There was an unexpected buzz on Friday when the Edmonton Oilers were set to begin practice at Crypto.com Arena ahead of Game 3 against the Los Angeles Kings.
As the Oilers began their morning skate, the lights in the arena were still off and the nets were not in place since the team took the ice ahead of the scheduled time.
Arena staff won't give the Oilers the nets or turn the lights on. pic.twitter.com/61xiMpYBRG
🤔 What time will the lights come on. Practice doesn't officially start till 11:30, but Kings skated at a different rink, So they haven't been turned on here at the main arena. Koskinen on at 10 after. pic.twitter.com/eNYPn28kQM
While the Oilers weren't particularly troubled by the delay and eventually held a full skate once the lights turned on and the nets were installed, fans on social media fed the buzz with speculation and jokes on why the Kings would play mind games ahead of the series’ third matchup with the best-of-seven set knotted at one game apiece.
According to Kings insider Helene Elliott of the LA Times, the hosting team was stunned at how the situation unfolded on social media. Lee Zeidman, the president of Crypto.com Arena, explained how the ice crew was following standard procedure grooming the surface for a scheduled 11:30 a.m. start but the Oilers “chose to take the ice early.”
Zeidman also added that he had spoken with Kings executives and the ice will now be prepared for an 11:10 a.m. start moving forward. Having been a venue operator for more than 35 years, he was shocked this was an issue.
“It must have been a slow day as regards to news in Edmonton,” Zeidman told Elliott.
He also said he had spoken with Kings executives and that in the future the ice will be prepared for an 11:10am start. Said as a venue operator for 35+ years he was shocked this was an issue. “It must have been a slow day as regards to news in Edmonton.”
It is understandable that a buzz surprised the Kings ahead of Game 3, but they will soon realize how intense playoff hockey can be in Canada. It is clear that the issue will not occur again in the series, but it makes the first-round matchup a lot more fun when there’s a narrative in the background that makes the rivalry more intense.
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