Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin enjoyed everything about the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series game between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium on Saturday, except the outcome.
In the third and final installment of his blog for NHL.com, Muzzin talks about the atmosphere of the game and the frustration of losing to the Kings' archrival for the second time in three days.
LOS ANGELES -- The loss hurts, but the experience Saturday night at Dodger Stadium was simply awesome.
Not too many people can say they were at an outdoor game in California, let alone that they got to play in one. It was really cool. I'm really fortunate to be a part of it.
The atmosphere was amazing and the fans were really loud. I didn't think it would be that loud because typically we're used to fans being right on top of us, right on the glass. But with the music and the fans and the yelling, it was pretty loud.
I lost a couple of pucks in the air, but the ice was really good, a lot better than it was Friday for our practice. That's probably the difference in practicing at 4 o'clock in the afternoon and playing the game at 7. Some of the pucks were bouncing, but skating on the ice it felt really good. The guys who made the ice did an awesome job.
Think about it, that's pretty impressive stuff. We had 75-degree weather in the afternoon. It was hot all afternoon, so the guys did a great job.
Walking through center field, through the palm trees, to come onto the ice, I was just trying to look around and take it in. There were 54,000 people screaming, the USC band was going, and it felt like a college football game, something like those guys go through. It was definitely a neat experience.
As the game started I could feel the atmosphere and the electricity. The music and playing physical, it gets you going. It gets the emotions going. It gets you into it early. I felt it right away and the fans were awesome.
But we lost the game and that's tough. Obviously it was a real game and we needed a win because points are very crucial right now with the way the West is. Getting them is hard, and the fact that we didn't get them tonight definitely takes a little bit away from the event. However, it still was a great experience to be a part of.
We're still a confident group in here and we're playing pretty good hockey, but the only thing is we've gotta start scoring goals and capitalizing on our power plays and chances for.
The game Saturday was an example of not doing those things. We had lots of chances. We had 20 shots in the first period. If we can get some of these to go in, a bounce here and there for our club, it would get the ball rolling here, but giving up two goals early didn't help us.
We still believed we could come back. Two goals is only two goals. There was plenty of time left. We were excited in here for the challenge.
It gets frustrating, though, when you're working hard. For the most part I thought we outplayed them in the first period, and they still ended up leading 2-0. That's the way hockey is. It's frustrating but we've gotta stay with it. We've got a great group of guys in here and we'll get through this little slump.