Tuesday, September 26, 2023

NHL Outdoors at Lake Tahoe: A Guide to the Golden Knights vs. Avalanche, Flyers vs. Bruins

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The 2021 Winter Classic may have been postponed due to the COVID-19 pandemic, but outdoor hockey is still alive and well.

But this year’s iteration of an NHL-hosted away game won’t be like any of the other 30 tilts. For the first time, hockey will be played on a golf course. Yes, the days of the baseball, soccer or football stadiums are on hold as the world’s fastest game heads to the grass – the fairway of a par-5, to be exact.

While one significant difference this year is that there will be no fans in attendance, another is that this year’s locale will be the site of two tilts. Saturday’s showcase will feature the Golden Knights and the West Division Avalanche. On Sunday, the East Division Flyers and Bruins meet.

Here’s everything you need to know to prepare for the 2021 NHL Outdoor Puck Drop in Lake Tahoe.

Where is NHL Outdoors 2021 taking place?

Hello Nevada! Silver State will become the 13th US state (plus the District of Columbia) to host an NHL away game.

Located on the 18th hole of the Edgewood Tahoe Resort on the south shore of Lake Tahoe in Stateline, Nevada, the rink sits in front of one of the most beautiful backdrops in sports history: Lake Tahoe and the mountains of the Sierra Nevada.

Watch both 2021 outdoor NHL games in Lake Tahoe live with fuboTV (7 day free trial)

At 6,224 feet above sea level, the site is the second highest location for an outdoor game. The Avalanche and Kings faced off at an elevation of 6,621 feet during last year’s Stadium Series at the US Air Force Academy’s Falcon Stadium in Colorado Springs, Colo., By the way, also played in the third-highest game when the club hosted the Red Wings at 5,200 feet above sea level at Coors Field in Denver in 2016.

Who plays outside of the 2021 NHL?

The Battle Born State will serve as the host site for two fierce rivalries: the Avalanche and Golden Knights meet on Saturday, followed by the Flyers and Bruins on Sunday.

And while the teams play in a picturesque setting, there will still be four big points up for grabs. The Bruins started the weekend atop the East Division, with the Flyers just three points behind. (The Islanders and Capitals, who are tied with the Flyers, will play on Saturday.) Vegas will touch the ice just one point behind West frontman St. Louis with the Avalanche in third four points behind the Golden Knights.

The Avalanche will also make its debut with its retro inverted jerseys, which pay homage to franchise roots such as the Quebec Nordiques.

REVERSE RETROS: SN ranks the 31 jerseys, from worst to first

Several renowned players will be absent for the Broad Street Bullies: Travis Konecny, Scott Laughton, Oskar Lindblom, Justin Braun and captain Claude Giroux are all on the NHL’s COVID-19 protocol list.

Nathan MacKinnon will do what?

With the game on a golf course, the first intermission of Saturday’s game will highlight, well, golf. Avalanche forward Nathan MacKinnon will head to the adjacent par 3 17th hole and swing.

Why? Well, in 2011 Joe Sakic, the Hockey Hall of Fame and now General Manager of Avalanche, scored a hole in one in the American Century Celebrity Golf Championship at the same venue. Using an 8 iron, Sakic’s left tee shot only needed two short rebounds before falling.

If MacKinnon – who is a pretty solid golfer – made an ace, then the NHL will donate $ 1 million to the NHL / NHLPA Learn to Play program. The only thing he won’t be able to recreate, if he matches his GM’s feat, will be what Sakic looked like screwing up all the fans in attendance.

Will there be fans?

In the previous 30 outdoor competitions, over 1.6 million fans have braved (mostly) cold stadiums to witness a once-in-a-lifetime game. The 2020 Winter Classic had the second largest crowd in NHL history, with 85,630 fans watching the host stars beat the Predators 4-2 at Cotton Bowl Stadium in Dallas.

With the COVID-19 pandemic still ongoing, these will be the first outdoor games without fans.

Which TV channel are the 2021 NHL outdoor games on?

The 2021 NHL outdoor games will air on NBC. Mike Tirico will provide play-by-play while Eddie Olczyk and Brian Boucher will serve as analysts.

Golden Knights vs. Avalanche

Saturday’s game marks the Golden Knights’ outdoor debut and the Avalanche’s third away trip (0-2-0).

  • Dated: Saturday February 20
  • Time: 3 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel (US): NBC
  • Live Streaming (US): NBCSports, fuboTV
  • TV Channel (Canada): SN, TVAS
  • Live Streaming (Canada): SN now

Saturday’s pre-game ceremonies will include frontline workers: Aurora C. Gooch will sing the national anthem and U.S. Coast Guard Petty Officer 2nd Class Jared Elliott will hand the game puck to Nurse Daryl Braga, nurse Miranda Miller and firefighter / paramedic Dusty R. Gooch (Aurora’s father), who will then present the puck to the game officials.

Flyers vs. Bruins

This will be the Flyers ‘fifth away game (1-2-1) and the Bruins’ fourth (2-1-0). These teams met at Fenway Park on New Years Day 2010, with the host Bruins winning 2-1.

  • Dated: Sunday February 21
  • Time: 2 p.m. ET
  • TV Channel (US): NBC
  • Live Streaming (US): NBCSports, fuboTV
  • TV Channel (Canada): SN, TVAS
  • Live Streaming (Canada): SN now

Sunday’s pre-game festivities include Pentatonix singing the US National Anthem and three-time Olympic snowboarder Hannah Teter and two-time Olympic skier Maddie Bowman delivering the match puck.

Who will play on Saturday?

Green Day will continue his collaboration with the NHL by releasing his new song, “Here Comes the Shock”, during Golden Knights-Avs’ second intermission.

At the 2020 NHL All-Star Game in St. Louis, Green Day performed “Fire, Ready, Aim” before the start of the festivities. The group also rocked Enterprise Center during the second intermission.

The NHL is surely hoping this year’s performance will be, uh, cleaner.


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