By The Numbers: NHL Stadium Series in NYC
Despite the same locale and one common participant, the games themselves were as opposite as can be, right down to the entertainers that took the stage pre-game and during intermissions. Still, though, the fans that we YESNetwork.com surveyed on both days said the Stadium Series was a great experience, so perhaps a Winter Classic isn’t too far behind?
Something fun to dream about, indeed, but with the book now closed on the NHL Stadium Series here in NYC, we, with special thanks to NHL Public Relations for providing info on several items on this list, present to you a By The Numbers look at the phenomenon.
243/20K: How does one build an outdoor rink in Yankee Stadium? Well, as the numbers to the left indicate, it took 243 ice pans (each measuring roughly 30 inches by 340 inches in size) and roughly 20,000 gallons of water to create an ice surface that was two inches thick – the requirement for an outdoor rink to help withstand the variable climate elements.
53/300/3,000: Of course, building the rink isn’t the only portion of the process, as you have to keep that ice cool once it’s set. To do that, the NHL has brought in a specially-built 53-foot long mobile refrigeration unit – an apparatus with a 300-ton capacity – and used 3,000 gallons of coolant to expedite the freezing process. Translation: the next time the NHL announces an outdoor endeavor like this, it might be wise to buy some stock in Prestone.
9: There have been 45 men to play for both the Rangers and Devils and 70 to play for both the Blueshirts and the Islanders, but as of 2013-14, there are just nine men who have played for all three teams taking part in the NYC portion of the Stadium Series. Aaron Asham, who is currently with the Rangers’ AHL affiliate in Hartford, is the only one currently with one of those organizations, and Mike Mottau (now with the Florida Panthers) is the only other player on the list who is active in the NHL.
15: The Stadium Series had an Olympic flair to it, as 15 of the men who took to the ice will be heading to Sochi next week to play for their country. The Rangers had the most with seven Olympians, with four players apiece from the Devils and Islanders heading to Russia. Surprisingly, despite those 15 players representing eight different countries, not a single one of them will play for the host nation.
14: Madison Square Garden and the Prudential Center are 14 miles apart as the crow flies, making the Rangers and Devils the closest geographic rivals in the NHL. MSG and Nassau Coliseum are 27 miles apart, making the Rangers and Islanders the second-closest, but that gap will shorten significantly – to just six miles, or four stops on the downtown Q train – when John Tavares and company move to Brooklyn’s Barclays Center in 2015.
36/22: Those two numbers are the average high and low temperatures for New York City in the final week of January, according to Weather.com, with the latter also being the ideal ice surface temperature for an NHL rink.
24.9/22: Luckily (or perhaps unluckily) for the NHL, this winter is especially harsh in NYC, so the game-time temperature for Sunday afternoon’s contest was just a shade under 25 degrees – and it only got worse on Wednesday night, as the mercury at puck-drop read a balmy 22 degrees.
40: Despite the perhaps-ideal conditions, the opening faceoff on Sunday afternoon was actually delayed 40 minutes by sun glare, making this the first event ever at Yankee Stadium to be delayed because the weather was too nice.
10-7-4: Once the delay was over, the Rangers’ 7-3 win on Sunday merely tied the NHL record for goals in an outdoor game (10)…but their seven total goals did set a record for most by one team in an open-air tilt, and their second-period outburst of four set a new benchmark for tallies in a single outdoor period.
50,105: Sunday’s game drew 50,105 to Yankee Stadium, nearly three times the hockey capacity of the Devils’ actual home ice in Newark. Prudential Center seats 17,625 for hockey, so while it won’t give the Devils quite as much of a boost in average home attendance as the 100,000-plus at the Winter Classic did for the Red Wings, one game in the Bronx gave them almost two extra home games worth of admissions.
50,027: Apparently the Islanders aren’t as much of a draw as the Devils, as Wednesday’s 201 loss to the Rangers drew “only” 50,027 to the Stadium. Of course, we jest in that first sentence, as 50,000-plus in back-to-back events is pretty darn impressive no matter who the participants are – and in reality, that figure is indeed more than three times the capacity for the Isles’ home ice at Nassau Coliseum, which is currently the NHL’s second-smallest arena at a max of 16,234.
1-2-3: When all was said and done, though, it was as easy as 1-2-3 for the Rangers; they’re the first team to win two straight outdoor games, and the first to win three outdoor games period thanks to their victory in the 2012 Winter Classic.