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.
Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'
— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis