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Hockey day in Pittsburgh

Tuesday, 12.28.2010 / 9:25 AM

By Dan Rosen - Senior Writer / 2011 Winter Classic Blog

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2011 Winter Classic Blog
Hockey day in Pittsburgh
PITTSBURGH -- It's a big day here in the Steel City with the Winter Classic build-out going on at Heinz Field and the Penguins getting ready to drop the puck against the Atlanta Thrashers at CONSOL Energy Center.

Of course, will be in both places.

I'm bringing you this blog from inside the quiet media room at CONSOL Energy Center, where the Penguins won't take the ice for their morning skate until 10:30. We're here early to shoot the Blackberry All-Access Show.

Everyone in this building is curious about Sidney Crosby's point-scoring streak, which is at 24 games and counting. Of course, the Thrashers have become one of the NHL's best stories of the season, but it's hard to take away from the news of Crosby's streak and the fact that this is the Penguins last home game before the 2011 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.

Over at Heinz Field the talk centers on weather, and there is absolutely nothing that the NHL can do about that.

Funny story: I was walking from the hotel up the hill to the arena this morning when I was spotted by a Pittsburgh police officer who noticed my NHL Winter Classic jacket. He asked me, "Are they going to play the game?"

Hey, it's a fair question. I assume just about every Pittsburgher is wondering that right about now.

I answer, "Is it going to rain?"

"I don't know," he said.

"Neither do I," I responded.

He laughed before telling me, "You should have the inside scoop."

Here's the thing, folks: Questions about weather and contingency plans will be asked all week, but nobody has any clue, not me, not Dan Craig, not Don Renzulli and not even the weathermen.

As one Penguins employee pointed out to me yesterday, we all know the joke that weathermen are the only people in the world paid to be wrong, so why all of a sudden are we taking what they're saying as gospel?

Let's all wait and see.

For now, let's just enjoy a great day in Pittsburgh.

It's cold but not too windy, so the boys at Heinz Field shouldn't have any problem getting down those lines and logos and building another half-inch of ice overtop to seal the paint in.

Jackets, gloves and hats aren't required here inside CONSOL, and the Penguins and Thrashers will try to heat up the building later.

Will Crosby get to 25? Will it rain on New Year's Day?

Let's just wait and see, OK.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl
Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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