As Canadians, the warm sunny skies of California doesn't exactly scream hockey to us, but I'm certainly not going to complain when the NHL uses some expert technology to combine that warm temperate climate and the greatest game on Earth in another showcase event like the Stadium Series... hell, I wish I was down there to take it in. Maybe next time.
For the league itself, it probably couldn't have worked out any better for storylines, as the Los Angeles Kings go into Levi's Stadium to take on the host San Jose Sharks, in what ended up being a big game in the Western Conference wild card standings. One was in, one was out at the start of the night and they were only separated by a matter of two points.
From a hockey pool perspective, a playoff-like game, plus some choppy outdoor California ice... it doesn't really add up to something that would benefit a lot of people in a 23-team hockey pool, does it? Well, it certainly didn't.
16 pool teams had players playing in this game, so there was plenty of interest to be had throughout the standings, in theory, but when the final buzzer went and the Kings finished the game with a 2-1 win, some of us may thank our lucky stars that it finished in regulation.
In total, there were 3 goals scored, which led to only 3 assists and 1 win for a grand total of 8 available points for the hockey pool. The opening goal of the game, non-pool forward Kyle Clifford scores from Stacey M.'s Jake Muzzin. The Sharks tied it up later in the 1st period, when Cam's Brent Burns tallies from a dropped Tommy Wingels. Cam takes the scoring lead, by virtue of the regular tiebreaker. Then, early in the 3rd period, Stacey M. retakes the scoring lead, as Marian Gaborik pots the winner on a semi-break, scoring from Troy's Jeff Carter.
Grant S. also picked up the 2 points for the Jonathan Quick win, but with a goal and an assist, Stacey M. takes the Stadium Series nod in the pool, with a whopping 2 points, thanks to the tiebreaker.
I'm all for the outdoor games, but with some fairly low scoring games, it doesn't seem to be one of those things that would generate a lot of interest for any mini-games in the hockey pool. There will be some consideration for the special events to mean something for another game for a team's money back, but at this point, it does seem unlikely.
Next season, there will be the three outdoor games, one Winter Classic and two Stadium Series games, which will be outlined for shits and giggles on the blog, but it does seem unlikely that they will mean anything.