Los Angeles Kings defenseman Jake Muzzin is a veteran of outdoor hockey, except he played on ponds in his hometown of Woodstock, Ontario. Muzzin's first NHL outdoor game will be nothing like what he's used to. The first game in the 2014 Coors Light NHL Stadium Series is on Saturday between the Kings and Anaheim Ducks at Dodger Stadium (9:30 p.m. ET, NBCSN, CBC). Muzzin will be blogging for NHL.com through the end of the game Saturday.
His first blog entry comes after the Kings 2-1 loss to the Ducks at Honda Center on Thursday:
I know the outdoor game here is now, but I haven't really thought too much about it because as a team we need to put some wins together. That's been our focus.
The game at Dodger Stadium on Saturday will be fun, but we've got to get a win. We played another tight game Thursday at Honda Center, but couldn't come away with what we needed.
It's clear that we need to capitalize on some of our chances. We need to bear down. We need to put some goals in and be more disciplined both with our penalties and in our zone.
The bottom line is we just need a win, and maybe it will come at Dodger Stadium.
This game has been talked about for a while here, and it's definitely going to be a great experience. There aren't too many guys that get the opportunity to play in an outdoor game at this level, so it will be fun and I'm sure it'll bring back some memories -- even though those memories that I have usually involve a lot of snow. Obviously that won't be the case here, but it'll still bring back memories of playing pond hockey back home in Canada.
We'd spend a lot of time on the pond. After school we'd get our homework done, and if I wasn't playing hockey for my league usually I'd head out to the pond and spend all night there -- freeze our butts off.
You learn a lot out there, little plays, and it's so fun as a little kid when you're out there running each other into the snowbank, getting bruises all over your body and face. You can't feel your feet it's so cold. There's hot chocolate when you get home. It's all good memories. Actually, I got to relive some of them this past Christmas when a couple of my buddies and I went out to the pond and screwed around a little.
However, no matter where this game is played, when it's Kings-Ducks it's going to be a hard-fought battle, just like it was Thursday night. You still have fun playing the game, but obviously now you're not out there to just screw around and play some shinny. This is our job and we've got to perform.
As a team we're excited for it. With 50,000 fans screaming in a different atmosphere, it'll be great, but we need to win.
Come back for more Friday after we practice at Dodger Stadium. I'll try to give you my thoughts on what it was like to be out on that ice to prepare for the big game Saturday.