-- After two relatively quiet days at Citizens Bank Park, the ballpark was alive again Monday with staffers returning from their holiday break to start or continue chores that will lead into New Year's weekend and the 2012 Bridgestone NHL Winter Classic.
"We're going to be working until midnight. We have four guys on the crew here right now and we'll get another four here by 5 o'clock. The sun is off the field by 2:30, the truck really grabs a hold of the floor somewhere around 3 or 3:15, so we'll get two hoses going and we'll keep on spraying. We'll be in good shape for (Tuesday) morning." -- Dan Craig
However, for NHL Senior Director of Facilities Operations Dan Craig and his crew, the upcoming grind doesn't seem so daunting because they didn't take a holiday break.
Craig and selected members of his crew stayed in town over Christmas and managed to build over a quarter of an inch of ice, which put them almost 50 percent to their target depth they have to reach before they can begin painting the surface white and putting down lines and logos. They had to work around the sun that lit up the ice for roughly four hours each day before fading by 2:30 p.m., but they did so with little to no pressure at all.
"We got a little work done in the morning, took a break and then got a little more done. We built over a quarter of an inch and we didn't really push ourselves that hard," Craig told NHL.com. "We let the guys kind of kick up their feet a little bit, but made sure we paid attention to what the truck was doing in relation to all the sun hitting the (floor). It helped us when nobody was around to really make this work."