Today’s issue of The Onion features a fun hockey jab: NHL Finishes Freezing Water For 2011 Season. Given the Verizon Center’s past skating surface woes, Capitals fans may appreciate this article more than most—though I for one am optimistic that the Caps’ ice sheet will improve this season, due in part to the cooler temperature in the stands.
Historically, teams have not been pleased with having to play hockey on mixed surfaces, complaining that injury would often result when someone tried to retrieve a puck that had fallen into gaps in the corners of the rink where ice was not present.
“As hockey players, we prefer to play on water that’s been frozen expressly for the purpose of playing hockey,” said Phoenix Coyotes captain Shane Doan, who watched as NHL technicians lowered a 200-foot-long, 80-foot-wide slab of ice onto the playing surface of Jobing.com Arena. “Ideally, there should be ice in the middle of the rink, right where you leave the locker room tunnel, in front of the benches. Pretty much everywhere, really.”
Continued Doan, “We wear special skates for the purpose of locomotion on a sheet of frozen water, after all.”