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5 Outdoor Elements That Players And Coaches Said Will Impact The Hockey At The Winter Classic

(Photo Credit: Ken Boehlke,

The Winter Classic is a spectacle. In many ways, the hockey game is second to the show surrounding it. However, there is indeed a hockey game to be played and that hockey game counts the exact same as every other one the Golden Knights have played so far this year.

The players and coaches got to skate on the outdoor rink at T-Mobile Park for the first time yesterday and they clued us in on some of the differences they noticed between playing indoors and playing at a baseball park.

Sticky ice

When asked about the ice, just about every player on both teams mentioned that it was a bit “sticky.” What they mean by that is that the puck doesn’t always slide as consistently as it does in a normal rink. Every Golden Knights player I spoke to mentioned that the ice conditions are not bad to skate on, but the puck was unpredictable.

I do know it’ll be the same for both teams which probably forces you to play with your head down a little more to make sure it’s on your stick. That can put you in some physical situations you don’t want to be in. At the end of the day, pass it harder. And on the flip side of it when you are checking don’t assume the puck is going to move because it could happen to them where the puck sticks and they overskate it. -Cassidy

Open surroundings

In a normal rink, there are fans along the glass around the rink, especially behind the goals. At T-Mobile Park, outdoors, there’s a sizeable gap between the players and the glass.

Going back on pucks there’s usually the glass and the crowd, now there’s glass and there’s space and then the crowd so I don’t know if that’ll effect their perception going back. That’s one that I would anticipate when a defenseman is going back on a puck with pressure it’ll be a little different. -Cassidy

On top of that, the openness can lead to some other aspects of the game feeling a bit different as well.

It is a little different. You kind of have this hollow feeling underneath you and the boards can have some different bounces. -Alec Martinez

The biggest part of this is with the goalies. They are used to the same backdrops as players send shots their way. Today, they’ll be completely different. There’s another element mentioned below that affects the guys between the pipes even more too.

High pucks

The sky comes into play on this one as a few different players told me when the puck reaches a point higher than the dasher boards it can be difficult to pick up. Players are used to looking up into lights rather than the blue (or likely grey) sky in the open-air park. Defensemen mentioned an extra focus on keeping the puck in front of them when it gets up in the air.

The first few will be crucial as the teams will get a feel for how much of a challenge it presents. If it does prove to be troublesome, you better believe there will be a lot of them sent skyward to try and take advantage.

The sun

That pesky giant fireball in the sky could be an issue once again in this outdoor game. No, don’t expect it to do anything like it did in Tahoe where it melted the ice and caused a half-day delay, but if it peaks out through the clouds it will definitely impact the vision of every player on the ice. The Golden Knights’ practice was done mostly under cloud cover, but Kraken players mentioned the challenge it presented them when they were out there with it shining down.

Again, goalies are the most at risk of sun-related errors. The glare off the ice has a strong chance of making shots look a lot different than normal. The Golden Knights shoot the puck quite a bit more than the Kraken normally, so that could be advantage Vegas.

Center ice logo

Not only does the logo feature a lot of dark blue and black, but it’s also gigantic. It nearly stretches from blue line to blue line. A good portion of the neutral zone is on top of the logo.

The center ice logo is dark so plays going through the center you might see some passes that go through there that people lose sight of for a second. -Cassidy

The neutral zone is important in every hockey game, and with this added element of unpredictability, it’ll be especially important in this one.


There may be even more factors that come into play as the players learn more about the surroundings as the game goes on. But, in the wise words of the Golden Knights’ leading scorer…

At the end of the day, hockey is hockey. -Jack Eichel


Despite Historical Dominance, Kraken No Easy Opponent In Winter Classic




  1. ThG

    did someone say sticky rice ????

    I thought it doesn’t exist ??

    bah ha ha ha ha ha

    hope 2024 is better than train wreck that genocide joe inflicted upon
    average joe. Opps can’t call average AMerican Joe, may get cornfused with
    Genocide Joe. Let’s call him the average Moe. Inflicted with high inflation, high crime, flash mobs – now called “targeting” like Downtown Summerlin saw last week with hundreds of let’s call them “thugs” responding to social media posts which explicitly called for rally for hooliganism, high insurance, high gas, high electricity, illegal aliens, southern border invasion, Joe’s excessive mandates on our domestic energy industry, compromising our strategic petroleum reserves, families working more than one job just to get by, opposing political party members targeted. This isn’t democracy, freedom, liberty. This ruination of once great nation by radical lib tards. CA is coming to Nevada, look out. The elements have been here for last ten years. Not good. Not good at all. Yet happy new year, hope and pray it’s better than 2023. Vote the clowns OUT !

    • TS

      Do you EVER stop your incessant attacks, thg? Everyone is telling you to STFU. Do you yet realize you are the ONLY poster that people detest? Gotta be a Rusaian Operative..
      No Patriotic American would constant attack others for THEIR beliefs. Freedom.of speech isn’t going to save your dear leader Trump, and your constant default to our Freedoms, when it’s only YOUR freedoms, is UN- AMERICAN!!
      Who is paying you to be a DISRUPTOR?? Confess, give it up, God knows all, hypocrite!! Get your jollies somewhere else!!

    • Richie-Rich

      Damn, starting off the year with a political rant? Come on man! Can’t we build back better this year a forum that’s more geared toward hockey? Let’s “inflate” hockey over “division”.

      I am looking forward to this Winter Classic. I am all set up and will be watching on MAX. It’s also available on Tru and TNT. The NHL sure isn’t making this game widely available to the “average Joe”!

      Sticky ice could mean a serious injury. Let’s hope we don’t see any today for either team.

      May 2024 be a great year for everyone. Regardless of what political party you associate with, I think that we can all agree that we want Peace around the world, Health, Wealth, Joy & Happiness for all mankind. I expect tough times could be ahead so my advice would be to shed your debt and begin saving for those rainy days that are surely coming. Keep yourself and your loved ones safe.

      God Bless
      Go Knights Go!

      • TS

        Btw, rr: I want to say you are a reasonable, rational guy, and I thank you for also being a gentleman.
        I am really stoked for the game– rockin!!

    • Joe

      I thought Trump was going to fix the problems? If the elements have been here for the last ten years, he didn’t do a good job removing them, now did he? Do everyone a favor ThG, kill yourself.

      • knights fan in minny

        kill yourself you sick piece of shit what’s wrong with you angry dem

  2. ThG

    pray for Japan, the end times are near.

    Earthquakes are mentioned seven times in Revelation. The first is described in Revelation 6:12 and will appear when the sixth seal is opened. At the same time, “the sun [will be] turned black like sackcloth made of goat hair, [and] the whole moon [will be] turned blood red.” A tenth of Jerusalem will collapse in “a severe” earthquake following the death of the final two witnesses, and the earthquake will kill 7,000 people. Several other momentous events, such as the opening of “God’s temple in heaven” are followed or preceded by earthquakes. Perhaps the most concerning earthquake mentioned in Revelation is the one described in Revelation 16:18. “Then there came flashes of lightning, rumblings, peals of thunder and a severe earthquake. No earthquake like it has ever occurred since mankind has been on earth, so tremendous was the quake.” The idea of an earthquake of unheard of magnitude is not good news. Massive earthquakes in the past have done incredible damage. The 2010 earthquake in Haiti is estimated to have killed nearly 320,000 people, and the 1976 Tangshan earthquake killed anywhere from 243,000 people to over 655,000. Both of these, however, pale in comparison to the Shaanxi earthquake of 1556. That quake alone killed almost 1 million people. For a new earthquake to surpass this one is a terrible though.

    Are you ready for the day of judgement ?

    • TS

      The REAL question is: are YOU ready for your Judgement Day?? God knows exactly how you treat your fellow man. He knows how much hate you have in your disturbed soul. God knows, thg. We ALL know.

  3. Tiki Owl

    GTH with your comments here. Go find a MAGA hockey blog. I’ve asked sinbin for a blocking capability but he refused. To everyone else Happy New Year and Go Knights Go.

    • ThG

      sure you did, spoken like a true liberal neofascist, look at all the political hate when VGK visited dementia joe at White House

      take your hypocrisy elsewhere, it won’t fly here

      liberalism is mental disorder exposed once again

      Freedom is not FREE !

    • knights fan in minny

      you want the power

      • knights fan in minny

        owl tiki that is who i mean

        • ThG

          all the liberal are control freaks, that is why they “want the power”.

          demented souls that they are.

          • TS

            Talking about yourself, again, clown?? What a JOKE everyone thinks you are!

  4. Pistol Pete

    9 am partly cloudy up there. Forecast to be cloudy all day.

    • THE hockey GOD

      umm isn’t is 1000000% partly cloudy, and raining, in Seattle 11000% of the time ?

  5. ThG

    The Biden Administration’s Top 10 Accomplishments Of 2023

    Dec 30, 2023 · BabylonBee

    From the border to the economy, President Biden has accomplished feats in 2023 that no one ever saw coming. With so many incredible achievements for the Biden administration this year, narrowing them down was no easy task! Here are the top ten accomplishments of the Biden administration in 2023:

    Reduced obesity in America by making food unaffordable:

    So simple.

    Cleaned up all the cocaine bags someone was leaving around the White House: Decency restored!

    Kept American hostages safe from junk fees during their stay with Hamas:
    Not one single junk fee! (on a sober note, Dementia Joe’s billions of payment to IRAN (not talking about ones he put on hold) came back and kicked him in his sorry A$$. Exposing the anti Israeli neo Nazi’s in his own party, mainly ohmar and the squad. Yet the Demonrats still keep them in their fold. Why is that , do you think?)

    Set all-time record for people illegally streaming into the U.S.:

    Because he’s the most popular President ever. Numbers don’t lie.

    Raised dementia awareness by 400%: Also, sandbag awareness.

    Created record numbers of new billionaires: They’re all in Ukraine, but still.

    Promoted transparency by releasing several “Behind-the-Scenes” videos from Capitol staffers: Campaign promise, delivered.

    Saved democracy by arresting political opponents and not allowing people to vote for anyone else: Thanks, Joe!

    Set new record by spending 40% of time on vacation:

    Finally giving Delaware Beach the attention it so richly deserves.

    Heroically stayed alive to save America from a Kamala Harris Presidency:

    We salute you, Mr. Biden!

    What can’t Biden do?? We can’t wait to see what Joe has up his sleeve in 2024!

    bah ha ha ha ha !

    • Vic

      Ha ha. Happy 2024, THG

    • TS

      Thf: Joke. Clown. Site Disrupter. Russian operative. Piece of rotten humanity.

      • TS

        Have you ever been evaluated, thg?? You need to do so. There is help for people like you. I can send you several links…

      • Richie-Rich

        LOL. He’s not going to stop. The more you people complain the more he eats it up. You are providing the fuel he needs to continue talking politics. Look, I am a supporter of Donald Trump myself. I don’t believe that he’s a fascist, a dictator, or that there was an insurrection. In fact, every Democrat loved The Don and hoped he would run for President someday (you can look that up). As soon as he came out as anti-War and a true believer of Martin Luther King’s Dream, and anti-Establishment, the entire Establishment and their lobbyists came out against him. I know that those who do not believe what I am saying cannot see things the way I do. I can respect that.

        But, my advice is to ignore the political stuff and scroll past it. It may take a while but it’s the only way for this forum to return to pure hockey related material – maybe. Continuing to respond will only fuel it.

        God Bless

        • TS

          Rr, so, we pander to thg and his rants, letting him continue his attacks on others? If he was attacking YOUR beliefs, would you feel.the same? That’s like letting a criminal continue his crimes, so we don’t rock.the boat! Consider the source of all this BS— it’s thg. He is no more than a BULLY. Do bullies get their way, if no one calls it our? ONLY if people let him.

          • Richie-Rich

            TS, All I am saying is that if he’s shouting into the internet black hole and not getting the feedback he desires, which is triggering those who disagree, then maybe he will stop. Nothing you are going to say will change his mind. I don’t think that Ken even has the ability to do anything about what is posted here, which is a shame I think. I’d like to see this forum get back to hockey related material myself. The ranting, SHOUTING, and name calling is childish and only serves to feed whatever need that keeps him doing what he is doing. If Ken can do nothing then we have one of two choices. We can leave this site and go somewhere else (VEGAS GOLDEN KNIGHTS KEEPING IT REAL on Facebook is the other forum I am a moderator in) …. or ignore him. The third option, which is responding to him hasn’t worked and won’t work because he loves triggering all of you into respond and upsetting you.

          • TS

            Rr, I’m going to check out the site you mentioned.I will say that I’ve been on sinbin for 4 years or so, and thg has always posted his CRAP. No matter how much we ignored him, how we humored his rants, how much we dismissed him as a crazy cracker. He didn’t stop then, and nothing will change his abhorrent behavior. He is a bully, period. Pretty sorry that he causes so many to either bite back, or stop caring about this site and leave. Ken should care that his Hockey site has been kidnapped and taken over by his bullshit. I guess the Bully with the biggest mouth runs Ken’s show. Pretty gutless, in my view.

    • knights fan in minny

      you forgot elder abuse by jilly biden for letting the dems prop up mush head joey

  6. Richie-Rich

    Winter Classic Analysis

    -Seattle looks like the more prepared and disciplined team out there.

    -Goal scored by Tolaven was a deflection, that was not on Thompson. Blame poor D and allowing the Kraken to get inside the defense in front of Logan.

    – The offense looks putrid with little to zero coordination and team play. The passing looks desperate and haphazard.

    – This has been going on for quite some time.

    – If this does not change the VGK will be on the wrong side of the score today.

    – Period 2 coming up.

  7. Richie-Rich

    Winter Classic 1st Period Analysis
    Seattle much more disciplined, playing team hockey. VGK looks like a bunch of undisciplined individuals out there. Desperate passing, not understanding or feeling where their fellow teammates will be. The strategy looks to be forcing the puck up the ice through the blue zone through 3 and 4 Kraken.
    Putrid game strategy, if that is in fact the game plan laid out by Cassidy (which I do not think it is).
    Something is wrong with this team, and if they do not get it fixed soon……
    Relying on Eichel to come up with the equalizer and game winner? That’s no strategy.
    Team play wins games, and we simply are not seeing that on the ice today or in the past month or so.

  8. Richie-Rich

    Winter Classic Period 2 Analysis

    Complete breakdown of team strategy. Just a bunch of individuals out there skating around looking foolish.

    Forty minutes and they only had two half-ass good offensive zone opportunities. It seems like they are all waiting for either Eichel or Stone to score.

    This is not the Championship caliber performance we expect.

    I could have spent my time doing some chores around the house that I was putting off.

  9. Richie-Rich

    Winter Classic Game Analysis –

    I couldn’t take another second of this shit show performance. I cannot remember the last time I left a game early or shut a game off. Today is the first time. I just couldn’t take it anymore.

    Fuck off. No Stars.

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