Cross Checks: Postcards from the Winter Classic

Postcards from the Classic - It's game day!

January, 1, 2014
Jan 1
11:59
AM ET
The snow is falling in Ann Arbor, Mich., and it is 13 degrees right now.

Fans were tailgating early this morning and some have already taken their seats.

Game time has not been moved, but officials will continue to monitor conditions until 1 p.m. ET.



Postcards from the Classic: Leafs practice

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
5:13
PM ET
Dion Phaneuf started the day with a seven-year, $49 million contract extension. Then he got some time on the ice with his teammates at Michigan Stadium.

The Toronto Maple Leafs practiced second on Tuesday, around the time that will be the second period on game day. The sky was overcast again, so glare has not been an issue as has been the problem before.

The announcement was made after practice that Jonathan Bernier will get the start against the Red Wings. Bernier said he was told before practice and he is obviously thrilled.

Leafs coach Randy Carlyle predicted there will be more Leafs fans in the stands for the big game, while Phil Kessel is just expecting a cold day.

Took a quick lap around Comerica Park before the alumni game and got a couple minutes inside the Red Wings dressing room. It was great to see a stall set up for Steve Yzerman, playing in the second alumni game, and Mathieu Schneider chatting it up with Nicklas Lidstrom before the game. But perhaps the best part was seeing some of the sweaters of a few of the Russian Red Wings greats lined up side by side in the dressing room, waiting for the reunion. Slava Kozlov, Igor Larionov and Sergei Fedorov had their own corner of the locker room. Just seeing their sweaters hanging amps up the anticipation of the passing to come in the second alumni game.

Postcards from the Classic: Wings practice

December, 31, 2013
12/31/13
1:44
PM ET
The Red Wings got a chance to practice on the ice at the Big House today. They bundled up to stay warm in the 17 degree weather. After a short practice, they got a chance to skate with their families.

Niklas Kronwall said that the ice conditions were better than he thought.

Postcards from the Winter Classic

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
3:39
PM ET
With snow flurries in the air, Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun got on the ice for the media skate on Monday afternoon. Don't worry, the ice is still in one piece.

The report from Burnside and LeBrun is that it doesn't seem like the glare from the sun will be a problem and the ice is in good shape.

I can also report that it is cold here. They are calling for snow showers on Tuesday and Wednesday and the temperature will barely get out of the teens. Locals say this is the coldest week they have had here thus far this winter.

It feels like hockey weather!

Postcards from the Winter Classic

December, 30, 2013
12/30/13
12:15
PM ET
Greetings from Ann Arbor, Mich.

The ESPN.com NHL crew is at Michigan Stadium right now, where it is 18 degrees and overcast. Scott Burnside and Pierre LeBrun Will get a chance to skate on the ice later today. Walking into the stadium, the sight lines to the ice look great. There are a lot of seats packed in, but it doesn't feel as large as you would expect from more than 107,000 seats.

Send us your questions and we will answer them throughout the day.

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