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Stadium Series crew begins preparation for NY games

Thursday, 01.16.2014 / 12:17 PM ET / News
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Stadium Series crew begins preparation for NY games

NEW YORK -- The anticipation already is building for the pair of games that will be hosted at Yankee Stadium on Jan. 26 and 29 as part of the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series. But the countdown toward the doubleheader in the Bronx officially started Wednesday with the arrival of the ice truck responsible for turning the home of the New York Yankees into an outdoor hockey haven.

"[Wednesday] they're building the roadways and the staging around the stadium," said Michael Craig, NHL senior manager of facilities operations. "Starting [Thursday] we'll start laying out our piping and our ice pans, that's the refrigeration that takes place underneath. From that point we'll be filling the system with our refrigerant, building the dasher boards and hopefully making the ice by the 18th. So in the next few days we should be ready to go."

A veteran of numerous outdoor games, including multiple Winter Classics, Craig was ready to get to work when he arrived Wednesday afternoon at Yankee Stadium. But taking in his surroundings, it quickly became apparent to the ice guru that this wasn't just any other venue.

"Yankee Stadium is a bit of a fairy tale, isn't it?" Craig said. "I'm from a small town in Western Canada, so to be standing here in New York at Yankee Stadium is pretty special."

The stadium will host the New York Rangers and New Jersey Devils on Jan. 26 and then the Rangers will play the New York Islanders on Jan. 29. For players past and present it was apparent that the spectacle surrounding these games finally was coming together after months of anticipation.

"I've been in this building to watch the Yankees play but nothing like being involved in an outdoor hockey game," said former Devils forward Grant Marshall, who was on hand for the truck's arrival. "This is great. It's great for the game. You've got two great rivalries. It's going to be exciting to watch."

The eyes of the sports world again will be turned toward one of baseball's great venues for the two regular-season games. For the players slated to compete in the games it will be a unique experience, but there still will be crucial standings points up for grabs in the Bronx.

"I've never played in a game like this before," Rangers forward Mats Zuccarello said. "You just kind of have to roll with the punches. I'm sure everyone is going to enjoy it. It's great to be a part of history. It's going to be cool. It's hard to describe before you're really out there. I'm sure it's going to be quite a feeling."

Author: Tal Pinchevsky | NHL.com Staff Writer

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EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
K. Palmieri 82 30 27 3 57
A. Henrique 80 30 20 10 50
T. Zajac 74 14 28 3 42
M. Cammalleri 42 14 24 15 38
D. Severson 72 1 20 -8 21
R. Boucher 39 8 11 -13 19
D. Schlemko 67 6 13 -22 19
J. Moore 73 4 15 -12 19
A. Larsson 82 3 15 15 18
J. Blandisi 41 5 12 -14 17
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Schneider 27 25 6 .924 2.15
K. Kinkaid 9 9 1 .904 2.81
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