Philadelphia Flyers defenseman Andrew MacDonald is keeping a diary of his experiences at the 2019 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series, which will be played at Lincoln Financial Field in Philadelphia. The Flyers play the Pittsburgh Penguins on Saturday (8 p.m. ET; NBC, SN360, SN1, TVAS2) in a game ripe with implications on the race for the 2019 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
PHILADELPHIA -- Today was pretty special. You're in a football stadium, you're outdoors. In terms of just walking out there, I've been to a couple Eagles games and it's a pretty cool experience. Being in the middle of it all, having a rink being in the middle of it, that was pretty special.
I got to check things out while the Penguins were practicing before us. I think you try to take it all in a little bit. Your eyes start to track all throughout the venue and you're looking at potential vantage points, maybe try to scope out which seats would be the best. Just try to get a feel for how the game is going to feel tomorrow.
Getting dressed in the Eagles locker room was different. I played at Yankee Stadium a few years back with the New York Islanders, and the Yankees room was pretty brand new and that was a big room. But this was massive.
Seeing the Super Bowl LII trophy in the room was cool. Everyone made sure they got over to take a look at it. We were playing some kickball and that almost got hit so we had to shut it down.
Practice was pretty similar to what we usually do. The coaches said they were just trying to keep the drills familiar for us. Kind of let us feel the ice, get our bearings out there, our surroundings. It wasn't a long practice at all.
The ice was great. We were joking that it might have been the best ice we've been on all year. It was the perfect temperature. I think they did a really good job with the ice.
After practice we had the family skate and that was great. My wife Hali and I had our 3-year-old son Mason out with us. This is the first time he's been able to participate in something like this. We had him out earlier in the year, at the team Christmas party, got the skates on a little bit, tried to walk it out. My wife used to figure skate a little bit and she coached, so she's well-versed in instructing the young ones how to skate, what they need to do, probably better than I am. I wouldn't know what to tell him. But he did great, really enjoyed it. It's pretty cool experience to do that as a family out there.
Today was a great warmup for tomorrow. Today's the day to enjoy it, embrace the feel and what it's going to be like out there. Not to say tomorrow you're not going to enjoy yourself. But I think we realize there's a lot on the line for us tomorrow. This was kind of hopefully a chance to let all those emotions out and get ready for tomorrow.