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
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...
from Craig Custance of ESPN,
Just when you're ready to believe that maybe the Blues have passed the rival Kings, Los Angeles sends a stark reminder that it remains big brother in that rivalry.
The Kings got two goals from Trevor Lewis and a strong performance from Jonathan Quick, sending a message with a 4-1 win that there's room for growth in St. Louis.
After the game, goalie Jaroslav Halak took the blame for the loss after misplaying a puck in the corner that led to a Kings short-handed goal, but even without that misstep the Kings were better team. The Blues can't hang their heads for long though, because the powerhouse Ducks are coming to town and will be ready to pounce on any mistake the Blues make.
more from Burnside on the Wings, on the Sharks and Strang on the Islanders...
17:36 Los Angeles Jake Muzzin: 2 minutes, roughing
17:36 St. Louis Vladimir Tarasenko: 2 minutes, roughing
Then with 6 seconds left in the game, Chris Stewart wanted some revenge...
from Ben Kuzma of the Vancouver Province,
At the end of a bitter bad-blood battle, the Kings would claim a 1-0 victory, but this wasn’t about the points or the fact the Kings have four regular-season wins over the Canucks for the first time in 23 years. It was about making a point and maintaining a resilient collective mindset that Tortorella has been drilling into his troops.
“I thought we did a real good job as far as deciding that’s our ice also,” said Tortorella. “It’s been a minus in our game. We got squat for points but we crossed a couple of bridges in what needs to be done.”
... How Sestito wound up with two minutes for instigating, five minutes for fighting, 10 minutes for instigating and a game misconduct had the Canucks scratching their heads.
more on the game
Half way in the 3rd period, Dale Weise with a tex- book slew-foot on Drew Doughty which was missed by the refs...
Watch it below....
from Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider,
On the comment by Mike Gillis that “It’s not a surprise when players run the goalie, the goalie is going to get hurt”:
Well, good for Mike Gillis to say that…Quite honest, if you just asked about Jonathan Quick, how Jonathan Quick looked in video? Roberto Luongo looked great in video, too. Played a hell of a game. That goal, [that] shot was on a rebound that came right here. The player was going to the net, shot it into the net, tried to go over Roberto Luongo. That’s wonderful that they would quote that. Quite honest, that’s [road apples]. It is. It’s [road apples]. Don’t get me going on it.
About Kukla's Korner Hockey
Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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