The weather has been a hot topic for the past week leading up to the 2011 Winter Classic and if reports are to be believed, this year’s game might be getting a later start than scheduled.
With unseasonably warm temperatures and a high likelihood of rain and even thunderstorms moving into Pittsburgh tomorrow afternoon, the NHL might be changing the start time for the Winter Classic from 1:00 pm to 8:00 pm. Katie Carrera of The Washington Post has the report.
The latest weather reports predict about 0.5″ of rain in Pittsburgh between Saturday morning and afternoon, with 80 percent of it falling before 1 p.m. It should taper off around 3-4 p.m., theoretically giving Winter Classic officials time to get the ice ready for faceoff.
NHL officials have been keeping a close eye on the weather updates and Carrera also reports that the NHL will have a decision made by 5:00 pm about what will happen. As it is, the weather today in Pittsburgh was in the low 50s and it felt very warm at field level and it showed on the ice during the Alumni Game and during both team practices. Soft ice is no good for the speed of the game as well as for the ability of the pucks to move and goalies to to play effective in their crease.
We’ll keep you up to date on what happens here in Pittsburgh as it happens.
Update: NHL Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly will have an update at 5:00 pm as to what the NHL will do.