VegasInsider.com
VI Mobile Scores and Betting OddsVI Mobile Scores and Betting Odds Be Social
Home
NFL
NBA
NHL
MLB
NCAA FB
NCAA BK
Golf
Auto
Horses
Soccer
Boxing/MMA
More
Betting Tools

 
Kings, Ducks say Dodger Stadium ready

LOS ANGELES (AP) - The Los Angeles Kings stepped out of the home dugout and filed onto the fresh sheet of ice. Instead of a roof over their heads, helicopters hovered in the cloudy sky above Chavez Ravine.

Advertisement
Dodger Stadium isn't a field of dreams for many hockey players, but the Kings and the Anaheim Ducks are thrilled by the chance to play the NHL's most unlikely outdoor game on Saturday.

''We were trying to figure out how we could shoot a puck over the left field wall,'' Los Angeles defenseman Robyn Regehr said. ''Too many people around, though.''

Southern California's NHL teams came away from Friday's practices fairly impressed with the ice sheet in place for the league's first warm-weather stadium game. The temperature was high enough to cause some slush and steaminess on the ice, but it was nothing two Sun Belt teams haven't seen in actual NHL arenas before.

''It's a different feeling playing outdoors,'' Kings defenseman Drew Doughty said. ''There are so many different aspects in the game that are going to make it more challenging for both teams - getting your legs moving, getting used to the ice, getting used to the boards. So instead of a skilled, high-paced game, I think you're going to see a physical battle out there, and I think that's something a lot of real hockey fans will appreciate.''

The teams skated with friends and family on the ice after practice while workers put the final touches on the unique accoutrements for California's outdoor game.

The beach volleyball court in left field is ready, and so is the performance stage in right. There's a ball hockey court between the mound and the backstop, and a cordon of palm trees just behind the open center-field fence.

''This is the crown jewel for hockey in Southern California,'' Ducks defenseman Ben Lovejoy said. ''We both live in a great part of the world, and this will be a great showcase for how far hockey has come in this area.''

The boards, benches and glass were trucked in from the Winter Classic in Ann Arbor, Mich., but the ice has been built up patiently over the last 10 days. The league's ice-making crew covered the sheet in a heat-reflecting blanket during the day and worked through the night to establish a game-worthy surface.

NHL facilities guru Dan Craig's improbable ice sheet actually has been among the smoothest aspects of this strange chapter in the league's expansion of its outdoor slate this season. While Southern California's growing hockey fan base embraced the novelty of the concept, the league overpriced tickets for the event, forcing reductions to avoid the embarrassment of a non-sellout.

But the hiccups likely will be forgotten when fans get a look at the ice in the middle of baseball's third-oldest active park.

''I've been asking for an outdoor game here for a long time,'' Ducks captain Ryan Getzlaf said. ''I'm just glad I don't have to go out and freeze my butt off at one of these.''

Dodger Stadium took on a carnival atmosphere, but the event is more than a mere sideshow. The Kings - the home team in this scenario - realize they've got two points at stake after losing 2-1 to the NHL-leading Ducks in Anaheim on Thursday night.

The game has been looming since well before Christmas, with players on both teams routinely facing questions about how they'll adapt to the unusual atmosphere and unfamiliar ice. After talking about the game for weeks, players on both teams are grateful for the chance to play it.

''The lights are going to be different, and the glare is going to be a little different,'' said Kings center Anze Kopitar, who grew up playing indoors in Slovenia. ''But come game time, I don't think we're going to be worried too much about that.''

Copyright 2018 by STATS LLC and Associated Press.
Any commercial use or distribution without the express written
consent of STATS LLC and Associated Press is strictly prohibited.

  
HEADLINES
BetOnline.ag: Best and Worst Bets
News: Grand Salami - February
Boedker scores twice, Sharks top Stars
Connor scores two, Jets rout Panthers
Matthews gives Leafs 3-2 win over Wings
Sheahan scores twice, Pens top Jackets
McDavid has hat trick, Oilers top Avs 4-2
Flyers surge past Rangers, 7-4
Knights focused while playing with urgency
MORE HEADLINES
 
Why Buy Picks From VegasInsider.com
NHL Pro Hockey Handicapper Sports Picks Records
NHL Hot Streaks
9-2 +801 L11 Picks, 13-5 G-Plays
14-7 +743 L6 Days, +1,870 Totals TY
9-4 Guarantees, 17-7 +1,027 Streak
16-5 Last 21 NHL G-Plays
+2,227 NHL Picks TY
9-4 L13 G-Plays, +1,492 Overall
4-2 +325 L6, 9-5 +572 L14 Picks
NHL Pro Hockey Expert Sports Picks - Anaheim Ducks at Vegas Golden Knights
2017 NHL SEASON PICK RECORDS
Money Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 2227
Stephen Nover + 1587
Bill Marzano + 1492
Underdog Leaders
Handicapper Money
ASA + 974
Bill Marzano + 435
Matt Fargo + 337
Over-Under Leaders
Handicapper Money
Stephen Nover + 1870
Bruce Marshall + 1173
Doc's Sports + 329
Guaranteed Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 2396
Kevin Rogers + 1300
Scott Rickenbach + 773
Favorite Leaders
Handicapper Money
Matt Fargo + 1850
Kevin Rogers + 1586
Bill Marzano + 1091
Member Leaders
Handicapper Money
ASA + 890
Doc's Sports + 609
Stephen Nover + 413
MORE PICK RECORDS
  
corner graphic
With a VI Gold Membership, you can SAVE 20% off Daily Pick packages, SAVE 10% off a Live Odds subscription, and receive access to up to 1,000 Member Plays each month!
VI Gold Membership