The second installment of Epix’s Road to the Stadium Series was filled with intense chatter, adorable moments, and loads of f-bombs, and gave fans the inside look of their favorite team that they have always wanted. After a very entertaining premier episode last Tuesday, the series followed up with more inside coverage of a struggling Los Angeles squad and an inconsistent San Jose team.
The show began with the Stanley Cup champion Kings visiting the White House to meet President Obama for the second time in just three years. However, they were not the only Los Angeles based team on Capitol Hill at the time, as the MLS’s Los Angeles Galaxy were also present at the event. This was likely done to put more people in between Dustin Brown and the president’s knee. That, and no sane person wants to spend any significant amount of time with just the Los Angeles Kings; it’s like talking with your girlfriend’s parents while she takes hours to get ready for the evening.
After meeting the Commander In Chief of the United States, the Kings should have just boarded their plane to Florida because they followed their trip to the White House with a 4-0 loss to a mediocre Washington Capitals team. President Obama may have put some sort of Blackhawk curse on them for the evening.
The San Jose Sharks’ segment of the show began by giving viewers a more personal view of the team away from hockey. The Epix crew captured video of some of the players’ children skating on the ice with them after a practice. While Nathan Pavelski made his much anticipated appearance in this portion, it was Joe Thornton’s daughter that stole the show when she asked what her father’s jock strap was and then proceeded to hit it (along with Scott Hannan’s son) before leaving the room.
Apparently overlord John Scott is a game show host because during a Super Bowl party held by the Thornton family, he went around to his teammates and their significant others and quizzed them on their knowledge of the big game. According to his own wife, the Flyers were taking on the Patriots on the gridiron that day. That may sound silly, but maybe Philadelphia would have ran the ball at the two-yard line.
Epix then documented the Shorks losing to the Edmonton Oilers after defeating three powerhouse teams in a row. The team then headed to Canada to take on the Calgary Flames, thus revealing how much of a pack rat Brent Burns is and how much it sucks to sit next to him on a plane. Also featured here: Matt Nieto is a rapper and surprisingly from Long Beach, California.
The Kings lost to Florida.
Up in Calgary, the show documented San Jose’s horrid contest against the Flames, but failed to give viewers what they really wanted out of it: the John Scott goal. How could any show pass up the opportunity to present viewers one of the rarest occurrences in hockey? It’s like Halley’s Comet being visible but not going outside to see it because a Jeopardy rerun was on and you didn’t want to miss Final Jeopardy.
As the Sharks travelled to Vancouver or the second of their back-to-back games, we got a glimpse of a then-injured Tommy Wingels practicing in a morning skate. It showed him working on some drills and focusing on one-handed techniques to test his hand strength. He was struggling then, but he is back in the lineup now, which is great to see. The Sharks would dominate the Canucks than night by a final score of 5-1.
In Tampa Bay, the Kings were shown bonding with one another with a trip to Hard Rock Café. They were having fun and even had a bet to see if anyone could eat six saltine crackers in a minute, though the one person shown trying failed. It also showed Dustin Brown’s pregame ritual of
diving across the ice building the letters "LA" out of pucks, which has definitely been the most helpful thing he has done for his team this season. Los Angeles beat the Lightning that night, ending a three game losing streak.
This episode of Epix’s Road to the Stadium Series was entertaining and had some spectacular moments. In less than two weeks though, the main event at Levi’s Stadium will finally take place.