Matt Carle and Teddy Purcell, two modern knights in the Flyers-Kings joustings. (Photo via Life Magazine)
One of the biggest surprises early on in this nascent NHL campaign is the Los Angeles Kings, who have stunned many by racing out to a 13-7-2 start that has them in fourth place in the Western Conference. And while most Flyers fans don't know (or care) a whole lot about the Kings, there's a lot of ice under the bridge between these two squads.
Along with the Penguins, Blues, North Stars, and Golden Seals, the Flyers and Kings were part of the six-team expansion of the NHL in 1967. The two have had a pretty long (but not particularly storied) history with one another, the latest chapter of which is set to be written at 10:30 ET tonight, in the House That Kobe Built.
With that historical perspective in mind, here are some things you almost certainly do not know about the Los Angeles Kings, seen through orange-tinted lenses:
- The Flyers and Kings have played 135 times, with the Flyers posting an 80-37-16 record in those contests. None too shabby. The Flyers are also a pretty awesome 38-22-8 all-time in Los Angeles.
- 17 of those 80 Flyers wins over the Kings were of the shut out variety, including four each by Bernie Parent and Doug Favell, and two each by Wayne Stephenson, Pelle Lindbergh, and Roman Cechmanek.
The 1974-75 season, best known in these parts for being the year of the Flyers' last Stanley Cup win, was also the most successful regular season in Kings history in terms of points. The Kings 105 point total was largely because of their incredible number of ties, with their 42-17-21 record including more ties than losses. Sadly for the Kings, there are no ties in the playoffs, and the Kings bowed out in three games to the Maple Leafs in the first round.
- The Kings have only won their division once in 41 seasons (1990-91 Smythe Division), a number that compares none-too favorably with the Flyers fifteen division crowns over the same time period.
- The Kings and Flyers have never met in the playoffs, making the Kings the oldest team still in existence that the Flyers have never faced in the postseason.
- Recent Flyers Hall of Fame Inductee Dave Schultz was traded to the Kings in September of 1976 in exchange for two picks (4th Rd 1977 and 2nd Rd 1978).
- Powered almost entirely by Head Coach Barry Melrose's hair gel, the Kings made the 1993 Stanley Cup Finals, their only trip to date to the last stage of the playoffs. The Kings lost to the Canadiens in five. In a feat not likely to be repeated any time soon, the Kings played all four of their playoff series against Canadian teams, knocking off the Flames, Canucks, and Maple Leafs on their way to the final. That means that "O Canada" was played eleven times in The Forum during the playoffs, a record for an American arena. The Flyers also didn't face an American team during the 1993 playoffs. Or any team, for that matter.
- In the fourteen seasons since that run, the Kings have only won one playoff series, a first round upset of the Red Wings in 2001. The Flyers have fared somewhat better, winning thirteen series.
Little of that will matter come tonight though. With Anze Kopitar and the two or three other Kings you might have heard of at the wheel, there's a pretty good team in Los Angeles these days. But the Flyers are awesome themselves, so it should make for a decidedly good late slate of hockey.
It definitely beats watching that terrible new Jay Leno Show, that's for sure.
After the jump, a look back at the most recent Kings foray into Philadelphia, from last February, as well as any comments or thoughts you may have on the Flyers-Kings match-up.
Highlights from the most recent Kings/Flyers game: