Two years in the making, the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings will finally embark on the highly anticipated Winter Classic showdown on January 1st, 2014, at the Big House in Michigan. HBO’s mini-series “24/7” always prefaces the annual event, providing insight and intrigue to hockey fans who crave a behind-the-scenes look at life in the National Hockey League.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are the first Canadian NHL franchise to play in the Winter Classic since it began in 2008, just across the border in Buffalo.
The history between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Detroit Red Wings is old. The two franchises make-up 1/3 of the NHL’s Original Six franchises, and have met in the playoffs more than any other organizations, excluding the legendary Boston Bruins vs Montreal Canadiens rivalry.
The Winter Classic will be played with Stanley Cup playoff implications as a main storyline. The Red Wings joined the Eastern Conference this season, reuniting a rivalry with the Leafs that diminished when Toronto left the West back in 1998.
HBO’s “24/7” will premiere on Canadian television at 7:30 ET, Sunday, December 15 on Rogers Sportsnet.
For American start times, check your local listings at HBO.com.