ST. LOUIS – The Winter Classic between the Blackhawks and St. Louis Blues is still scheduled to begin at noon today, the NHL announced this morning.
The current forecast on Weather.com shows a 65 percent chance of rain around noon; rain is expected to end around 3 p.m. If it’s just light rain, it shouldn’t be a problem. The league said, “the decision was made after consulting with meteorologists regarding the latest weather reports, which while the weather forecast is unpredictable, the original start time should provide the best opportunity to play the game.”
Here are some scenarios if the game is not completed:
· If the game has to be stopped permanently due to unplayable weather conditions, it will be deemed "official" after two periods. The team leading at the time play is stopped will be declared the winner and will be awarded two points in the standings.
· If the game is tied at the time play is stopped permanently, any time after two periods of play, each team will be awarded one point in the standings, with an opportunity to earn an additional point in a standard shootout format. If weather conditions permit, the shootout will be conducted at Busch Stadium immediately after regulation play has been stopped. If weather conditions make it impossible to conduct a shootout safely at Busch Stadium, the shootout will take place at United Center on Sunday, February 26 prior to the regularly scheduled St. Louis-Chicago game, with St. Louis deemed the home club for shootout purposes only.
· If the game is started, and stopped permanently due to unplayable weather conditions, and fewer than two periods of regular time has been played, the game will be officially "postponed" and, if possible, will be played in its entirety at Busch Stadium on Tuesday, January 3. If the game cannot be replayed at Busch Stadium on January 3, it will be rescheduled at Scottrade Center for a date to be determined later in the season.
The Blackhawks talked on Sunday of dealing with the uncertain start time. Coach Joel Quenneville said the Blackhawks have rolled with various start times before, and this was no different.
“We’ve played in a lot of different games, time schedules over the course of a season or career. Early starts, mid-afternoons, 6 o’clock, 7 o’clock, we’ve had 8:30 [p.m.]. Sometimes you skate, sometimes you don’t,” Quenneville said on Sunday. “We’ll see what happens early [Monday] and go from there but I think we’ve adapted as you go along. Going into a game like [Monday], we’re excited about the game and if it starts at noon, it’ll be great. If it doesn’t, both teams will adapt the same way.”