Handicapping Ice Conditions For Flyers-Pens Stadium Series Game

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Temperatures reached a summer-like 77 degrees Fahrenheit Friday afternoon in Pittsburgh. That’s the good news for the locals. 

The bad news is that it reached 77 degrees Fahrenheit – just one day ahead of the Stadium Series outdoor NHL game at Heinz Field between the Philadelphia Flyers and Pittsburgh Penguins. 

That could lead to ice conditions playing a big factor in the outcome of the game, something that puck bettors should keep in mind. Temperatures were expected to be around 60 degrees as of Saturday morning, which is certain to make the ice soft and chippy once play gets going if it doesn’t get cold in a hurry. 

It’s supposed to be around 29 degrees Fahrenheit by game time at 8 p.m. ET in Pittsburgh though that might not be cold enough, fast enough to fix the soft ice. 

Don’t be surprised if we see bouncing pucks and a slower paced game. Which I feel is an advantage for the Flyers. 

“I still think our competitive advantage is the speed game. We have to be more determined than our opponents,” said Penguins Coach Mike Sullivan at a press event on Friday at Heinz Field.  

A slower paced game could mean some value for the underdog here. That’s some big value considering the Pens opened as hefty -210 faves with the Flyers at +185.  

It also might mean we see a more cautious game from the players. Nobody wants to see injuries, which are more apt to happen on unpredictable ice, especially considering Pens star Sidney Crosby suffered a concussion in Pittsburgh’s last game at Heinz Field in 2011. 

When it comes to a warm weather hockey game like this, the common logic is that the game will be slower and goals will be fewer. That would mean UNDER the 5.5-goal total. That was the case at Dodger stadium in 2014 when the Ducks skated to a 3-0 win over the Kings in 63 degree weather. 

“It was maybe a little slower than some rinks, but it was smooth,” Anaheim’s Teemu Selanne said after the game. “We’re used to not-good ice out (West) anyway.”

Keep an eye before the game to see what’s being said on Twitter about the ice conditions before you place your bet on this one. Bouncing pucks don’t make it easy on goalies either and Pittsburgh is on pace to be the highest scoring team (3.47 goals per game) in the salary cap era next to the 2009-10 Capitals. 

If you’re betting in-game, the Pens are 25-0 when leading after two periods this season according to NHL on NBC stats. That makes them the only undefeated team in that spot this year and they were 39-0 when leading after two periods last year in the regular season.

Follow me on Twitter @JonnyOdssShark 

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