Foxborough, MA. — The weather is cooperating at Gillette Stadium ahead of the 2016 Bridgestone Winter Classic.
The temperature is hovering around the freezing point, winds are between five and 10 kilometres per hour and there’s a hint of sunshine poking through a mostly cloud-covered sky.
NHL ice-maker Dan Craig and his crew are taking precautions.
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As of 9:30 am, the crew laid thermal blankets on the ice to keep the sun from melting certain parts of it. Craig said on Wednesday that special attention needed to be paid to the edges near the bottom of the boards, as the sun reflects off the glass and onto the ice.
The sun was a factor Thursday, as the Boston Bruins took to the ice at 10:30 for their morning skate. It didn’t go away for Montreal’s skate, making the ice “very sticky,” according to Canadiens forward Torrey Mitchell.
“It wasn’t so bad,” said Canadiens defenceman P.K. Subban. “Once you get moving for a bit, it gets easier to skate on. But obviously, it’s stickier and slower.”
About 0, 5mph winds, mostly overcast. If things stay like this we should be perfect for 1pm start. pic.twitter.com/5EcjHUKeJG
— Eric Engels (@EricEngels) January 1, 2016
Friday’s forecast indicates there’s a zero per cent chance of precipitation.
Puck drop is scheduled for 1:38pm ET. The temperature is expected to rise as high as 5C, and it’s supposed to be partly sunny.
No delays to the game are expected, but the NHL will provide updates leading up to game-time.