PHILADELPHIA -- The rain started at exactly 11:30 a.m., and it's been slowly picking up steam here at Citizens Bank Park.
NHL ice guru Dan Craig is in his back-and-forth mode. He was just out on the ice checking out the floor to see how fast the rink is freezing, but now is briskly walking back toward the ramp leading to the refrigeration truck that is parked behind the right-field wall.
While it rains this afternoon, Craig will be doing a lot of running back and forth between the rink and the truck to make sure everything is working in sync and he's not freezing the rain that's falling onto the ice sheet too fast or too slow. He said it's all about balance, and if he can make it work, then Mother Nature will have helped him build the type of ice that he wants.
However, the rain is supposed to pick up as the day goes on, and roughly an inch of rain is expected to fall here.
Craig said if the forecast is accurate and the rain persists, he'll send his crew back to the hotel because there won't be anything for them to do here while it rains. He'll monitor the truck to see how fast it's pumping the glycol coolant to the floor, but that's a one- or two-man job.
In fact, since Craig left the field no one else has come on. That's how quiet it is here now due to the rain.
Our hope is to talk to Craig again later today to see how things are progressing and how the rain is affecting him, if at all.