BOSTON — If the NHL does eye the Rogers Centre as a potential site for a Winter Classic one day, there will have to be alterations to the retractable roof.
When the stadium first was built, no heating/ice melting equipment was installed along the roof tracks and roof seams. Unless the conditions are ideal, there is a danger of the lid not closing properly.
If the league seriously wants to hold an outdoor game there, the appropriate equipment definitely would have to be installed.
Dan Craig, the so-called ice guru of the NHL, was getting kudos for the outstanding condition of the rink heading into Friday’s Winter Classic between the Philadelphia Flyers and Boston Bruins.
“That Dan Craig guy is pretty amazing,” Bruins goalie Tuukka Rask said.
Flyers forward Scott Hartnell took it one step further, claiming ice conditions on the makeshift rink were better than those in half the arenas in the NHL.
League officials certainly won’t be happy to hear that.
Forecasters are calling for a 50% chance of snow Friday with a high of about 2C.
That’s a huge improvement from earlier in the week, when the ominous forecast predicted rain showers.
Of note: Should the weather impede playing conditions, the game will be considered official if two periods are played.
If a makeup date is needed, the game would go Saturday.
HAVING A BALL
With the snow accruing on the Fenway Park ice Thursday, the Philadelphia Flyers began chucking snowballs at each other during their early-afternoon practice.
At one point, Jeff Carter nailed Hartnell in the head as he was coming in on a breakaway. Shortly after that, Hartnell attempted to head butt another snowball that was coming his way.
“Maybe I’ll score a goal like that tomorrow,” Hartnell said.
Meanwhile the Bruins’ Mark Recchi, who once played for the Flyers, was asked if forwards might flick snow through the bars of the mask belonging to the opposing goalie in order to get him off his game.
“That’s a dirty trick, isn’t it?” Recchi chuckled. “We might have to try that.”