The 2011 Tim Hortons NHL Heritage Classic is just about ready to start after a spectacular pre-game ceremony.
Both Thompson Square and Paul Brandt handled the anthems flawlessy. Brandt, a Calgary boy, belted out O Canada while wearing a Flames Heritage Classic jersey.
The highlight, though, might have been a fly-over by the Canadian Snow Birds.
Now, it is time to play. The game-time temperature is minus-11 Celsius, but feels like minus-20 because of a strong wind that will blow at the Flames back in the first period. Montreal will have the wind advantage in the second period and the teams will switch sides midway through the third period to even out the advantage.
I spent a long summer thinking about that playoff series and what could have been. [The Blackhawks] ended up being the Stanley Cup champions, so we know we lost to a very good team. It's tough to know how close we were, and it motivates us for this year.
— Nashville captain Shea Weber in an interview with the Predators website