Welcome to Watch The 2019 NHL Winter Classic is an upcoming outdoor regular season National Hockey League game, part of the Winter Classic series, that is scheduled to be played for January 1, 2019. The home of the New York Mets will play host to one of the NHL’s finest traditions Monday afternoon. The New York Rangers and the Buffalo Sabres will face off at Citi Field in Queens as part of the 2018 NHL Winter Classic.
Both teams enter the New Year’s Day contest enduring a bit of a cold spell. The Rangers have lost three of their last four games, while the Sabres have dropped five of their last seven. But what better way to get back in the win column than a victory in the league’s greatest outdoor spectacle?
Here’s how you can watch the 2019 NHL Winter Classic online:
When: Monday, Jan. 1 at 1 p.m. ET
Live Stream: NBC Sports
When the Boston Bruins face off against the Chicago Blackhawks in the Winter Classic on New Year’s Day, an improbable tech marriage of sports and beer will come together. Coors made a splash when they debuted their patented technology that changed the color of the mountains on their beer cans from white to blue when the contents reached an optimal drinkable temperature. Now the NHL will debut its new color-changing pucks. The pucks will also be used at the 2019 All-Star weekend in San Jose at the end of January.
There is a real game-play purpose for the novel new pucks, which utilize the significant back-end work that went into their production. While it isn’t a well-known aspect of NHL gameplay, having a puck that is below freezing is advantageous, in part, as it limits the amount of bouncing that occurs, in comparison to pucks with warmer temperatures. The league announced earlier this week that it has partnered with PPG Industries to add a thermochromic coating on the pucks, which will enable the pucks to change in color from purple to clear when their temperature rises above freezing.
“Freezing a puck eliminates bouncing, and game officials closely monitor the puck for temperature changes that affect performance in play. A coating that changes color when the puck is above freezing will more accurately alert the officials that it is time for a replacement,” said Dan Craig, NHL senior vice president of facilities operations, in a statement.
Once the puck begins to warm, a coating is quickly dispersed into an internal ink system and then screen printed right onto the game pucks. Coated pucks are one of the initiatives the NHL is testing this year at select events like the Winter Classic. The results will then be evaluated for potential broader use in future seasons.
PPG, the partner for this new initiative, is currently the official paint supplier of the NHL. Another ongoing project between the PPG and professional hockey is utilizing paint to help reduce chips and wear on hockey equipment, most importantly on the goal posts used during games.
“Working closely with our technology partners, LCR Hallcrest and QCR Solutions Corporation, we’ve been able to offer a smart and elegant solution to a problem that can significantly impact gameplay,” said Alicia Cafardi, PPG senior marketing communications manager of industrial coatings. “The custom dye pigment that changes color with temperature was developed specifically for this application on hockey pucks, but the solution represents an opportunity for other applications where an easy, visual reference could serve to improve the performance or use of an object.”
The NHL will be monitoring whether the new, temperature-sensing, pucks will affect the movement of the puck on the ice as it will increase the level of friction that occurs on the ice. The league and PPG, however, don’t believe that additional friction will be an issue because the temperature monitoring will be done by a sensor and not by an external sticker that might modify the puck’s shape and aerodynamics. The NHL hopes this technological innovation will improve gameplay and make it easier for officials to determine when a change of pucks is required.
The NHL has been forward-thinking in the development of ways to utilize technology on the ice to positively impact their sport. This innovation could improve gameplay and possibly reduce injuries with a more predictably moving puck. If implemented successfully, it could perk the interests of other leagues, whose players are also exposed to the elements, such as football and baseball.