Heritage Classic 2011: Calgary Flames, Montreal Canadiens Take It Outside At 6:00 P.M.

There's something weird about this Heritage Classic. Maybe it's because the coverage of the game has been virtually non-existent in the United States so far, and maybe it's because half the world has never heard of McMahon Stadium in Calgary before. 

But in Montreal, in the host city and across Canada, today's Heritage Classic is a big deal. The hype machine is out and really, for both clubs, it's an important game. For the Flames, who sit firmly on the cusp of a wild Western Conference playoff picture, literally every point counts.

The Canadiens, meanwhile, are comfortably inside the Eastern playoff picture at the moment, but they're certainly in the midst of some strife right now with just one regulation win in their last six. 

The end result? This game is the crux of what the NHL wants it to be -- a meaningful, hard-hitting game that, you know, just happens to be outside. Given that this game is so late in the season, there's definitely an extra level of importance placed on it in comparison to the Winter Classic on New Year's Day. 

There's no worry of rain, either, this time around. The forecast calls for temperatures around minus-7 degrees Celsius at game time with just a bit of cloud cover. No precipitation, thankfully. The game should go off without a hitch.

For more on the game, follow our writers on the ground in Calgary: Hayley Mutch of SB Nation's Matchsticks & Gasoline and Kevin van Steendelaar of SB Nation's Eyes On The Prize. We'll be providing live updates on the game right here in this StoryStream. 

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