Courtesy The Weather Channel comes the latest forecast for the 2012 Winter Classic on Jan. 2 in Philadelphia (on NBC!).
Could be better. Could be worse.
The one thing the NHL is hoping to avoid is rain. Above-freezing temperatures shouldn’t be a problem, as it’s not like the Flyers and Rangers will be skating on an outdoor pond. The rink they use for the Winter Classic is one of them fancy high-tech ones with pipes and…whatnot.
“We’re expecting about an inch of rain, but we got a lot of stuff done (Tuesday) morning and then we’ll start to move inside and do the things we need to do to stay dry,” said NHL Senior Vice President of Events Don Renzulli. “We still have locker rooms to complete. We’ll put matting down and carpeting down. It’s getting organized so (Wednesday) we can play catch-up on the stuff that didn’t get done (Tuesday).
“As you look around, all the big stuff is down on the field, so I’m not worried about that now. It’s all about tightening up now.”
For more on the weather situation in Philadelphia, here’s NHL.com’s Dan Rosen.
Thomas Hickey is involved in a controversial hit, yet the greater debate may revolve around the one he received rather than the one he delivered.
In the second period, the New York Islanders defenseman connected for a thunderous hit on Tampa Bay Lightning forward Jonathan Drouin, which sidelined Drouin for a chunk of Game 3.
Many believe that hit was legal:
The Islanders are upset about the Brian Boyle hit on Hickey in overtime, which came moments before Boyle scored the game-winning goal. You can see the full sequence here, with the hit happening around the 50-second mark:
Islanders head coach Jack Capuano believes that it was a suspension-worthy hit.
In a Tampa Bay Lightning win in which they just kept rolling with the New York Islanders’ punches, it only seems fitting that Boyle battled to land a big hit and then score the clinching goal for a 5-4 overtime victory.
This gives the Lightning a 2-1 series lead heading into Game 4.
That sequence prompted a brief goal review, but it ultimately stood:
(Was that Boyle hit on Hickey dirty, by the way?)
Drama was in the air from the beginning, yet Drouin really stole the show when he came back from what some believe was a concussion to assist on Nikita Kucherov‘s last-minute goal, which sent the game to overtime.
Other than putting an icebag over his nose, Jonathan Drouin seemed fine post-game. "He's a warrior," goalie Ben Bishop said.