NHL Heritage Classic Canadians vs Flames

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Today is the 2011 Tim Horton's NHL Heritage Classic between the Calgary Flames and Montreal Canadiens at McMahon Stadium. This game is the first to be held outdoors in Canada since the Edmonton Oilers hosted the Canadiens at Commonwealth Stadium in 2003.

Warm, rainy conditions forced the league to push the start of the 2011 Winter Classic at Pittsburgh's Heinz Field on Jan. 1 from the afternoon to the evening. This will not be the case in Calgary. Temperatures will be well below zero, with the forecast predicting a high of -7 and a low of -24.

With the excitement building leading up to the game, players and fans will try to take in the festivities at what has become a very special annual event. However, this match-up also holds valuable implications in the ultra close NHL playoff race.

00189962med.jpgThe Flames are currently sitting in 9th place in the Western Conference, where just 9 points separate the 10 teams ranked 3rd through 12th. Calgary is one of 4 team with 68 points, and are only 3 points behind the 3rd place Phoenix Coyotes and 3 points ahead of the 10th place Minnesota Wild.

The Canadians are currently sitting in 6th place in the Eastern Conference, and are fighting the Boston Bruins for 1st place in the Northeast Division. Montreal trails Boston by 2 points, and have played one more game than their rivals.

This will be an intense close checking game, and the 41,000 fans on-hand will be treated to an exciting playoff-type match-up. Betting UNDER will be the trend.

Bodog bettors will also see the odds favoring the hometown Flames.

Money Line: Calgary Flames 1.66 Montreal Canadians 2.25

The game has also been billed as a celebration of hockey’s Canadian roots.

Before the game the Snowbirds will perform a flyover while Calgary's Allegiance Elite drumline will help perform ‘Heritage Classic Fanfare’. This is an original orchestral piece composed just for this game. Country music star Paul Brandt will sing the Canadian national anthem, while Thompson Square, a husband-and-wife country duo, will perform the American national anthem. Tokyo Police Club, a Toronto-based indie rocker band, will play during the first intermission.




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