The nascent New Year's Day outdoor hockey tradition - the Winter Classic - faces an unusual threat this year: warm rain. The Pittsburgh Penguins will host the Washington Capitals Saturday at Heinz Field with the puck drop set for 1 PM. Or maybe not.
Along with the rain, Pittsburgh temperatures are predicted to rise to the mid 40's. If weather forces a postponement, NHL vice president Don Renzulli tells NHL.com the league's "window with the television networks, NBC and CBC, is so long that the game could be delayed up to seven hours before it would finally have to be postponed until noon on Jan. 2."
Paging Jim Cantore.
The NHL isn't getting worried - yet. The Washington Post notes the threat is from steady rain; and Pens Captain Sidney Crosby doubts there'll be an advantage for players accustomed to outdoor games. While we wait, here's another time lapse of how that outdoor ice rink comes together: