Because of an underground transformer-room fire in St. Paul, Xcel Energy Center’s ice crew was called into emergency duty when workers arrived at the arena Tuesday morning and discovered an overnight power outage had affected the ice plant.
The sheet of ice had begun to melt. The morning skates were almost canceled, and alternative area rinks were considered.
“We’ve got a great crew here,” Wild coach Mike Yeo said. “They were thrown a curveball [Monday] night, but they did a great job as far as handling it. It was maybe a little bit heavy, but you could tell that it has cooled off a lot, especially since when I saw it [Tuesday] morning.”
The crew got the water to freeze again, turned down the temperature in the arena and then did dry scrapes before each skate.
“It’s hard when you’re skating out there without [flooding],” Blackhawks forward Andrew Desjardins said after Chicago’s morning skate. “It was getting a little bit slow at the end there.”
But teammate Andrew Shaw said: “It is still better ice than the [United Center], so guys are excited to play on something like that. … It was still pretty good to start. It was slushy near the end. But it should be fine.”
One Chicago reporter asked jokingly if the Wild was trying to slow down the Blackhawks.
“I mean, they had to skate on it this morning, too,” Shaw said. “That doesn’t bother us at all. If anything, it makes the fresh ice for the game feel that much better.”
The electricity was still out inside Wild headquarters Tuesday night, and traffic lights in front of Xcel Energy Center were out.