NHL: Annual outdoor game today in Philly
Cold, wind, ice. Conditions that usually spoil the enjoyment of a World Series game are on deck for the fifth edition of the NHL's inside-the-park extravaganza, this one set for 3 p.m. Monday between the Flyers and the New York Rangers at Citizens Bank Park.
Amid the HBO cameras and Stanley Cup-atmosphere that has infused the game with enough energy to power the rink, a little perspective came Sunday from the Rangers and Flyers in their final practices.
The game was pushed back two hours because of a revised weather forecast that should offer optimal game conditions for players and fans.
The game was scheduled for 1 p.m. The gates will now open at 1 p.m.
Last year's game at Pittsburgh was moved into prime time because of rain.
"Let's play," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "It's time to play the game."
Workers stuck Christmas trees and winter firewood on the fake snow around the rink as the finishing touches were sprinkled on a project that started just before Thanksgiving. While fans hoped for winter wonderland conditions, the two-hour shift will at least mean chilly temperatures and less sun.
"It's going to feel different to be out there," Rangers center Brad Richards said. "It'll be, look around for a little bit, but you don't want to get clocked, so you can't look too much."
The game is too important to gawk at the skyline.
Flyers coach Peter Laviolette made it clear winning the game between two teams jostling for the top spot in the Eastern Conference is more important than putting on a show when he benched slumping goalie -- and "24/7" breakout star -- Ilya Bryzgalov for Sergei Bobrovsky.