On the one hand, the 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic will be the same as any other game out of 82 on the regular-season schedule in that the winner receives two points.
Otherwise, it's hard to compare playing inside a dome in front of around 20,000 fans to skating under the late afternoon and night sky, dealing with the elements with double that number of screaming bodies in the stands of what normally serves as a Canadian Football League stadium.
"Obviously it's going to be quite different, I'm sure," forward Niklas Hagman
said. "I haven't played an outdoor game yet. The crowd is so much further away. It is great, but for sure it's going to be different. And it's going to be different for [Montreal], too, we've just got to make sure we're more ready and get the two points."
Forward Tim Jackman
talked about inviting his parents out for the game and how he was happy Calgary's recent hot stretch has made for a better storyline to the Heritage.
"Things worked out that we're in a playoff hunt and it's going to be a more exciting game than if we would have kept playing the way we were playing early in the season," Jackman said.
There's also the opponent to consider. What better team to play in a game of this magnitude than the Canadiens, an Original Six team with one of the most storied histories in professional sports, one that includes an NHL-record 24 Stanley Cup championships.
"I think it's going to be a great atmosphere," defenseman Mark Giordano
said. "It seems like any time you play Montreal or Toronto, one of those teams, there's an extra buzz in the crowd. So I think it'll be an exciting game. There's going to be a lot of fans, I think, from both sides. It's going to be an important game."