When Robert Griffin III tore his ACL thanks to shoddy turf at FedEx Field in Washington, fans and writers around the NFL cried foul and demanded that the Redskins admit the field wasn’t up to par and that they knew it. While the Bruins aren’t openly denying that the ice is not up to par for Game 6 of the Stanley Cup Finals and no injuries have resulted from bad ice, there is no denying that the ice at TD Garden is not what it should be.
The humidity in the building is around ten degrees higher than it needs to be which is causing water to pool in parts of the ice and it’s effecting the game that is being played. The ice isn’t close to melting, so it’s not a crisis, but with the ice becoming thicker and softer than should be, the puck is careening around and becoming difficult to deal with.
Bad ice isn’t new to the NHL but it’s going to be something referenced by some after the game is done and whatever result happens is set in stone.
The biggest concern though is injury as while shoddy turf is dangerous to football players who can get caught on it, bad ice is something that is perhaps even more dangerous. Pooled ice can be dangerous to skate through and while it’s not a guarantee for a disaster, it’s an unwanted variable in the game.
Players are more upset about the way it affects the play of the puck as it can slow without warning and disrupt a play and ruin scoring chances or force a turnover that otherwise wouldn’t happen.
The Blackhawks and Bruins will have to just put up with the condition of the ice as it is, and the humidity is nowhere near the level where play will need to be suspended. But it’s just another factor in this already physically fought series that the two teams will have to deal with and it will force whoever win tonight to earn it even more.