At the Winter Classic, hockey is essentially at the mercy of the unpredictable, ever changing phenomenon we call weather. While the 2018 NHL Winter Classic at Citi Field is frigid, precipitation is not in the cards for the tilt between the New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres.
What has become a problem, however, is the shadows that are ever-present, and constantly changing thanks to the movement of the sun, on the ice.
The effect is even worse in motion, as it’s extremely hard to see the puck in the shadows on television.
What a pass by Hayes. pic.twitter.com/oKNMoKFWme— NHL GIFs (@NHLGIFs) January 1, 2018
Shadows usually aren’t such a big problem in outdoor hockey games, as these games can often be played in overcast skies or later in the evening when the sun is down.
Instead, Citi Field has been lost in a maze of shadows, and TV viewers aren’t too happy about it.
Holy cow the shadows are making this #WinterClassic tough to watch on tv.— Minner Arena FanCave (@MinnerArena) January 1, 2018
I’m having a lot of problems following the puck on TV for NHL Winter Classic with all the shadows. Can only imagine what it’s like for fans at the game. But there’s no shortage of fans willing to pay big bucks to watch NHL outdoor games.— Stu Cowan (@StuCowan1) January 1, 2018
It’s nice how the winter classic is unwatchable because of shadows and camera angles— Bob Larkin (@Bobby_Beatzzz) January 1, 2018
The shadows are brutal. Many say a reason they don't watch hockey is because it's hard to follow the puck. I'm having a tough time finding/following the puck so anyone new to the game must be completely lost.— Puck Podcast (@PuckPodcast) January 1, 2018
One can only imagine what the environment must be like for fans in Citi Field and the players on the ice that are dealing with the changing conditions.