Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau played his outdoor hockey under the lights, Kings Coach Darryl Sutter under the stars.
Growing up in Finland, Ducks center Saku Koivu played not on Golden Pond, but on frozen swamps. Kings center Mike Richards spent almost every winter day skating up and down the outdoor community center rink run by his parents in Kenora, Ontario....
In a roundabout way, for player and coach, all those memories will merge Saturday in the most unlikely of venues, Dodger Stadium. For highly paid and occasionally jaded professionals, the excitement level for the NHL's Stadium Series game between the Ducks and Kings is genuine and palpable.
"You'd play with your winter shoes on," Koivu said. "After school, you drop your bag and know there'd be a lot of kids playing. When you think about it, that's what hockey is all about, at its purest.
"There was no pressure. You were just out there having fun, pretending you're somebody in the NHL or the top Finnish league. Now playing in an outdoor game at Dodger Stadium, it's a big step for the kid from Finland."
Kukla's Korner Hockey
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
On why the Kings are struggling to score:
We hit some posts tonight. Enough to win last night. Next question.
On whether the lack of “greasy goals” is baffling:
No. If they don’t go in, then they don’t count. Next question.
On the team’s lack of energy at the start:
Oh, not at all. I thought we had really good energy, and we’ve been on the road for quite a while, haven’t played at home for a long time. Hey, the second goal is a tough one. Tough to chase a two-goal lead on the road against good teams.
On the penalties against Jordan Nolan:
I thought it was a bad call. We shouldn’t have gotten the extra penalty. [Reporter: That was huge. I mean, it leads to a goal, right?] How does it become that out of a four-and-two? [Reporter: Did you get an explanation?] Don’t need one. They don’t give many. They don’t give many explanations.
On the team’s level of fatigue:
continued and watch the Jordan Nolan extra penalty below...
STAMFORD, Conn. – Jan. 27, 2014 – The NHL Stadium Series matchups from iconic venues in Los Angeles and New York this past weekend set viewership records across NBC and NBCSN, continuing NBC Sports Group’s strong NHL ratings this season.
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
“It was better than the ice in some NHL arenas,” said Ducks’ defenceman Francois Beauchemin. “It wasn’t an issue out there.”
Teemu Selanne, a veteran of five Olympic Games and a Stanley Cup championship in 2007, said he ranked the event “high on his bucket list” of career achievements.
“The whole package was outstanding,” said Selanne. “The atmosphere was unbelievable. You don’t have many chances to play in front of 55,000 people in California, outdoors, when you can see the stars. It was awesome. I’m going to remember this … and I can’t see any reason why we shouldn’t do this more.
“We were most worried about the ice and they did a great, unbelievable job. It was a great surprise that the ice was as good as it was – because obviously, the quality of the hockey, it can even be dangerous if the ice is not so good. Those guys, they were pros. It was maybe a little slower than normal rinks, but it was nice and smooth. In the third period, it got a little more sluggish, but that’s how every building is. I have no complaints.”
The game’s first star was a toss-up. It was either Ducks’ goaltender Jonas Hiller, who had a 36-save shutout in a game where the Kings held a territorial edge for the final 50 minutes, or Dan Craig, the NHL’s ice-making guru, who did what few thought possible and produced a thoroughly playable ice surface.
from Scott Burnside of ESPN,
from Larry Brooks of the New York Post,
The GMs, often vexed on trade deadline day or upon the opening of the free-agent market on July 1, can’t agree on what should happen if, say, a goal or a penalty would occur during the time between a missed out-of-bounds call and a stoppage to allow the review.
The solution would seem to apply the same standard as when a goal is missed and later awarded by Toronto, which would be to wind back the clock and allow the penalty to stand. No goal could be scored in what would be illegitimate time.
There is sentiment among at least a portion of GMs and league executives to remedy the situation and apply video review to out-of-play calls for the playoffs. But best intentions may not be enough. It is not so simple to enact a rule change in-season, unless, of course, it applies to Sean Avery (See: 2008 playoffs, The Avery Rule).
In order to adopt expanded video review for the playoffs, the league would require approval from the competition committee, followed by a unanimous vote from the Board of Governors, as opposed to the two-thirds majority that’s necessary to enact changes before a season.
Perhaps the two points that went to the Red Wings — and could have implications worth millions of dollars if Detroit makes the playoffs by that margin — are enough to jog the board into dramatic action. Surely it should.
more plus other hockey topics...
LA Kings equipment manager Darren Granger discusses what adjustments have been made for the outdoor game at Dodger Stadium.
One of the challenges, keeping the players cool.
from Lisa Dillman and Lance Pugmire of the LA Times,
from Eric Duhatschek of the Globe and Mail,
Over time, Dodger Stadium has played host to Pope John Paul II and the Beatles, Real Madrid and Juventus soccer. Fleetwood Mac recorded there and movies from Transformers to Rock of Ageswere filmed there.
But on Jan. 25, Dodger Stadium will go back to being a playground of sorts when it plays host to perhaps the most unusual event in its history: an outdoor ice hockey game between the L.A. Kings and Anaheim Ducks.
Last Monday, after the world’s largest mobile refrigeration truck had pulled into the parking lot,3rd Base, Dodger Stadium had already been converted from baseball’s hot corner to the boundary of an elevated, highly engineered floor that will eventually form the base of the rink where the Ducks and Kings will play the 782nd game of the NHL season against a backdrop of palm trees and the San Gabriel Mountains.
There is some thought the NHL might be killing the golden goose by scheduling six outdoor games this season instead of just the one or two, but it is hard to dispute the appeal of this one – a warm-weather game played in California, which is suddenly the new state of hockey south of the Canadian border.
The goal tied the game up late for the Wings, OT settled nothing and the Wings won in the shootout.
This type of play shoule be reviewable, but it is not. Maybe next year?
added 10:12pm, Kings broadcast version below...
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