CHRIS ERSKINE / FAN OF THE HOUSE

Ice hockey at Dodger Stadium is one hot idea

In the Land of La-La, this was one for the ages.

"We drove all the way from Phoenix," Kevin Heyninck said in the top deck. "We don't care who wins, we just love hockey."

Yep, the NHL threw the best curveball in Dodgers history with this crazy stunt. Like watching a surfing Santa, you couldn't help but smile. A fish out of ice water.

Another revelation, or maybe a confirmation: Hockey fans are really the best in all of sports.

And Saturday they faced some pretty whacked-out pricing. Reserve level seats were going for $250; top deck for $150 and field level for $50. It was like some sort of seat-pricing inversion.

The reason: those high up could see into the rink, while those down low, if really close, could not even see the puck.

How far the NHL will take all this? By the simple act of going where it all started — outdoors — hockey has been reinvented, reborn. There's already talk of moving the All-Star games outdoors, and I'd like to see the Stanley Cup finals outside as well.

The whole outdoor thing has gone viral.

Hockey outdoors seems so novel, but that's where it all started. In its crudest forms, it can be traced to Egypt 4,000 years ago, and to Aztecs in Mexico before Columbus even bought a boat.

Even L.A. hockey history holds a few surprises. L.A. Weekly noted last week that the first Southern California hockey game goes clear back to 1917.

At the time, Times columnist Warde Fowler reported: "No one was killed outright."

There's that. Hockey doesn't need trainers, it needs seamstresses, someone adept with needle and thread.

Look, I'm not so sure on a lot of things. Not so sure Matt Damon isn't really Mark Wahlberg. Not so sure Carly Simon isn't actually Mick Jagger.

But I'm pretty convinced we're only seeing the beginning of these great outdoor binges.

Because on Saturday, hockey found yet another metric, one that can't be measured, only savored.

Dodger Stadium was so rocking during this milestone event that, for a while, fans quit looking at their cellphones. For a change, they were mesmerized by where they were, not where they wanted to be.

"A game like no other," Vin Scully said during introductions.

And he really ought to know.

chris.erskine@latimes.com

Twitter: @erskinetimes

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