Winter Classic Forecast
Well not a whole lot of interesting news as far as the contest goes. Some on and off snow and lake effect shaping up this week with an artic outbreak. But even this won't last to long as we look to get back into the warm then cold then warm again cycle. Syracuse looks to hold and pad their lead even more, Rochester should hold strong at #2, but the bottom three cities could really get into a close race as Bingo and Albany look to pick up some additional snowfall and creep up on Buffalo. At least a few cities are staying competitive and not running up the score! ANYWAYS.....
You may have, or may not have heard that come New Years Day the first outdoor NHL game is going to be played in the United States. The Buffalo Sabres will face off against the Pittsburg Penguins, and hopefully the Sabres can break their 3 game losing streak. Well that and I hope they can play a bit more exciting of a game. One of the most high powered offenses in the league that can score 4-6 goals per game on a regular basis, has been held to just 2 goals in the last 3 games. Not to mention even the other teams didn't play that exciting of a game.
A Quick Plug to the NBC promo....
Another interesting aspect of this game is how quickly crews managed to convert a football field into an outdoor ice rink. Following the Bills last home game of the season on December 23, crews began working to get the rink and stadium ready to play a hockey in less then 9 days time. Trouble began early in the process as 50+mph winds began to blow away the traps on the field and a lake effect squall on the 24th temporarily haulted the preperations. However by late in the evening on the Christmas Eve crews finally got to work and since have been working through the night to get everything done. First they tarped the field, layed down plywood and foam padding to give an even surface for the 9 inch crown on the football field. The refrig unit was put in, followed by adding sand and gravel. The boards and glass were then added, then work to add an inch of ice went on. The ice had to be painted white, another 1/2 inch of ice was made, logos were added and a final 1/4- 1/2 inch of ice was layed down. Then work on the benches and other fine tuning went into work. While it sounds rather simple it's actually quite a bit of work to be done in such a short time. Crews said that after the short delay on the 23rd and 24th the weather since has been perfect, with little wind, temps in the low 30's during the day and high 20's at night, and even a shot of rain which came right as they were making the ice surface which they said actually helped to speed up the process of making the rink. Here is a time lapse video of 5 days of work, the 23rd - 28th, condensed into a 74 second video.
Now I haven't heard if this rumor is true or not yet, but it has been said that due to the "lack of expected snowfall" the NHL was having snow shipped into the stadium to add t the decor they were going for. Well if it is ture... I guess the NHL should have waited a bit longer for their snow. Tonight were seeing a nice... light... snow across the whole region which should drop a fresh 2-3 inches by morning. Then things look to get interesting heading towards game day. A few days ago the models had a system moving in with rain changing to lake effect snow for the game. Now the models are snowing an all snow (with a short mix late Monday night), and the chance for a heavy burst of snow right towards the end of the game, but maybe later on. Either way it looks to at least be lightly snowing for the the entire game New Years Day. The NHL was hoping to see a "touch of snow falling", they will get that but maybe a bit more then they asked for. The game will occur in a rather short window of time 1pm until probably no later then 330 - 4pm, so if the heavier burst of snow is gonna wreck havoc it has it's time to do so. Otherwise were looking at temps in the upper 20's (which are perfect for the game), and winds slowing picking up to 15-20 mph, ( a bit higher then ideal, but no where near chaotic for the game). So we shall wait and see when finally happens weather wise for the game. Regardless it should be a great event for the area, and if you've got nothing to do New Years Day, tune into the Winter Classic or the "Ice Bowl" as were all calling it here at 1pm, on NBC, CBC, RDS. You can also see the action LIVE online at NHL.TV or NHL.COM, with pregame coverage starting online live at 11am New Years Day.
Hopefully it's nice and snowy that day during the game to keep Buffalo's rep of being the SNOWY city, even if Syracuse beats us in the contest every dang year!
If I'm not back on before everyone have a HAPPY and SAFE NEW YEAR!
Remember.. DON'T DRINK AND DRIVE! CALL A CAB, OR SPEND THE NIGHT!