It’s been a busy last 24 hours at the United Center, as staff raced to transition the arena from Tuesday’s Rolling Stones concert to Wednesday’s Game 7 between the Blackhawks and Red Wings.
So, how’s the ice?
“It’s fine,” said ‘Hawks head coach Joel Quenneville, when asked about tonight’s playing surface.
That ringing endorsement comes as temperatures in Chicago hit the 80s on Wednesday, with relatively high humidity (71 percent).
Ice conditions have become a hot topic this postseason, thanks in large part to a number of delay of game penalties for pucks being shot over the glass.
Many NHL coaches feel poor ice conditions often result in an inability for pucks to lay flat on the ice. When pucks are on edge or rolling, the likelihood of them being flipped over the glass increases.
“I was never a big fan of the rule, quite honest, because of the ice conditions in a lot of the buildings,” Kings head coach Darryl Sutter explained on Tuesday. “The puck is not always flat on the ice, and that’s not the players’ fault.”
In their opening-round victory over the Ducks, the Red Wings were almost derailed by a delay of game penalty to Henrik Zetterberg late in the third period of Game 7.
Anaheim converted with the man advantage to cut Detroit’s lead to 3-2, resulting in a frenzied final few minutes of the game.