Thanksgiving day is here, a day when people throw calorie counts out the window. Through traveling, eating, and napping, there is an NFL game to watch. Same stuff every year, a time when most people enjoy the day.
After the day is done, there is some time to rest before the NHL version, the “Thanksgiving Showdown”, gets underway. Although called the “Thanksgiving Showdown”, the game does not actually take place on the November holiday.
Instead, it takes place the week surrounding Thanksgiving. Did you know the NHL and the Boston Bruins have a Thanksgiving tradition that includes hockey the day after turkey day?
Since 2011, the NHL has had games on celebrating this holiday featuring a rivalry game or a game that is between two top teams. The games are always close, with some being decided in extra time.
A history of the NHL Thanksgiving Showdown.
Below is a walkthrough of the Thanksgiving games, or as the NHL refers to them, the “Thanksgiving Showdown” games. As regulars, the Boston Bruins are not competing this year.
The first-ever Thanksgiving Showdown game featured the Detroit Red Wings and the Boston Bruins in Detroit.
After an intense 60 minutes, the Red Wings pulled out a 3-2 victory in the shootout. Winger Todd Bertuzzi scored the game-winner while goaltender Jimmy Howard stopped 41 of 43 shots.
There was no game due to the fact that the league was in a lockout.
The Boston Bruins and the New York Rangers renewed their rivalry as the Bruins defeated the Rangers 3-2 in Boston. Defenseman Zdeno Chara was a beast, producing two points, including the game-winner. Winger Brad Marchand also contributed two points.
The New York Rangers beat the Philadelphia Flyers 3-0 for the first shutout in the Thanksgiving Showdown series. Winger Martin St. Louis recorded his 1,000 career points in the Rangers win.
The Boston Bruins beat the New York Rangers 4-3 in Boston. The game-winning goal was scored by center David Krejci while center Patrice Bergeron recorded two points. Goaltender Tuukka Rask got the win, stopping 24 shots.
The New York Rangers edged out the Philadelphia Flyers 3-2 in the city of brotherly love. Center Kevin Hayes, currently with the Flyers, scored the game-winning goal, while Rangers goaltender Henrik Lundqvist stopped 40 of 42 shots for the win.
The Boston Bruins defeated the Pittsburgh Penguins 4-3 in Boston. Defenseman Matt Grzelcyk scored his first NHL goal, coming against goaltender Matt Murray.
The Philadelphia Flyers shut out the New York Rangers 4-0. Forward Travis Konecny scored the game-winning goal and had three points in the game. Centers Sean Couturier and Claude Giroux also had three points apiece. Flyers goaltender Calvin Pickard made 31 saves for the shutout.
The Boston Bruins won 3-2 in overtime against the New York Rangers. Center David Krejci scored the game-winning goal. Krejci and Jake DeBrusk each had two points in the contest.
No game was played due to the Covid-19 pandemic.
The New York Rangers defeated the Boston Bruins 5-2 in Boston. Defenseman Adam Fox and forwards Julien Gauthier, Dryden Hunt, and Artemi Panarin each had two points in the win.
For the first time in the Thanksgiving Showdown series, there is a doubleheader this season. The Philadelphia Flyers will be at home when they battle the Pittsburgh Penguins in game one. Game two will feature the Tampa Bay Lightning at home against the St. Louis Blues.