Reactions to the Kings’ 4-2 loss to the Philadelphia Flyers in their home-opening game Friday at Staples Center didn’t vary much. The consensus was the King must play better if they hope to win. Glaring errors cost them during the pivotal second period, according to Kings captain Anze Kopitar.
“We didn’t play the way we’re supposed to play,” Kopitar said. “A couple of bad line changes, a couple of missed coverages and they cashed in on it. We just can’t let that happen. You can’t expect to win when you let in four goals in one period. That second period was not good.”
Of playing for what could be an extended period without Quick, Kopitar added, “Yeah, he’s a big part of this team, and arguably the best goalie in the NHL, but we can’t do anything about it. A magic spell won’t bring him back. We’ve got to play with what we’ve got. We’ve got to play hard and, obviously, a lot better than we did tonight.”
Sometimes a headline really does say it all. No idea what they’re going to look like, but they won’t be the same as the silver and gray abominations the Kings wore during the Dodger Stadium game against the equally disheveled Ducks last January. If you want one, they’ll be on sale at a season-ticket holders event at the re-opening of the Team L.A. Store at Staples Center on Dec. 16. You also can buy one online at: http://teamlastore.com/ the same day. No word on price yet.
According to our friends at the NHL, the Kings’ 3-0 loss to the Ducks on Saturday at Dodger Stadium produced a TV ratings bonanza for NBCSN. The 2.38 rating in Los Angeles was the highest for a regular-season game on the network. In addition, NBCSN was the No.1 cable network in the market during the game and the No. 2 network overall. The league’s PR department tweeted that the figures were from 10 p.m. to 1 a.m., but I’m assuming that’s the Hudson River Effect talking. New Yorkers sometimes (OK, always) have difficulty translating Eastern Time into Real Time, as we call it here in Southern California (a.k.a., the Only Place That Really Matters).
The Kings arrived at Dodger Stadium (finally!) on Friday afternoon. They found an ice rink surrounded by a stage for the national anthem singer, a stage for the rock band KISS, a beach volleyball court and a roller rink amid the normal trappings of the iconic ballpark.
The Kings-Ducks game at Dodger Stadium is Saturday, which should be just enough time to wire Zurich to have enough funds transferred to cover parking for the contest. As if ticket prices weren’t high enough and sight lines weren’t poor enough to keep fans away in droves, parking prices should be sufficiently outrageous to have everyone scrambling to sell their yachts to pay for it. Parking is $50 for premium spots, $35 for slightly less premium and $20 if you want general parking. Of course, you can always take Metro to Union Station and then hop aboard the shuttle that runs to Dodger Stadium. But if you feel you must take your own car, then go to www.nhlstadiumseriesparking.com to pre-purchase your pass.
Wayne Gretzky grew up idolized Bruce Boudreau while growing up in Ontario, Canada. After all, it was Boudreau’s records Gretzky began chasing while playing in the junior-level Ontario Hockey League. Boudreau’s NHL career was nothing like the Great One’s. In fact, Boudreau idolized Gretzky, and joked Monday he only attended a press conference to promote the Jan. 25 game between the Kings and the Ducks because he hoped to get Gretzky’s autograph.
In fact, it was only last season that Boudreau learned Gretzky knew anything about him. Boudreau was with the Ducks on a flight to Vancouver when he noticed Gretzky left him a voice mail message on his phone. Boudreau returned the call, learned Gretzky also would be in Vancouver and the two made plans for dinner. They’ve become friends since the meeting, a pair of Ontario kids all grown up.
Wayne Gretzky didn’t need a great deal of prompting to talk about the Kings-Ducks game on Jan. 25 at Dodger Stadium. He had plenty to say about playing outdoors and the about the growth of hockey in Southern California since his trade to the Kings from the Edmonton Oilers more than 25 years ago. Here’s some of what he had to say at an event Monday to promote the first NHL game outdoors: