It's not going to happen, of course, but King fans voiced their opinion loud and clear Thursday night about the new protective netting at Staples Center:
Take it down.
The netting, a black nylon mesh shielding pucks from flying into the stands behind the goals and in the corners, was mandated in June by NHL Commissioner Gary Bettman after a 13-year-old girl was struck in the head by a puck last March during a game at Columbus, Ohio, and died two days later.
"It's hard enough to see the puck at the other end, and this obscures it even more," said Mark Benson of Whittier, a season-ticket-holder watching from behind the south goal as the Kings opened their exhibition season with a 1-0 victory over the San Jose Sharks in front of 13,751. "I might as well just go home and watch on TV. I don't want to come to any more games if it's going to be like this."
Said Paula Frankel of Porter Ranch, a season-ticket-holder attending the game with children William, 10, Heather, 8, and Lucas, 4: "Obviously, it's safer, but it's more difficult to follow the puck. I mean, the puck's black, the net's black.