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Round 2
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Stanley Cup Final

Trucks, trucks and more trucks

Wednesday, 12.29.2010 / 10:09 AM

By Dan Rosen - NHL.com Senior Writer / 2011 Winter Classic Blog

PITTSBURGH -- It wasn't easy getting here this morning. The shuttle bus from the hotel had to take a winding route around the stadium and then drop me off about 100 feet from the entrance at Gate 6 because of all the trucks either in or nearby the loading dock.

It's packed in there as all the broadcast trucks have arrived. They're expected 23 trailers to fill that loading dock by gameday and that's about twice as many that were in Buffalo four years ago.

That sort of tells you how far this game has come.

Don Moffatt, the NHL's Facilities Operations Supervisor, told me that the ice is almost ready, but not quite there yet. He and Travis Larson were spraying water to seal in all the lines and logos when I got here about a half an hour ago. Moffatt told me the crew left by 10 last night and was back here at 6 this morning.

I wouldn't necessarily characterize that as a night off by my standards, but for these guys getting away from the stadium for eight hours is a big, big deal and very well deserved.

It's safe now for me to assume that all of the NHL staff members selected to work this event are here. Several friends in the national media members arrive today and should be here this afternoon for the briefing with NHL Executive V.P. of Marketing Brian Jennings.

I'll try to catch up with Dan Craig a little later to get an update, and I may attempt to head over to the Carnegie Science Center across the street to see the Hockey Hall of Fame exhibit.

Meanwhile, in the hockey world Sidney Crosby continued his tear last night with 2 goals and 2 assists, giving him 50 points during his current 25-game point streak. The Penguins won, 6-3.

The Capitals don't look too shabby either. Alex Ovechkin scored an empty net goal in a 3-0 win over Montreal that was really headlined by a strong 25-save effort by Semyon Varlamov and quick goals late in the first period by Jay Beagle and Mike Green.

Washington has won four of the last five games since snapping their eight-game losing streak.

That's it for now. Gotta go shoot the Blackberry All-Access Show.

Follow Dan Rosen on Twitter at: @drosennhl

It means a lot to us, we're very excited. We're looking to continue to build on [our] top core talent of young players. It's just a great opportunity for us to really build high.

— Panthers vice president of hockey operations Travis Viola after Florida won the No. 1 pick in the NHL Draft Lottery