cup championship banner to the rafters at Joe Louis Arena.

The NHL also announced the Red Wings' three at-large games for the upcoming season under the revised scheduling system. The new format has Detroit facing all Eastern Conference foes at least once and three Eastern teams twice -- Pittsburgh, Buffalo and Atlanta -- in home-and-away games.
 
The complete NHL schedule will be released Thursday, July 17.


SCHEDULE

HOME
AWAY
PROMOTIONAL

STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 PLAYOFFS
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
T. Tatar 5 0 3 1 3
M. Green 5 1 1 -1 2
A. Athanasiou 5 1 0 1 1
G. Nyquist 5 1 0 2 1
H. Zetterberg 5 1 0 3 1
J. Abdelkader 5 1 0 -3 1
B. Richards 5 1 0 -4 1
D. Helm 5 1 0 -1 1
D. Larkin 5 1 0 -2 1
N. Kronwall 5 0 1 3 1
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
P. Mrazek 1 2 0 .945 1.36
J. Howard 0 2 0 .891 3.59