I have been watching a lot of baseball lately. I know, I need hockey back as mush as the rest of you. But with the way the Dodgers have been playing recently I guess now is a good time to be forced into watching the Boys in Blue. But whenever I am watching a Dodger game I can’t help to think about what it is going to be like when the Kings and Ducks face off in Dodger Stadium for their Stadium Series game next season.
My mind wanders from Clayton Kershaw on the mound to Jonathan Quick in the crease, from Yasiel Puig crashing into the outfield walls to Dustin Brown crashing into Corey Perry and from 56,000 timid baseball fans to 56,000 crazy hockey fans.
Needless to say things will be a little different when the puck drops on January 25th. I won’t throw all of that generic pregame summary stuff at you just yet, mainly because we’re in August and also because there will be plenty of that in the weeks leading into the game. But here are a some basic ideas looking forward to the game and the whole Stadium Series in general.
1. The more the merrier.
The primary complaint that keeps surfacing is that there are now too many outdoor games and it takes away from the uniqueness of everything that surrounds the outdoor games. There will be a total of six outdoor games played during the ’13-’14 regular season. The NHL Stadium Series accounts for four of those game, one being played at both Dodger Stadium, and Soldier Field in Chicago and two at Yankee Stadium. The other two are the Heritage and Winter Classic. So six games, will that keep each game from selling out? No. Will that keep record numbers of television viewers from watching? No. Will that keep teams from lining up for a chance to host one next season? No.
The NHL unearthed something special in ’08 when the Penguins and Sabres played in the NHL’s first Winter Classic, and until fans stop coming and paying there will continue to be more outdoor games. Let’s be honest will you not watch one of these outdoor games because you saw one already this season? I don’t think so.
2. The weather and ice will be just fine.
The average temperature in Los Angeles on January 25th at 6PM is just under 60 degrees and the average drops by the hour after that. Sure there will have to be some maintenance and upkeep during the day when that Southern California sun is out, but that should be expected with any outdoor rink in any location. To be honest the only thing that could really ruin this game would be a downpour of rain.
So everyone needs to relax on the whole there can’t be ice in California nonsense. I mean lets not forget about the game in the video below. A game that was played in Las Vegas, Nevada in the parking lot of a casino, on a night that was 85 degrees at puck drop. I’m sure we have made some advancements in technology that will make the ice just fine since between now and 1991.
3. Enjoy the attention.
It’s not often that the center of the hockey world is Los Angeles. It is not often California receives any major attention when it comes to hockey. However, things are changing and California is beginning to be recognized for more than its beach houses and celebrity appeal. There will be plenty of focus on local hockey and the growth of California’s representation in the NHL over recent years. You can bet there will be plenty of coverage on local boy, Emerson Etem.
This will be a prime opportunity for Southern California to showcase the development of local youth hockey and its growth into a hotbed for hockey talent.
4. Be hockey fans.
Hockey fans are a special breed of person. We are passionate beyond belief when it comes to supporting our sport and team but are classy and responsible as well. There is a lot the comes with the Kings and Ducks rivalry. The Los Angeles and Anaheim rivalry all together is an intense affair. Separated by a short drive down the 5 freeway are two succesful and just as passionate cities.
We would not want a special event like this ruined by a dumb incident in the parking lot or stands. So keep it classy and civil and let the fighting be done on the ice by Kyle Clifford or Jordan Nolan.
5. Get a W!
Probably the most important thing in all of this is getting that win. Behind all of the lights and extra media coverage this is still a regular season game with two points on the line against a division rival. Two points can make a ton of difference, it can decide home ice advantage and can even put you in the playoffs or keep you on the outside looking in. So just because this game will be played beneath the stars instead of the Kings’ banners does not make it any less influential.
Plus, how great would it be to rub it in the face of all those Ducks fans.
Tickets for the Stadium Series match-up between the Kings and Ducks at Dodger Stadium are available at Barry’s Tickets. The get-in price is currently $154. You can also find Kings tickets for the entire 2013-14 season, including the home opener against the New York Rangers for only $80.