Dec 31, 2013; Ann Arbor, MI, USA; Detroit Red Wings right wing Todd Bertuzzi during practice the day before the Winter Classic hockey game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at Michigan Stadium. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports

The Winter Classic | Detroit Red Wings Vs Toronto Maple Leafs Game Preview

The Detroit Red Wings take on the Toronto Maple Leafs in The Big House at 1:00 p.m. EST.

The Red Wings are coming off of a “positive” loss against the Predators on Monday. Why was it positive? Jimmy Howard is back from his injury, the Wings scored 4 goals, and they never gave up on the game; something Red Wing fans have grown accustomed to this season.

The Leafs are 2-0-3 in their past five games, with one of the overtime/shootout losses coming courtesy of the Detroit Red Wings. The Leafs finalized the 7 year $49 million deal with Dion Phanuef to keep him in Toronto, so the Wings will be battling him for years to come. Randy Carlyle is not tipping his hat to who will start in net today, but the Wings took it to James Reimer and then ultimately beat Jonathan Bernier for the win.

Projected Line-up

Forwards

Henrik Zetterberg – Pavel Datsyuk – Todd Bertuzzi

Justin Abdelkader – Darren Helm – Daniel Alfredsson

Gustav Nyquist – Joakim Andersson – Tomas Tatar

Dan Cleary – Luke Glendening – Drew Miller

Defensemen

Danny DeKeyser – Niklas Kronwall

Brendan Smith – Kyle Quincey

Jakub Kindl – Brian Lashoff 

Goaltender

Jimmy Howard

  • The Red Wings have a 335-334-93 overall record against the Leafs, but this will be the first “neutral ice” game between these teams.
  • Since 2010, the Red Wings are 2-2-0 against the Leafs, which includes a well deserved victory against them a couple weeks ago in Toronto as a lead up to the Winter Classic.
  • Tomas Jurco was sent down to Grand Rapids so Luke Glendening could be brought back up to the NHL.
  • With Glendening returning it can only mean that Mike Babcock wants Henrik Zetterberg and Pavel Datsyuk playing next to each other.
  • Darren Helm will take over the second line and his speed will put a lot of pressure on the Leafs’ defense, while Justin Abdelkader uses his strength to wear them down.
  • With the defense worn out it will be up to Daniel Alfredsson to beat them on the scoreboard.
  • Jimmy Howard will receive the start in net and despite a rough night against the Predators, he should be much sharper today.
  • Howard got a pass against to Predators because he was coming back from injury and needed to play a full game to be ready today, but if he starts to get too shaky in net we could see Petr Mrazek. Hopefully it does not come to that though.

Prediction: It is going to be a great game and an even better experience for everyone in attendance. Wings Win.

WARNING: If you are heading to the game remember to bundle up tight and the weather people are calling for snow so be careful on the roads.

Tags: Detroit Red Wings NHL Winter Classic

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