The Malik Report
by George Malik on 05/20/13 at 02:06 PM ET
As noted in the game-day update thread and as mentioned this morning, Southeastern Michigan's expecting temperatures to peak around 90 degrees this afternoon and evening, and the local weatherpeople are forecasting a significant possibility of severe thunderstorms, so while the Chicago Blackhawks gushed about playing on the "fast ice" at Joe Louis Arena yesterday, the Detroit News's Matt Charboneau notes that the ice might not be so nice after all:
It was a common refrain around Joe Louis Arena on Monday as the Red Wings and Blackhawks prepared for Game 3 of the Western Conference semifinals: The ice in Detroit is among the best in the league.
But even the playing surface inside Joe Louis Arena suffers when the temperatures outside are in the upper 80s and the humidity is high.
"It is good ice here," Chicago's Viktor Stalberg said after the team's morning skate. "But it didn't feel great this morning maybe because the heat outside. It usually is one of the better surfaces, that's for sure. It makes the game a little quicker and the puck tempo better."
The Red Wings bring in gigantic dehumidifiers that they park outside the Joe to aid in removing moisture from the air, but you can only do so much to aid a 34-year-old building's cause when you open the doors to let 20,000 people in, so the Wings and Hawks alike should expect the ice to be slushy and wet in the 1st period and hopefully improve as the game goes along. Al Sobotka and the Wings' building crew definitely have their work cut out for them tonight.
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