PITTSBURGH -- The ice crew is getting a well-deserved night off.
Dan Craig told me Monday afternoon that they're about five hours ahead of schedule so he's giving the boys a chance to go out for a good dinner.
The ice right now is painted white and they'll probably be here until 8 or 9 tonight spraying water to seal that in. Once that's done they'll take off for the night and come back Tuesday morning to start painting down the lines and logos as well as spray water on the auxiliary rink to build that ice.
The plexiglass is scheduled to go up Tuesday as well, but wind will determine if that happens. It's supposed to be blowing pretty good here so I wouldn't be surprised if the plexiglass install didn't happen until Wednesday or possibly even Thursday.
Craig said Monday that overcoming the wind was their biggest challenge in building the ice and painting it white.
"When you're spraying here and it ends up on that back wall…we'd like it to land and freeze where we point it, not 40 feet away," he said. "That's why it's a challenge. We're trying to make this thing, the ice surface, as dense as we possibly can. That's why we use fine sprays, but when the wind is pushing it everywhere we have to expand the flow of the water a little bit."
It wouldn't be shocking to see people skating on the ice by Tuesday night, if not Wednesday morning.
If you want to prove people wrong, you've just got to go out and do it. Yeah, we blew 3-2 series leads the last two years, but no one is going remember that if we go out there on Saturday night and beat these guys and go play in the Stanley Cup Final. We need to get back to work and we'll start to do that tomorrow.
— Ducks forward Kyle Palmieri following a loss to the Blackhawks in Game 6 on Wednesday