Jan 24, 2014, 8:53 AM EST
This will be a weekend of firsts for hockey. The first matches of the Stadium Series, the first NHL games hosted in Yankee and Dodgers Stadium, and for that matter, the first time the NHL will host regular season outdoor games on back-to-back days.
That’s created a lot of challenges for NHL senior director of facilities operations Dan Craig and senior manager of facilities operations Mike Craig, but with the Los Angeles Kings set to face the Anaheim Ducks and the New Jersey Devils getting ready to take on the New York Rangers, everything should be ready for their contests.
That’s despite some of the last minute headaches they’ve faced in Yankee Stadium. Their task of painting the ice was delayed by a snowstorm on Tuesday that dumped about a foot of snow onto the rink. Facing a hard deadline, the Yankee Stadium crew teamed up with the NHL event staff to clear the rink so that they could resume their work.
“We paint it white, we build up the sheet a little bit, then put our lines and logos,” Mike Craig told NHL.com. “Then we flood it to the point we’re able to skate over the lines and logos. We’ll be doing that for close to 24 hours a day until Saturday morning when we get ready for the first people who step on the ice.” (See more here.)
Snow obviously hasn’t been an obstacle at Dodger Stadium, but trying to host a game in Southern California presents its own set of challenges.
After the snow was cleared in New York City, their work was furthered postponed because the sun starting beating down on the ice Wednesday afternoon. That caused them to shift their efforts to working on the ice itself. If that’s an issue in New York in January, you can imagine the potential for problems in Los Angeles.
Their solution to that was to take the sun out of the equation entirely. At Dodger Stadium they have been shielding the ice in reflective blankets while the sun’s out. Its meant working nights, but the results have been encouraging.
“I was shocked how level (the ice) was and how good a job Dan (Craig) had already done because usually the first time you step on the ice it’s never really good,” said Kings president Luc Robitaille, according to NHL.com, after testing out the ice on Wednesday.
Dan Craig isn’t quite satisfied yet, but the heavy lifting is done. Now it’s about fine-tuning the surface by careful positioning of an ice-making truck. In Los Angeles, the when counts as much as the where though, because in addition to the sun, the humidity has increasingly become an obstacle. (See more here.)
These cities have presented the NHL with two very different sets of challenges and because the games will be happening on Saturday (Ducks-Kings, 9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN) and Sunday (Rangers-Devils, 12:30 p.m. ET, NBC), they’ve been forced to divide the rink-builders crew into two teams for the first time.
In just a couple more days, the fruits of their efforts will be enjoyed by four teams and NHL fans from coast-to-coast.
Jan 28, 2015, 3:02 PM EST
The Los Angeles Kings are bad at the shootout, and the Buffalo Sabres are good at it.
Jan 28, 2015, 2:15 PM EST
News and notes from around the crease…
Jan 28, 2015, 1:51 PM EST
An incident against Philly on Jan. 19 was the straw that broke the camel’s back.
Jan 28, 2015, 1:39 PM EST
Chris Stewart remains a member of the worst team in the NHL.
Jan 28, 2015, 1:39 PM EST
“We’re not giving up on him at all.”
Jan 28, 2015, 1:16 PM EST
Someone check the water in Columbus.
Jan 28, 2015, 1:11 PM EST
“That was a team with tremendous character, with great coaches, great players and quality individuals. “
Jan 28, 2015, 12:51 PM EST
Habs’ d-man was tossed from Tuesday night’s game.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:52 AM EST
“It shouldn’t be a part of hockey,” said Canucks captain Henrik Sedin.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:51 AM EST
Could be bad news. Could be good. All depends who you cheer for.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:33 AM EST
Boston d-man has struggled this season, but could be on the move by Mar. 2.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:17 AM EST
Los Angeles is currently out of the West’s top eight.
Jan 28, 2015, 11:16 AM EST
“Show up to your job, and you’re off suspension.”
Jan 28, 2015, 11:08 AM EST
Jim Rutherford, really working the phones.
Jan 28, 2015, 10:36 AM EST
“I got nothing left here.”
Jan 28, 2015, 9:45 AM EST
Both teams played last night.
Jan 28, 2015, 8:46 AM EST
Wednesday’s links lean toward a legend.
Jan 28, 2015, 1:45 AM EST
Vancouver has now been shutout in back-to-back home games.
Jan 28, 2015, 1:00 AM EST
Pittsburgh was without Crosby and Malkin.
Jan 28, 2015, 12:15 AM EST
He’s going to need some dental work.
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- No hearing scheduled for Kesler after ‘dirty play’ on Dorsett 19
- Why NHL fans — no matter where they live — should care about the plunging Canadian dollar 17
- Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc 61
- Video: Habs’ Emelin ejected for hit on Stars’ Spezza 28
- Martin Brodeur to retire, become Blues asst. GM (Updated) 41
- Mike Richards clears waivers 32
- Game on: Islanders-Rangers to be played despite storm 15
- Flyers’ Rinaldo suspended eight games for his hit on Letang 57
- Isles’ rise to be tested as they lose Okposo for 6-8 weeks 17
- Columnist: Flyers ‘orchestrated’ fight night versus Pens during meal at ‘a local steakhouse’ (130)
- L.A. Sorry? Kings waive Mike Richards (127)
- Report: Flyers’ Rinaldo waives right to an in-person hearing (63)
- Trade: Pens acquire Lapierre from Blues for Goc (61)
- Video: NHL offers Flyers’ Rinaldo in-person hearing (57)