Outdoor games are supposed to be special experiences for both the players participating and the fans attending the game. The uniqueness of an outdoor game has been watered down now that the NHL has introduced Stadium Series games. Still, the games draw big numbers and players routinely mention how much they enjoyed the experience. Well, except for the LA Kings.
Following the game, a few Kings players had some rather blunt comments about the game and how it wasn’t anything special.
Via Yahoo! Sports:
Drew Doughty: “We’re kind of used to it. I think the guys kind of had fun. It’s a cool experience. But at the same time, it’s better just playing at Staples or something like that.”
Jake Muzzin: “It wasn’t a big deal for the team.”
Dustin Brown: “I’ve enjoyed both of [the outdoor games] but I think two is enough for me.”
It sounds like the Kings are fatigued after playing in just two outdoor games. The novelty has officially worn off and the Kings are just the first team to make public statements. While skating outside is certainly a fun experience the first time you do it, the Kings have learned that the second time around is a lot less exciting. In fact, it’s more of a distraction when there are two key points on the line.
Do you blame the Kings for not being too interested in the outdoor aspect of this game when they needed a win in the standings and they’re forced to skate in hideous uniforms? Probably not.
The NHL will keep rolling out these outdoor games until fans show with their wallets that the novelty has worn off. For the players involved, they’ll be forced to participate and it’s likely that this unimpressed sentiment will only grow.