A Duck trying to keep the puck away from a rival King during a game at Honda Center. Photo courtesy of vavel.com
A LOOK AT THE TWO NATIONAL HOCKEY LEAGUE TEAMS CALLING SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA HOME, THE LOS ANGELES KINGS AND THE ANAHEIM DUCKS
In the Downtown Los Angeles Corner, the…
LOS ANGELES KINGS
39-35-8, 86 points, fifth in the Western Conference’s Pacific Division
Failed to qualify for the NHL playoffs
Coach: John Stevens, 1st year
Key Players (2016-17 stats):
Jeff Carter, C – 32 goals, 34 assists, 66 points
Anze Kopitar, C – 12 goals, 40 assists, 52 points
Tanner Pearson, LW – 24 goals, 20 assists, 44 points
Drew Doughty, D – 12 goals, 32 assists, 44 points
Jonathan Quick, G – W-L: 8-5, 2.26 GAA, 2 shutouts (played in only 17 games due to injury)
Current 2017-18 Record: 2-0-1, 5 points
Last Game: Lost to the Calgary Flames, 3-2, in overtime, on October 11th at Staples Center
Next Game: Saturday, October 14th, vs the Buffalo Sabres at Staples Center
Highlights from the Kings vs Ducks game on April 9, 2017, at Honda Center; the Ducks won 4-3 in Overtime. Courtesy of YouTube
And in the Orange County Corner, the…
46-23-13, 105 points, Pacific Division Champions
Beat the Calgary Flames in the Western Conference Quarterfinals, 4 games to 0
Beat the Edmonton Oilers in the Western Conference Semifinals, 4 games to 3
Lost to the Nashville Predators in the Western Conference Finals, 4 games to 2
Coach: Randy Carlyle, 2nd current season, 8th season overall
Key Players (2016-17 stats):
Ryan Getzlaf, C – 15 goals, 58 assists, 73 points
Ryan Kesler, C – 22 goals, 36 assists, 58 points
Corey Perry, RW – 19 goals, 34 assists, 53 points
Rickard Rakell, C – 33 goals, 18 assists, 51 points
John Gibson, G – W-L: 25-16, 2.22 GAA, 6 shutouts
2017-18 FREEWAY FACEOFF, KINGS vs DUCKS
Five Games Scheduled:
- Tuesday, November 11th at Honda Center
- Saturday, November 25th at Staples Center
- Saturday, January 13th at Staples Center
- Friday, January 19th at Honda Center
- Friday, March 30th at Honda Center
Highlights from the Kings’ 4-1 win over the Ducks at Staples Center on February 25th, 2017. Courtesy of YouTube.
A Few Thoughts:
After a week and a half, both of our hockey teams are having decent starts as they are a combined 4-1-2 with five points each.
Most pundits aren’t seeing things as unfolding much differently from last season, as the Ducks are expected to return to the postseason while the Kings are not.
The Kings certainly have something to prove after last season’s disappointment, missing the playoffs.
Which got the coach that led them to their Stanley Cup glory with two titles in three years, Daryl Sutter, fired.
As for the Ducks, they are under the same expectations, perhaps a little more as they missed the Stanley Cup Finals by two wins.
I reckon there’s more pressure on them to get it done.
The biggest impression I have had of these two hockey rivals over the years is the extreme passion that their fan bases have.
They always fill up Staples Center and Honda Center, they – like their Kings and Ducks – don’t like each other (much like UCLA and USC fans!), and they often go all out to show their love in the form of “Go Kings Go!” and “Let’s Go Ducks!” filling their respective arenas.
I was particularly impressed over the Ducks – who are clearly ahead of the Kings record and result-wise right now – choosing as their annual 21st Duck a young lady named Katie Hawley, a 17-year old high school student who has had to fight cancer three times.
This video will lead you to feel much support for Katie as she talks about what she had to go through and how the Ducks have so supported her; it certainly touched my heart when I saw it…
I hope to catch a Kings game – not because I have anything against the Ducks, but because Staples Center is a lot easier to get to from my home – this season as I would like to experience hockey, never seeing a game in person.
And I’m confident that both of our hockey teams will be solid;
After all, as an illustration of the solid hockey played in these parts – I’ve always been impressed at the success of a Canadian sport in a climate that’s the opposite of an ideal hockey one – even though they had to stay home for last year’s postseason, the Kings still finished with a winning record.
The Ducks’ Ryan Kesler battling a Kings’ player at Staples Center. Photo courtesy of youtube.com