What the Puck? An Inside Scoop on the LA Hockey Season

Credit for Featured Image: Los Angeles Kings enter the ice prior to a NHL hockey game against the San Jose Sharks at Staples Center in Los Angeles on Tuesday, February 9, 2021. (Photo by Keith Birmingham, Pasadena Star-News/ SCNG).

“Whether you are new to hockey or a long-time fan, nothing replaces the live experience in-arena. Come to one game, and you are hooked,” said Los Angeles Kings broadcaster and former player Daryl Evans.

An L.A. Kings game is the best bet for Southern Californians interested in attending a hockey game. With the season schedule starting in October and ending in May, there is ample time to catch a game. Before purchasing tickets to a game, here is a quick guide to ice hockey and its history in the region.

Rules and Common Terms You Should Know When Watching Ice Hockey

Hockey is an exciting sport to watch. It’s fast-paced and aggressive. A game is divided into three 20-minute playing periods, each period having a 15-minute intermission. The total time is around 2.5 to 3 hours, making hockey an entertaining, speedy night out. The rules are also pretty simple when compared to other professional sports.

The National Hockey League (NHL) is responsible for influencing most of the hockey game rules. Aside from the basic rules, there are still a few terms that you should know before you tune in for the next game:

  • Icing is an infraction when a player shoots the puck over the center red line and the opposing team’s red goal line, and the puck remains untouched without scoring a goal.
  • High-sticking describes when a player purposely plays the puck with their stick above the height of their shoulders or above the crossbar of a hockey goal.
  • Power plays are when one team is permitted to have more players—usually a 5 vs. 4 playing structure—on the ice because one player on the other team is serving in the penalty box.
  • Penalty box is where players are sent after an infraction, resulting in a significant penalty; these infractions include spearing, fighting, butt-ending, charging, and boarding.

The History of Ice Hockey in Los Angeles 

California has a rich hockey history. The Kings first joined the NHL after being formed in 1967, after the League expanded from six teams. Over time the organization has provided L.A. with star athletes, great live entertainment, and a historical rivalry. 

Every sports team has its rivalries, and the Kings are no different. Their biggest rivals are another California team—the Anaheim Ducks. Dubbed the “Freeway Face-Off” because the cities of Los Angeles and Anaheim are separated by Interstate 5, this rivalry is something that any Los Angeles sports fan will understand. 

“The freeway face-off is the standard for Kings hockey. We’ve played [the Ducks] in the playoffs. We were fortunate to win, but the players definitely step up on those nights as games get a lot more physical for the guys,” says COO of AEG Sports and the Kings Kelly Cheeseman.

Fan Experience and Game Ticket Information

Hockey games have a lot of memorable and fun experiences to offer sports fans with various themed game nights. There are Hollywood-themed nights and themes to honor the cultural diversity of Los Angeles and the city’s close-knit sports community. 

There are a few options for purchasing tickets—single-game tickets and season ticket memberships—to accommodate any L.A. sports fan. The Kings have several season ticket packages available—full, half, and quarter season ticket memberships. Each membership option comes with unique benefits, including access to exclusive members-only events and member discounts at the TEAM LA store and at select L.A. Live restaurants and attractions with your Kings Membership Card. For a full list of season membership benefits, head to the Kings website.

If you can’t make it to a live game, don’t worry. Sports fanatics can catch a game on several streaming platforms, including Bally Sports West, the Kings iHeart Audio Network, and the Spanish radio station Tu Liga for select home games.

To get the entire hockey experience on and off the ice, be sure to follow L.A.’s team, the Kings, on Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and Tik Tok. These accounts are snarky and entertaining and keep hockey fans engaged on social media during the regular and off-seasons. Don’t forget about Bailey—the team’s audacious mascot has his own Twitter and Instagram accounts. 

For more information on tickets and the Los Angeles Kings organization, visit www.nhl.com/kings.

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