With rain threatening this Saturday's Winter Classic between the Pittsburgh Penguins and Washington Capitals at Heinz Field, the NHL is thinking about the possibility of playing the game at night. Kevin Allen of USA Today is reporting that the networks -- NBC in the United States and CBC in Canada -- have said that the game could be played late into the evening hours on Saturday night to avoid the rain that's in the forecast.
NHL says that if it's pouring Saturday afternoon, networks say the Winter Classic could go as late as 8 p.m.
The game could also be played on Sunday, head-to-head with the NFL, or in a disaster scenario, could be played indoors at the Pens' usual home, CONSOL Energy Center. The NHL doesn't want either of those scenarios to play out, though, for obvious reasons. For the record, CONSOL seats about 50,000 less people than Heinz Field. Ticketing nightmare? Yes, indeed.
All of this might not matter, of course, if the weather turns out to be cooperative. This is the weather we're talking about here. Things change quickly, and we were dealing with the same threat of bad weather a year ago in Boston. There's a possibility that rain completely evacuates the forecast by the weekend.