Winter Classic threatened by rainy forecast for Saturday
Weather forecasts are notoriously and unreliably ominous five days removed from the annual Winter Classic, but this year there's a four-letter word that no one wants to hear: rain.
Weather.com says there's a 50 percent chance of rain with a high of 44 and a low of 33 Saturday when the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals play at Heinz Field in Pittsburgh. The forecast for Sunday is more favorable, with a 30-percent chance of rain/snow showers and a high of 37/low of 23.
If the game cannot be played Saturday, the NHL would have the option of playing it Sunday at Heinz, sources tell the New York Times.
And, if playing outdoors is not an option for either day, a makeup date at Pittsburgh's arena would be set for later in the season. The NHL will hold a press conference to discuss the forecast at 4 p.m. today.
The warm temperatures would be less a problem than rain, NHL operations facilities manager Dan Craig said. The playing surface will be kept at 22 degrees; rain, though, would not immediately freeze, flooding the ice surface. When it does freeze, the surface of the ice is uneven.
Winter Classic: Preview
| December 27, 2010; 12:36 PM ET
Categories: Winter Classic
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