Good evening from San Jose, where the team’s flight touched down at half past four. There won’t be a riveting landing video on tomorrow’s Good Morning post because I closed my eyes for 20 minutes on the flight and was awoken by the plane touching down at SJC. ¯\_(ツ)_/¯
-Epix’s television crew joined us on the flight today and after covering tomorrow’s game will travel to the All-Star Game and back to Los Angeles as part of Road to the NHL Stadium Series, which will debut on February 3. We’ll be seeing a lot of them for the next month, though it’s not a major nuisance for the players and staff. Darryl Sutter has said at various times that the logistics and the layout of the team’s facility in El Segundo – with its multiple entranceways and exits – allows for plenty of space and ease of movement, though the team’s Staples Center base, with only one door in and out of the team’s room, makes things a touch trickier. As I touched on last night during the Insider Report with Nick Nickson, the team is used to having cameras, producers and extra media around due to its success over the last three seasons and last year’s Stadium Series show.
-A representative of the team’s hockey operations staff flew to Scandinavia earlier this week to get a firsthand look of Kings prospects Adrian Kempe and Nikolai Prokhorkin. The secondhand note I heard was that Kempe, Los Angeles’ first round selection in 2014, was very impressive, while Prokhorkin was sidelined for the CSKA – Jokerit game in Helsinki due to injury. The extent of Prokhorkin’s injury isn’t known at this point. In 38 games the 21-year-old has eight goals and 18 points, a minor drop-off from his 37-point, 52-game season a year ago. Kempe, who is no longer a teammate of highly touted Maple Leafs prospect William Nylander, has four goals and 15 points through 34 games in his 18-year-old season.
-I’m not a Metallica fan, but this is still pretty cool: Tomorrow is Metallica night in San Jose, and band members James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich will take part in a ceremonial puck drop, amongst other in-arena promotions. Apparently there are big Sharks fans in the band, not that that piece of information should make you change your mind about them, nor should Neil Young being a San Jose season ticket holder influence your feelings about one of the greatest rock musicians to ever live. Don’t Let It Bring You Down, Kings fans. Also: Per the San Jose Mercury News, the Sharks will wear white and the Kings will wear black tomorrow.
-Both in-line and ice hockey is being played in Kenya. This is really great: