Press Box Perspective http://pressboxperspective.com another angle on sports Thu, 13 Feb 2014 23:36:56 +0000 en-US hourly 1 https://wordpress.org/?v=3.8.27 Please Respect Your Fans, NBC (NO Spoilers) http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=686 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=686#comments Thu, 13 Feb 2014 23:36:56 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=686 This is my open and public plea to NBC… PLEASE, NBC… stop the spoilers. Apparently, NBC thinks they should be able to decide whether the fans of the Olympics know what’s going on in other games if we’re recording them.

For those who don’t already know, I watch every bit of the Olympics NBC sees fit to air on TV and right now I’m more than two days behind in everything but the Olympics (I’m almost 12 hours behind in that from when it aired on the east coast). I’m keeping up with hockey, since so many people in Pittsburgh love hockey and getting everyone to cooperate (which they did well) for one day is mean enough. I know everyone will be talking about the men’s hockey USA vs. Slovakia game tomorrow and since we’re in Pittsburgh, many will discuss the games where their other stars are playing (Russia, Canada, etc.), so I’ve chosen to watch no pregame, intermission, or postgame reports and JUST watch the games. I’m watching the USA game first, since I care more about spoilers in that than anything else, but I SHOULD be able to just watch the game safely.

Sadly, this was not the case. I’ve skipped when they were showing clips from the other game, but when Doc Emrick mentions some of the players scoring in the other game WHILE doing the play by play, it gives me two options. 1. Not listen to Doc (which would have the advantage of not having to listen to some of the other stuff, but is not preferred for me) by completely muting the game and avoiding the stick sounds, cheering, etc. and 2. Alternate every minute or so in order to find out what happens in the other game before Doc gets the notification and decides to share it. Neither of these options leave me with a good experience of the games I most want to watch in the Sochi Olympics.

NBC clearly thinks fans don’t care about spoilers. Anyone who has ever watched a sporting event they love when they’ve already known the score or who scores certain goals or runs knows that it is not as exciting when they know the outcome. (In fact, my boyfriend was unsuccessful in avoiding the score and simply isn’t as interested in the game now as he was a few hours ago…) NBC should give the fans the option. They should say and show spoiler alerts before sharing information about other games and events when they are aired concurrently. They should not share any of this information while calling the game they are broadcasting. They need to respect their fans. Without their fans, NBC would not be making any money off of broadcasting the Olympics and it’s always about the money.

If a fan decides to watch games out of order (say watching USA vs. Slovakia before Finland vs. Austria) and an announcer mentions the earlier game without saying it’s a spoiler alert, it’s partially their fault for choosing to watch out of order (always risky). If someone is choosing to watch one game and then another when both air at the same time, they should be allowed to fully enjoy both of those games. Please, NBC… Let your fans fully enjoy all the Olympics you’re choosing to show. We can’t watch everything even if we have several TV’s in one room, quit our jobs, stop sleeping, and watch all the online coverage somehow; but we should be allowed to enjoy the Olympics at our own pace and enjoy everything they own when we finally get to the broadcasts – free of spoilers.

Because of NBC’s choices, I’ve decided to switch to the Slovenia/Russia men’s hockey game when I’m about halfway through the USA game. I’ll watch it until I get to about the same time on the recording (not in the game) and go back to the USA game. I shouldn’t have to do this, but I want to know as little as possible. I haven’t heard any USA/Slovakia updates yet in the play-by-play, but I won’t be surprised if I do.

I love sports and the Olympics are one of my favorite times of the year every other year. I work very hard to avoid scores and information. One of my friends mentioned an article (I have yet to read) saying that fans don’t care about spoilers. Every fan (casual and serious) I’ve discussed this with thinks the idea is ridiculous. Every single one of them cares about spoilers and would love to be able to avoid them. Some of these people can’t for one reason or another (can’t give up their sports talk radio for that long, etc.), but if they COULD enjoy the games they most want to see without the spoilers, they would do it.

Side note: I feel sorry for everyone calling the Slovenian games. Those neon numbers on the white are pretty hard to read even on a 60” LED HDTV with better than perfect vision. I don’t know where the press boxes are located in Sochi, but I’m guessing they’re not super close. I’m a huge fan of Anze Kopitar (and long for a day when most of the the national media broadcasting hockey will finally be able to universally correctly pronounce Anze), but yikes! Those jerseys are loud. Of course, all of Slovenia’s uniforms are bright, but these are also difficult to read…

Enjoy the Olympics! Go USA!

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NBC Disappointments & Improvements http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=684 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=684#comments Mon, 10 Feb 2014 23:36:14 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=684 The Olympics only started last Thursday and already NBC has been very disappointing. I’m Olympics-obsessed. When I traveled to the Olympics four years ago, I realized I could not avoid news and had to be okay with knowing results before I got to see some of the events. It’s impossible to attend all events you care about when they’re concurrent, clearly…

Normally, when I watch the Olympics, I watch everything NBC chooses to air (often very lacking) and I watch it in order. Though I’ve given up cable/dish and my DVR before, I cannot do without them during the Olympics. NBC advertised the Olympics this year as having more coverage than Vancouver and Torino combined. Wonderful! I was so excited about the extra coverage.

Now that we’re a few days into the games, I have a question for NBC, though. How much of your coverage is not original, but repeats of what you showed earlier (sometimes live, sometimes not)? I’m going to argue it’s a fairly large percent.

Some examples:

So far, 100% of the skating has been aired twice (sometimes more). During the day, the live (or closer to live) coverage has great commentary by Tara Lipinski & Johnny Weir. Sadly, those who don’t have NBC Sports Network (quite a few of my friends) are totally missing this amazing commentary. That night, in prime time, the SAME events are re-aired… the viewer sees the same skating as earlier with different commentary. The primetime commentary is by Scott Hamilton, Tracy Wilson, & Sandra Bezic. I adore Scott Hamilton. I have for years. I’m thrilled that he’s still involved, but don’t see why I can’t hear him WITH Johnny Weir & Tara Lipinski. I haven’t watched every skating performance twice, so I’ve heard more of my preferred announcers (Johnny Weir & Tara Lipinski), but the times that I have listened to both, since I really wanted to see the performance again without replaying it myself rather than skipping it, I was disappointed with the primetime commentary. Perhaps it’s because Johnny and Tara are younger. I’m not sure. I definitely find them much more entertaining and it’s a shame those without NBCSN don’t even get the option to see them. They point out a lot of things not mentioned in the evening coverage I’ve found very interesting.

The coverage of Bode Miller’s first skiing run was aired three times. I watched it twice, since my boyfriend had missed it the first time, but I skipped it the third. In this case, the commentary was exactly the same.

Many other events have been re-aired, but each time they’re aired they showed the same snowboarders, skiers, ski jumpers, etc. I understand replaying the one main hockey game a day. It’s clearly labeled. But I think any repeated coverage should be CLEAR about being a repeat. They should mention that those who have been recording everything and watching in order have already seen this coverage. It should say “Replay” somewhere on the screen. The first time they did this, I thought I was imagining things and had to verify with my boyfriend that we’d already seen some of the events’ EXACTLY as aired.

I think the live coverage should have more of the event. While I understand this is apparently all online, there are spoilers online too. I don’t want to know who won the events before I see the events and I’m already about 6 hours behind. By this time tomorrow, I’ll be even more behind. I can’t afford not to work for the entire Olympics and need sleep, so it’s impossible to stay on track. If I went onto NBC’s website to see what I was missing, they would tell me about things that have happened that haven’t aired and that have aired that I haven’t gotten to yet. This isn’t a very good solution for those of us who love the Olympics enough to see everything possible.

There are many other things NBC could improve (a little flag by the NBC symbol when the skaters are performing, so you can see what country they represent if you can’t remember, showing the skater’s name until the music starts at least rather than flashing it quickly on the screen), but they are doing many things better this year and seem to be improving each time.

So far, I haven’t seen Andrea Joyce say anything rude to the competitors (she’s the one who always seems to point out that they lost gold instead of concentrating on the fact that they WON silver or bronze and are still better than almost everyone in the world), which is a welcome change. I like the addition of the music the skaters are using for their routines. Though I would normally recognize it and have seen some of the performances many times already, it’s nice to see the composers getting the credit they deserve.

I wish NBC hadn’t renewed. I think other companies might come up with better ideas for showing the Olympics and that all the channels could grow and learn from each other if they alternated the way they seemed to alternate in the old days. However, I’m glad that they’re getting better in some aspects. I hope one of these years they’ll be honest about their coverage and not repeat some events as often, but I’m not holding my breath.

Hope you’re enjoying what NBC wants us to see of the Olympics or (better yet) that you’re in another country and able to enjoy less biased coverage (the Vancouver coverage of the 2010 Olympics was truly amazing).

Go USA!

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No 2012 First Round Sweeps http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=679 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=679#comments Thu, 19 Apr 2012 06:16:33 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=679 Sunday night, I was sure there would be at least one first round sweep (I thought for sure the Flyers would sweep the Penguins – their defense and goaltending hadn’t really shown up for the playoffs yet). The Pens proved me wrong in a BIG way.

I thought 32 goals in 3 games was crazy, but (according to NBC Sports) 45 goals in the first four games of a playoff series is a record. Penguins fans are clearly not happy with the way most of those were scored, but at least it was a Malkin goal (yes, Malkin finally scored his first two goals of the 2012 playoffs tonight) that broke the record.

Interestingly enough, though Bobrovsky played more minutes than Bryzgalov, their stats were even other than that. They each faced 18 shots and had 5 goals against (.722). I wonder how many time’s that’s happened in the playoffs (or any game, really).

Who would have guessed that the Pens could win a game the way they played the first three games? True, they scored 5 goals in the one, but that’s hardly helpful when giving up 8 in the same game. I can’t wait to see what happens Friday night. I won’t be able to watch live, but I’ll avoid news and watch as soon as I get home. Now that Malkin’s started to score, can they pull off what only the 2004 Red Sox have done? Jordan Staal had a hat trick, too. Don’t want to forget to mention that important point, but Staal had 2 other goals in the playoffs before tonight’s game. Malkin had yet to score a goal. (Letang, Niskanen, & Sullivan also scored their goals of the playoffs tonight in Philly. Crosby scored his third of this year’s playoffs, and Dupuis scored his 2nd.)

In the other potential sweep (Los Angeles could have swept Vancouver tonight), there were a couple key changes. It’s really hard to say which was more important or might have the potential to sway the series in the Canucks’ favor.

1. Roberto Luongo hasn’t played since the Canucks left Vancouver. Cory Schneider replaced him in net for Sunday night’s game and though he lost the game, he only gave up one goal, which was a significant improvement over the first couple games. He got the only win for the Canucks in the 2012 playoffs so far and I can’t imagine him not playing when the Canucks return to Vancouver for Sunday night’s game 5.

2. Daniel Sedin came back from his concussion tonight. He was only a few seconds shy of twin bother Henrik Sedin’s time on ice and had one assist. One assist may not seem like a lot, but I think getting Daniel back had to be a huge boost to the Canucks’ morale.

I can’t believe we all have to wait until Sunday to see what happens in game 5 of this series. (If they’re still going, the Pens/Flyers will play their game 6 that day.)

The other game of the night was actually the most interesting game and is the more interesting series (unless the Penguins or Canucks end up making the first NHL comeback from the 0-3 start). The Senators won in overtime to tie their series with the Rangers at 2 games.

Home ice hasn’t been an advantage for most teams in the playoffs this year. More away teams are winning than home teams, which seems odd. It’ll be interesting to see if this trend continues for the rest of this round and into the second round of the playoffs.

The only two series that seemed like they weren’t going to be very interesting got a lot more interesting tonight. The NBC Sports Network may not be making all the right choices where fans have been concerned, but they (and their advertisers) have to be thrilled with the way the 2012 playoffs are going so far – especially since local stations don’t get the next round at all. (Sad for fans, but good for the channel and national sponsors.) FSN Sports opted to play two early season baseball games (Angels and Dodgers) in the LA area instead of airing playoff hockey. It’s a shame, but money talks and sadly the first week of baseball commands more money in a 164 game season than playoff hockey in the LA market. :-(

Enjoy the playoffs!

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Shocking Playoff Series http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=676 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=676#comments Sun, 15 Apr 2012 23:26:54 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=676 The Penguins/Flyers series has been beyond shocking. Many people predicted that the Flyers would win the series. Many predicted the Pens. (In fact, according to today’s NBC broadcast today, the Penguins were favored to win not just the series, but the Cup in Vegas. Looks like many will lose money on those bets.)

The Penguins I’ve seen in the last three games will be lucky to pull off a single win. (Thanks to David Lassen, I’ve corrected this post – David pointed out that THREE NHL teams have come back from being down 3-0 and the Flyers did it in 2010 – how could I have forgotten that one? My apologies!)

Would today’s game have ended differently if Fleury had been pulled earlier and the Penguins had time to step up their defense in front of Johnson? We’ll never know.

Instead, the game degenerated into something like the Flyers of old playing… the Flyers of old. The Penguins stepped right into the Flyers’ way of doing things and in an odd twist of fate the Flyers kept it together and took the high road.

The Flyers and Penguins are both teams capable of scoring a lot of goals, but who would have guessed that both of their number one goalies would take the first round of the playoffs off? 32 goals in 3 games? That’s insane for the Stanley Cup Playoffs – especially for two of the top three teams (ranked by points without preference to winners of other divisions) in the Eastern Conference. You can’t blame all of the goals on the goaltending, since clearly the defenses have been taking a serious break, but it’s been like a comedy of errors (for Flyers fans, anyway – doubt the Pens fans see anything comical in this mess).

At least there have been a lot of other exciting series’ so far this round. The only other series in this year’s playoffs that’s not split after 2 games is the Kings/Canucks series, which started out just like the 2010 Playoffs for both teams. The Devils and Panthers start their 2nd game shortly.

Enjoy the playoffs, everyone – surprises and all…

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2012 Playoff Preview & Predictions http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=674 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=674#comments Tue, 10 Apr 2012 15:03:07 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=674 I can’t believe it’s playoff time again already!

Western Conference

Canucks vs. Kings
Canucks in 6 – This is a tough one for me. Clearly, anyone who follows my blog knows I want the Kings to win. I also don’t have much confidence in Luongo as a playoff goalie. However, the Canucks are still #1 in the NHL this season and the team that lost the Finals last year. The Canucks are going to be hungry to get the Cup they lost last year in game 7. On the same side of the argument, the Kings were amazing on paper this year, but never quite performed as well as one would think they should. Though I understand why a team fires a coach in that situation (and the Kings did fire Murray), that’s rarely the main problem and didn’t seem to be in this case. The Kings were everywhere from 3rd place to out of the playoffs the last few weeks and just barely made it to the playoffs. I think I have to pick the Canucks for this series, but I think it’ll be an exciting one to watch.

Blues vs. Sharks
Sharks in 6 – Another tough one! The Blues led the Western Conference much of this season, which surprised many of us – especially those who know the way the Blues have performed in recent history. Heck, those who know the entire history of the team (tied with the Kings for longest in the NHL without winning the Cup) have to be surprised. Most of the Blues have very little playoff experience and because of that, I predicted that they’d be out of the playoffs this year in 5 or 6 games months ago. The Blues haven’t gotten out of the first round of the playoffs since 2002. Perhaps this is the year, since it has been 10 years. The Sharks have a history of performing very poorly in the playoffs, too. I picked them for an early exit last season and got burned. I think the Blues will help the Sharks to advance this time and do better in the 2013 playoffs.

Coyotes vs. Blackhawks
Coyotes in 6 – Though the Blackhawks would have home ice advantage in this match-up (actually, they wouldn’t even be matched up) if the Coyotes weren’t given 3rd place automatically by winning the worst division in the Western Conference, but I think when push comes to shove they’ll have what it takes to knock the Blackhawks out and advance to the second round of the 2012 playoffs.

Predators vs. Red Wings
Red Wings in 7 – Every time I think the Red Wings can’t possibly pull out another playoff series win and that they’ll exit early in the playoffs, I end up being wrong. This year, it seems like an easier choice even though the Predators are two points ahead of the Red Wings this season and have home ice advantage. The Red Wings are a dynasty for many reasons and one of those is that when the chips are down they bring it – almost every time. They’re a tough team to beat and I don’t think the Predators have what it takes this year. The Predators and Red Wings split their regular season series, so this should be an exciting series to watch.

Eastern Conference

Rangers vs. Senators
Rangers in 5 – As much as I’d love to see the Senators beat the Rangers, I just can’t see it happening. The Rangers have been too dominant this season and have a lot of playoff experience. The Senators may surprise me, but I doubt it.

Bruins vs. Capitals
Capitals in 6 – The Bruins just won the Cup last year and while they’ve played very well this season, they’re actually tied for the Devils in points and would be in the 4/5 position without the automatic division-winning top 3 ranking. The Capitals haven’t done as well as many would think they should in the playoffs, but I think they’ve got what it takes to get to the second round again.

Panthers vs. Devils
Devils in 5 – Without the automatic top three ranking given to the Panthers for winning the worst division in the Eastern Conference, the Panthers would be ranked 6th (facing the Flyers without home ice advantage). I don’t think even the home ice advantage can help them get past the Devils to the second round. The Devils are from the only Eastern Conference division with 4 teams in the playoffs and have had to fight harder to get there than the Panthers. I think the Devils are already in playoff shape and ready to move on to round two.

Penguins vs. Flyers
Penguins in 6 or 7 – I think this series is going to be a blood bath. The Flyers and Pens have a long history and fierce rivalry. They’re ranked 2nd and 3rd in the conference by points and 4th and 6th out of all 30 teams in the NHL. It’s a great match-up and NBC Sports Network (*shudder*) should be thrilled. I think the Penguins will win this one, but it’ll be tough. This is going to be another nail biter for fans of both teams, but an exciting series for all.

Other Playoff Notes
The Atlantic and Central divisions both have four teams in the playoffs this season. I didn’t go back too far, but know it’s pretty rare for both conferences to have two divisions with 4 teams making it to the playoffs. I’m not sure what (if anything) that will do the ratings. Fortunately, for those in television, some of the most popular teams for ratings (Chicago Blackhawks, New York Rangers, Detroit Red Wings, Pittsburgh Penguins, …) are in those two divisions, so it may actually improve the ratings in spite of the teams playing teams they faced a lot in the regular season for the playoffs.

The Atlantic division almost has the top four teams in the Eastern Conference (the Devils would be in 5th ranked by points, due to their number of wins in regulation & OT), which is also pretty rare.

I know the NHL playoffs work differently than other major league sports and it doesn’t make sense to those who only follow sports like basketball, baseball, etc. where there is a simple bracket to follow, but NHL putting this fake bracket together does not help with the confusion. If you look at this bracket, you might assume that if the Kings, Sharks, Coyotes, and Predators won round one that the Kings would face the Sharks in round 2 while the Coyotes face the Predators. However, if that were to happen, the Kings would face the Coyotes (the top remaining seed) and the Sharks would face the Coyotes. The NHL has always reseeded and I think it’s a great idea. Yes, it makes it difficult to answer the question “Who will the Kings face in round 2 if they make it to the second round?” But if someone who doesn’t understand how the NHL playoffs works sees a chart supposedly showing them how the playoffs will go and it changes for round two, it’ll only frustrate them. Maybe one of these days the NHL will realize that going up against the more popular US sport (basketball) and trying to confuse fans are not the best plans for a league, but I’m not holding my breath.

Here’s hoping this year’s playoffs are exciting even though it’s more nerve wracking for fans of the teams involved. May the odds be ever in your favor… ;-)

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So Cal Wrap-Up http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=672 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=672#comments Sun, 08 Apr 2012 06:47:12 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=672 Last year, both Southern California NHL teams made the playoffs. The Ducks were the 4th seed, believe it or not. What a difference a year makes. Though the Kings went back and forth between being 3rd, 7th, 8th, and even out of the playoffs in the last couple weeks of the regular season, they ended in 8th. By points, the three Pacific teams who made this year’s NHL playoffs are 6th – 8th place. I’ve always been a believer in giving home ice advantage to the teams who do the best, not automatically assigning the top three seed positions to the winners of each division in the two conferences. If that were the case, none of the Pacific teams would start out with home ice advantage. Since it’s not, the Phoenix Coyotes (below the Nashville Predators, Detroit Red Wings, and Chicago Blackhawks in points) will have home ice advantage to start the playoffs. (As a side note, the Florida Panthers are in the same position in the East.)

The Anaheim Ducks were pretty clearly out of the playoffs early on this year. They replaced their coach with the hopes that it would help them, but I really don’t think they’ll be able to do much until they replace their general manager and no GM in his right mind would tell the owners of a team to fire him, so I’m guessing Murray bought himself a bit of time by blaming Randy Carlyle. Of course, the team’s poor performance for the rest of the season seems like a very good argument that Carlyle was not the problem

On paper, the Los Angeles Kings are a very strong team. They were expected to be pretty dominant this season and go far in the playoffs. They had a rough year and didn’t do nearly as well as expected. Some will argue that’s due to the strength of the Pacific Division, but I think the Atlantic Division (with four teams in the playoffs) in the East is a good argument against that. The Atlantic Division has almost all strong teams. Four out of the five teams will be in the playoffs. If you ranked by points instead of giving the division leaders the 2nd and 3rd spots, the Atlantic Division would be ranked 1-4 in the east and they’d all have home ice advantage. Considering the fact that the Pacific teams are the lowest in points, they really don’t seem as strong overall.

Of course, none of that matters as the playoffs start later this week. It’ll be interesting to see how the Kings perform in the playoffs this year. They’ve definitely got the advantage of having to fight to get into the playoffs, but they ended with a couple of losses in SO/OT against the Sharks and have to face Vancouver, who knocked them out of the playoffs two years ago and often seems to have their number. The schedule will be released 10am Pacific time on Sunday.

Enjoy the playoffs!

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Kings Win Back to Back Games Against Ducks http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=670 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=670#comments Fri, 18 Nov 2011 07:49:31 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=670 Tonight, I was able to attend the Kings/Ducks game in Anaheim as a fan, which was quite a treat. I hadn’t attended a Kings game as a fan since 2006, I think. I got to wear one of my Kings jerseys, sit with my friend in a Ducks jersey, and cheer for the Kings. Fortunately, for me, the Kings gave me a lot to cheer about and the Ducks put up a good fight, making the game exciting and at times nerve wracking. Everything one would want in a game as a fan.

Jonathan Quick played for the Kings in both games against the Ducks even though they were back to back games and he had to win last night’s game in a shootout. Clearly, this was a good decision on Terry Murray’s part, since Quick looked great in net for the Kings. Dan Ellis was in net for the Ducks tonight. I would have played Hiller at home instead, since he generally gives the Ducks a better chance to win, but I’m sure Randy Carlyle had his reasons.

I was surprised that the game was still relatively empty (especially for a SoCal rivalry or “Freeway Series” game). Tonight’s game at the Honda Center in Anaheim had almost everything a fan could want in a game. The Kings scored a short-handed and power play goal (scored by Simon Gagne & Slava Voynov) and the Ducks got a power play goal (scored by Corey Perry). In fact, if you count the empty net goal at the end of the game, the Kings had two short-handed goals. One of the Ducks’ goals was reviewed and the call on the ice of a goal stood. Kyle Clifford and Sheldon Brookbank fought.

Jonathan Quick’s save percentage of .921 stood up with the Kings’ five goals. Star Kings’ player Anze Kopitar scored his 9th goal of the season, Mike Richards had two goals, Gagne had a goal and an assist, … what more could a Kings fan ask for in a game?

There was an odd problem with the lights tonight I can’t remember seeing in a hockey game before. The teams came back out for the third period and had to wait while the Honda Center employees rushed to fix the problem. The teams were waiting so long that they had to let them warm up some more. Practice in the middle of a game is definitely not typical, but the teams needed to stay active. Fans were a little restless, but a problem like that isn’t typical and gives fans something to talk about the next day other than the win or loss.

Perhaps this set of back to back games against the Ducks is exactly what the Kings to kick their season into gear and get them to start playing consistently like the team everyone expected to see this season – the contender.

Though it’s still early in the season and the Kings have played more games than all the teams in their division other than the Ducks, they took over the division lead with tonight’s win, putting them in third place in the western conference. Perhaps this is the beginning of a good streak that will keep the Kings near the top for a while.

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Dux in Tux http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=668 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=668#comments Wed, 16 Nov 2011 06:21:39 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=668 The Anaheim Ducks’ 12th Annual Dux in Tux event is this Friday, November 18 at The Westin South Coast Plaza. The event, benefiting the Anaheim Ducks Foundation, features the entire Ducks roster serving the guests.

Attendees paid $250 per plate to support the sold out event and get served by the players of their favorite team.

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Off to Europe http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=666 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=666#comments Sun, 02 Oct 2011 19:36:07 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=666 Both of the Southern California NHL teams are heading to Europe to start their seasons this year. The last time the Kings and Ducks played in Europe, they faced each other at the O2 Arena in London in 2007. This time, the Kings will face the Rangers in Stockholm and the Sabres in Berlin and the Ducks will face the Sabres in Helsinki and Rangers in Stockholm. The Rangers will be the only team of the four starting in Europe playing their first two games in the same country. The NHL has been starting some teams in Europe every year since 2007 and it’s odd that the Kings and Ducks are both going back in the same year, but at least this year the Kings have the luxury of not having to travel all the way back to start the North American portion of their season. They get to stop on the east coast (for games in New Jersey and Philadelphia) before getting back to the west coast for their home opener.

The Kings often go without a long road trip until February, when the Grammy’s kick everyone else out of Staples Center for a bit to set up. Kings’ coach Terry Murray said he thinks “it’ll be very helpful” with the team bonding. He said, “I think it’s really a timely thing when you add new players like we have this year… The timing of this thing with the changes that we’ve made is very good.”

All the players on both teams seem to be embracing this opportunity to play their sport in Europe. The trip allows some of the players from Europe to have more friends and family at the game than they typically enjoy here in North America. Kopitar said some of his buddies from back home were planning to make the trip to Sweden, though he hasn’t heard the latest. He also said, “We wanna get off to a good start no matter where we play.” That’s always the key at any point in the season and the Kings and Ducks are both looking to win both games in Europe to start their seasons with a bang.

The Kings face higher expectations this year than they have in a long time. None of the players on the team have experienced these high predictions while on the Kings, but they’re ready to meet them and show early on that they’re a real contender this year.

If you’re traveling to Europe with your team, have a great time and be safe.

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Lookin’ Good http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=660 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=660#comments Thu, 29 Sep 2011 06:14:19 +0000 http://pressboxperspective.com/?p=660 Jonas Hiller played in tonight’s game for the Ducks in Anaheim. It was just his first full game since February of last season and he looked good. Hiller’s been saying he’s feeling healthy, but until seeing him play a full game, I’m sure some of the Ducks fans were still worried.

Randy Carlyle said if Hiller’s healthy, as he’s seemed so far, they’ll proceed as if the injury didn’t happen and it’ll be business as usual with Hiller in goal for the most part. I’m sure all Ducks fans are happy to see him healthy. Dan Ellis and Ray Emery did well for them last season and got the Ducks into the post season in spite of Hiller’s injury, but no one wants to see their number one goalie out with any injury – especially a bad one to the head.

The regular season is just a little over a week away and the Ducks will (again) be starting the season in Europe.

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