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Hockey at Dodger stadium was a huge success

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On Saturday, Jan 25, 2014 the Anaheim Ducks faced off against the Los Angeles Kings at Dodger stadium in Los Angeles.

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For the record, Anaheim won the game by a score of 3-0 despite being outshot 36-21.

For the Kings, it was a fifth straight loss.

The bigger story was the setting. Could an outdoor venue in southern California, which known for it's sunshine and mild temperatures, actually be conducive to the construction of an NHL caliber ice surface ?

The answer is, "absolutely".

Many of the players agreed that the ice was not a problem and was as good as many of the ice surfaces in the enclosed arenas where they normally play.

Ice surface, check.

How about the crowd ?

The atmosphere of the game was absolutely electric. Kings fans outnumbered Ducks fans, and that was apparent during the introductions, but the roar from Ducks fans when their team scored, was much more robust than we normally hear at their home arena in Anaheim.

Perhaps one of the only disappointments, was that because the Kings were shutout, we never got to hear a collective roar from the L.A. faithful.

First intermission entertainment was provided by the iconic Gene Simmons led, painted face Rock band, 'KISS'. Great energetic performance, and it was clear the Rockers really enjoyed playing this venue.

Second intermission featured the local Rock band, 'Five for fighting'. The boys did a great job of keeping the momentum going.

Overall, it was a memorable experience for the fans who attended, and for the players who played. The visual spectacle is hard to describe, and despite all the photos, it is hard to do it justice.

If this happens again, I highly recommend attending. Ticket prices were an issue, but that is the business side of it.

The NHL is staging a record Six outdoor games this season. The first was the Winter Classic, played in Michigan on New Year's day, the last will be played in Chicago, after the Olympic break.

Some feel that having so many outdoor games, is "killing the golden goose", as it takes away from the uniqueness of the Winter Classic.

As NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman sees it, the cities, teams, and fans want the games. Were it a normal rotation, teams would be waiting 10 years or so to get an outdoor game staged in their city.

It all depends on your perspective.

To tell the truth, I am a little bit torn. I do feel that having so many outdoor games, does somewhat minimize the Winter Classic. That said, I have never so thoroughly enjoyed an event which I didn't feel should have been played in the first place.

Then again, if there are multiple outdoor games in a given season, what makes one any more "classic" than the others.

Bottom line, if the teams want it, the cities want it, and the fans want it, it must be done.

In fact, there were some players who said they wouldn't mind if a Dodger stadium game became an annual occurrence.

Said NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman, “Hollywood could not have scripted a more magical launch to the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series and this historic weekend for the NationalHockey League. On behalf of all who enjoyed every minute of this exceptional evening, I congratulate the Kings and Ducks for writing another remarkable chapter in the history of hockey in California."

What a night it was, indeed.

Three stars of the game:

1) Jonas Hiller - Ducks

2) Anze Kopitar - Kings

3) Matt Beleskey - Ducks

Ducks line combinations vs L.A.

Getzlaf/Perry/Penner

Bonino/Selanne/Beleskey

Winnik/Jackman/Maroon

Koivu/Palmieri/Cogliano

Defense pairings

Fowler/Lovejoy

Beauchemin/Lindholm

Allen/Fistric

Kings forward line combinations

Kopitar/Lewis/King

Richards/Carter/Frattin

Stoll/Brown/Williams

Fraser/Clifford/Nolan

Defense pairings

Doughty/Muzzin

Mitchell/Voynov

Regehr/Martinez

Click here for latest NHL Power rankings.

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