Winter Classic in photos: 10 great images from battle between Canadiens and Bruins

Jared Clinton
WC Team Entrances

Though the premise of the Winter Classic hasn’t changed over the past several seasons, the event always manages to feel special and produce some of the most breathtaking photos in all of sports. The 2016 event between the Montreal Canadiens and hometown Boston Bruins at Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., was no exception.

With nearly 70,000 people in attendance, the game was a spectacle, and the photographers on hand captured the event in all its glory. Take a look at 10 of the best images from the 2016 Winter Classic: Read more

Gallagher scores in return as Canadiens show off incredible hand-eye at Winter Classic

Jared Clinton
Brendan Gallagher (Maddie Meyer/Getty Images)

Brendan Gallagher made his return to the Montreal Canadiens lineup Friday for the Winter Classic after missing the past 17 games due to two broken fingers, and he didn’t waste time making an impact.

In his return to action, Gallagher skated the third highest ice time among Canadiens forwards and had the primary assist on a third-period insurance goal by Montreal captain Max Pacioretty. But Gallagher’s best moment of the game came at the tail end of the second period when he scored with some incredible hand-eye coordination.

The Canadiens were working the puck around the Boston zone when a cross-ice pass went from Tomas Plekanec to Pacioretty. When the puck hit Pacioretty’s stick, it popped into the air and fluttered into the air. Pacioretty reacted quickly by batting the puck toward the front of the net where it was smacked out of mid-air by Gallagher and right over the shoulder of Bruins netminder Tuukka Rask. Take a look: Read more

Ranking every Winter Classic game, from worst to best

Matt Larkin
The 2014 Winter Classic. (Getty Images)

The eighth Winter Classic is upon us, and it’s a doozie of a matchup. Foxboro, Mass., will host the Boston Bruins and Montreal Canadiens, placing hockey’s greatest rivalry outdoors. Yes, please. Given the history of bad blood between the two squads, the 2016 Classic immediately has a chance to go down as one of the best.

Which Winter Classic is the king of them all so far? It’s time to rank all seven, from worst to best. An important note: quality of hockey isn’t paramount. Indoor NHL rinks with standardized ice conditions treat us to higher-quality hockey every night of the week. So a good Winter Classic is about entertainment value above all else, and while good hockey helps, the entertainment can also include intangibles. Let’s begin.

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Bruins’ Rask goes all in on Patriots mask for Winter Classic

Jared Clinton
The top panel of Tuukka Rask's Winter Classic mask. (via Sylabrush)

Canadiens goaltender and Massachusetts native Mike Condon chose not to go with a mask design that paid homage to New England Patriots — Condon’s hometown NFL team and the team that plays on the very grounds that will host the Winter Classic. But if Condon was hoping to win some cheers from the notoriously tough Boston crowd, Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask may have killed that hope.

Rask’s unveiled his lid for the 2016 Winter Classic game, which will be played at noon E.T. Friday, and he isn’t just tipping his cap to quarterback Tom Brady. Instead, Rask is putting four major Patriots players on display. While Brady is one of the four, Rask’s mask also features tight end Rob Gronkowski, receiver Julian Edelman and kicker Stephen Gostkowski. Check it out: Read more

Canadiens’ Brendan Gallagher will suit up for Winter Classic

Jared Clinton
Brendan Gallagher (Olivier Samson Arcand/NHLI via Getty Images)

Brendan Gallagher has missed the past 17 games after breaking two fingers on his left hand, but the Canadiens winger is going to be back in time for the marquee regular season contest of Montreal’s season.

The Canadiens announced Thursday afternoon that Gallagher will be back in the lineup Friday for the Winter Classic game against the Boston Bruins. The 23-year-old has received full clearance to play in the outdoor contest and said he didn’t want to come back just to play because it was the Winter Classic.

“I can’t thank the staff enough for what they did for me to be ready to play this game,” Gallagher told media Thursday. Read more

Canadiens’ Mike Condon tips cap to NFL’s Patriots on Winter Classic mask

Jared Clinton
Mike Condon's Winter Classic mask (via DaveART/Facebook)

Montreal Canadiens goaltender Mike Condon is in the interesting position of being a born and raised Massachusetts boy playing for the Bruins most hated rival. But even if he’s making his name playing for what most in Boston would consider the enemy, that doesn’t mean Condon can’t still pay tribute to his roots when he heads outdoors for the Winter Classic in his home state.

When Condon hits the ice for the Canadiens Friday, his mask will at first glance look like it’s keeping with Montreal’s classic theme. The front and sides of the mask are covered with Canadiens logos and even include the globe, which signifies the ‘World Champion’ jerseys Montreal is paying homage to for the Winter Classic. But it’s the back panel of his mask that’s most interesting. Read more

Bruins’ Brad Marchand suspended three games, will miss Winter Classic

Matt Larkin
Brad Marchand

Boston Bruins left winger Brad Marchand was all but guaranteed a multi-game suspension for his hit Dec. 29 on Ottawa Senators defenseman Mark Borowiecki. The NHL Department of Player Safety made it official following a phone hearing with Marchand Wednesday, suspending him three games, one of which will be the Jan. 1 Winter Classic, hosted by his own team at Gillette Stadium.

Marchand had far too many strikes against him to escape discipline. For one, the hit itself was obvious cause for suspension. As outlined in the DOPS’ explanatory video, Borowiecki was not eligible to be checked on the play, as he wasn’t engaged with the puck. Marchand took a clear, deliberate and unnecessary route to hit Borowiecki, and the collision itself, in which Marchand got low to upend Borowiecki at the legs, was a clear case of clipping.

Once the league decided the hit was worthy of supplemental discipline, Marchand’s past history factored into the sentencing. Being a repeat offender can’t get a player suspended again on its own, but it can make his punishment more severe once the league decides a given play is suspension-worthy, and that’s what happened to Marchand. He’s been suspended three times (this one makes it four) and fined twice. His previous bans were for slew footing, clipping and slew footing. The league considered him a repeat offender because the latter infraction happened in the past 18 months and because he has repeatedly earned discipline for dangerously low hits. Here’s the full explanatory video from the NHL:

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Bruins anthem singer Rene Rancourt not singing anthem at Winter Classic

Jared Clinton
Rene Rancourt (Steve Babineau/NHLI via Getty Images)

Bruins anthem singer Rene Rancourt holds a special place in the hearts of Boston faithful. His exuberance after singing The Star-Spangled Banner has made him a fan favorite and a mascot of sorts. But Bruins fans hoping to hear Rancourt and watch his furious fist pumps before the Winter Classic are going to be sorely disappointed.

The NHL announced the lineup for the opening ceremonies for the 2016 Winter Classic and it turns out Rancourt won’t be singing the anthem before the game begins. Instead, the honor will go to Jordan Smith, the vocalist who won season nine of NBC’s singing competition ‘The Voice.’

Smith’s performance of the anthem will be accompanied by the Boston Pops, the famed orchestra. The 22-year-old Kentucky native will follow American Authors, who will serve as pre-game entertainment for the contest. Nate Ruess, of fun. fame, will perform during the first intermission. Read more