Videos by OutKick
The NHL went outside once again for a Stadium Series game, after a month and a half respite since the Winter Classic, and you know what? It was great!
I love when a nontraditional hockey market gets the chance to show that they’re a true hockey town, and on Saturday night Raleigh, North Carolina got that opportunity.
The game itself was about as “meh” as they come. I don’t know what I expected though. It pitted the Carolina Hurricanes, the best team in the Eastern Conference not called the Boston Bruins, and a Washington Capitals team that might eek into the playoffs.
As with an outdoor game, this one was quite the spectacle…
Best Marching Band Rendition Of A Scorpions Song: NC State Marching Band
Yeah, they’re fun at college football games, but in a vacuum, I’m not a fan of marching bands. All they do is play stuff written by John Phillip Sousa and versions of songs that you like that aren’t as good as the original while walking in the shape of the school’s initials.
However, the NC State marching band had me at least considering reconsidering my position on marching bands.
The Hurricanes come out to the Scorpions classic “Rock You Like A Hurricane.”
However, since they were playing at Carter-Finley Stadium — home of the NC State Wolfpack — they eschewed the version with the soaring dual guitar work of Rudolph Schenker and Matthias Jabs and the thundering drumming of Herman “Ze German” Rarebell, in favor of a live version featuring NC State Marching band horns.
That. Was. Awesome.
There may have been some mojo to it because the Hurricanes breezed to a 4-1 win over the capitals in front of 54,000 fans.
However, the fun wasn’t over in Raleigh once the Stadium Series had wrapped up…
Most Impressive Club Hockey Crowd: NC State vs. North Carolina
The rink at Carter-Finely Stadium didn’t go to waste once the NHLers were done with it. a couple of days later, the rink hosted an ACHA matchup between NC State and North Carolina.
It drew a staggering 24,000 fans… for a club hockey game!
Anyone who has ever played or been around club hockey knows this is far, far from the norm. Usually, club hockey games are played whenever the team can book ice time and in front of a few players’ parents, girlfriends, and buddies.
This game had a bigger crowd than any indoor NHL game. That’s incredible, and no doubt an incredible memory for the dudes who got to play.
While the Tar Heels opened the scoring, the Wolfpack lit up the scoreboard after that, NC State took a 7-3 win over a raucous home crowd.
In case you were wondering, yes, the sweaters were something to behold.
Best Use Of An Opponent’s Junk As A Tee: Anders Lee
I can’t say that there were many contenders for this award, but even if there were, Anders Lee would have been tough to beat.
It happened when the Islanders hosted the Penguins on Friday night and started with a brutal turnover, from Pittsburgh blueliner Marcus Pettersson.
For real. What was that? A muffed breakout pass right to the tape of one the most dangerous Islanders, Matt Barzal.
Barzal fired a pass to Lee who redirected the puck on net. DeSmith made the initial save but fell backward with the puck laying directly on his crotch.
Anders Lee saw it and backhanded it off of DeSmith and into the back of the net.
That goal helped the Islanders take a 5-4 win over the Pens. It was a big win too, as the two teams are currently neck and neck in the Metropolitan Division standings.
Most Oblivious About The NHL Team That Plays In The Same Building: LeBron James
You’d think that LeBron James would’ve played in Los Angeles to be at least tangentially familiar with the Los Angeles Kings, I mean, they share Crypto.com Arena for crying out loud. You’d think he’d know who they were even accidentally.
It would appear that he has no clue.
LeBron was talking about how he would love to own an NBA franchise in Las Vegas. He cited what some teams who have already set up shop are doing, specifically the Aces (that’s a WNBA team), the Raiders, and the Kings.
Yes, the Kings.
He caught himself but had to be prompted that the NHL team in Vegas is the Golden Knights.
“The Kings are in L.A., right? There’s two Kings in L.A.,” he said.
Look, not everyone knows hockey. That’s okay. The problem is he forgot the name of the team that shares an arena with the team he currently plays for.
Do we expect anything less from LeBron at this point?
Freakout Of The Week: Brad Barone
No goalie likes letting the puck slip by them, but Brad Barone of the ECHL’s Wheeling Nailers was particularly unhappy about this one.
Come to think of it, he may have been upset over the bump he took.
The Nailers — the ECHL affiliate of the Pittsburgh Penguins — were on the road playing the Iowa Heartlanders, affiliate of the Minnesota Wild. When Iowa snuck their fourth goal, scorer Zach White made contact with Barone.
Given the benefit of a replay, we can see that White was cross-checked into Barone by a Nailers defenseman. In the heat of the moment (h/t the first supergroup, Asia) Barone didn’t know this. He thought he had been scored on and then given a “Hey, how are ya?” bump.
So, he took matters into his own hands.
I know you want an alternate angle of that, so here you go:
That gnarly two-hander took down White and started an all-out donnybrook.
Barone was dealt two minutes for slashing and another two for leaving his crease. That’s it.
Most Obviously Getting Used To His New Team: Ryan O’Reilly
There’s a lot that goes into getting acquainted with a new team after a trade, especially when that happens in the middle of a season.
You’re going to a new rink every day, in a new city, with new teammates, and as Ryan O’Reilly knows a different distribution of water bottle liquids.
ROR was used to snagging himself a BioSteel-branded squeeze bottle full of water and spraying down his salad before a game while playing for the St. Louis Blues.
It seems that the Toronto Maple Leafs — the team he was dealt to last week — do this a little differently.
O’Reilly grabbed a bottle only this one was filled with BioSteel (the official hydration partner of the National Hockey League).
Not a great start in Toronto for the former Conn Smyth Trophy winner, but he’ll get the hang of his new team’s bottle placement in due time.
That’s what we’ve got for this edition of OutKick’s NHL Weekly Awards. There’s bound to be some more good stuff next week, but if you spot anything in the hockey wilderness that you think is worthy of an award, be sure to send it to me on Twitter: @Matt_Reigle.