Following a tremendously successful Stadium Series in 2013-14, the NHL is going to return to another Stadium Series and return to California for one of the West Coast's best rivalries. The Sharks will get their taste of outdoor hockey when the Kings visit the newly constructed Levi's Stadium in Santa Clara, the new home of the San Francisco 49ers.
The game is scheduled for Sat., Feb. 21, 2015. Faceoff is slated for 7 p.m. local time (10 ET) to keep it under the lights and hopefully keep the temperature down, but it shouldn't be a terrible issue in the Bay Area at that time of the year anyway.
"We are honored and elated that the NHL has selected the San Jose Sharks to participate in the NHL's 2015 Coors Light Stadium Series and is bringing this magnificent event to the Bay Area," said San Jose Sharks chief operating officer John Tortora. "This event celebrates the growth of the great game of hockey in San Jose and recognizes the incredible support and passion of Sharks fans all over Northern California. We know our fans will bring the electrifying atmosphere of SAP Center at San Jose to Levi's Stadium on Feb. 21 and we are looking forward to showcasing Sharks Territory outside and under the lights."
While this is San Jose's first outdoor game it will be the second for the defending champion Kings in as many years after hosting the Ducks at Dodger Stadium last season. It also represents one of the best rivalries in the game, one that had a little more fuel added to the fire when the Sharks blew a 3-0 postseason series lead.
Levi's Stadium makes a lot of sense as football stadiums have proven to be better suited for the hockey rink to fit and it's location to San Jose proper, but it would have been exciting to see a game on the bay at AT&T Park in San Francisco, one of the best parks in baseball. Either way, the outdoor spectacle has proven to be great no matter the location.
The Kings-Sharks game is the first of this season's Stadium Series, joining the Winter Classic tapped for Washington, DC, between the Capitals and Blackhawks on the outdoor slate as of now. While the Stadium Series isn't expected to have the same number of games (four, five if you count the Heritage Classic) as last season, there should be at least one more game added to the schedule.