With the ice surface in Fenway Park built and game presentation being tweaked for Friday's 2010 Winter Classic, the NHL has 2 days to sit and wait. That's plenty of time to drum up alternative plans in case the weather doesn't cooperate.
Forecast after forecast, it doesn't look like it will.
The current forecast is calling for a 70 percent chance of rain, freezing rain and/or snow, with a high temperature of 40 degrees. NBC has a television window of 1 o'clock to 6 o'clock for the game, and the rain date is Saturday.
"We are looking at light drizzle, temperature dropping," said NHL senior VP of Event Don Renzulli yesterday. "It's kind of too early right now to decide what we're going to do. We are prepared for a number of different issues, and when we get to Thursday, we'll make a call based on the current weather forecast."
Renzulli said he wants to make sure the Winter Classic is three full periods, instead of a five-inning baseball game.
NHL ice guru Dan Craig said they haven't yet tested the limits of the NHL's ice-making truck, which freezes the surface.
"Two days ago, it rained really hard all afternoon to about 3:00 or 3:30, and we were set solid by 6:00," Craig said. "So we know what this truck can do, and that's without having to squeegee any water off."
In a perfect situation, Renzulli said, the NHL would make a call based on the weather without fans having to enter the building and head home without a game played.
- Frank Seravalli