Penguins, Sidney Crosby hope to dodge raindrops in outdoor game
PHILADELPHIA – Pittsburgh Penguins coach Mike Sullivan didn’t major in meteorology at Boston University.
That much was clear after his team practiced at Lincoln Financial Field on Friday afternoon.
“From our standpoint, we can’t get distracted by the things we can’t control,” Sullivan said. “We’re not going to worry about the weather. We’re not going to worry about those things. Both teams have to play in the same conditions. We’re just going to focus on our own game.”
NHL officials have no such luxury.
With rain on the way, they’ll have to closely monitor conditions and decide whether Saturday night’s Stadium Series game between the Penguins and Philadelphia Flyers will go on as scheduled.
On Friday afternoon, the league issued a press release saying an 8 p.m. opening faceoff was still the plan. It promised a further update by noon Saturday.
“It could be a factor,” captain Sidney Crosby said. “Obviously it’s the same for both teams, but that’s not a great thing to be playing in. I’ve played in rain before. It doesn’t really bode well. It’s something you’ll have to make a decision on. I think, for the most part, you’re trying to focus on playing. You can’t control the weather. But it’s not ideal.”
According to the National Weather Service, a half-inch to three-quarters of an inch of rain is expected in Philadelphia on Saturday night. When the rain will start and how hard it will fall during the evening hours remains in question.
“If it’s light, it’s not too bad,” Crosby said. “If it starts to pour pretty good, that can be a different story.”
The NHL hasn’t announced any details of its contingency plan if the game is rained out. Mostly likely, it would be rescheduled for late Sunday afternoon.
“I’m willing to do anything,” Crosby said. “It’s the same for both teams, so whatever they decide. Playing wise, you’d love for conditions to be great and clear skies and great ice conditions, but if it doesn’t happen, it’s part of playing outside. We’ve all been through it at certain points in our lives. You just gotta deal with it.”
Jonathan Bombulie is a Tribune-Review staff writer. You can contact Jonathan by email at firstname.lastname@example.org or via Twitter .