Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Philly East vs Philly West?

In the early 90s the big joke was how the Kings had become Edmonton-South. Of course you had Gretzky; but then came Kurri, Coffey and a gang of others. Heck, Grant Fuhr even stopped by for a cup of coffee.

More recently the jokes have turned into Philadelphia-West given CM Dean Lombardi and coach Terry Murray's links to their former team. So with the Flyers in town tonight to take on the Kings this is another of those "big games" early in the season.

Here are seven things you should know before the puck drops at 7:30...

* Dieter Ruehle is doing the National Anthem. I'm not sure if they couldn't find a singer for tonight or they just wanted to push his name out there to remind long time fans of the Fabulous Forum days. Either way, sounds good.

* The Kings and Flyers have been rumored to be trade partners a few times in recent months - and for good reason. Yet, if there was any type of player swap to occur this season the one guy that sure would be PERFECT for the Kings is Scott Hartnell. There aren't too many guys like him in the league.

* On paper, these are two pretty evenly matched teams. When scoring first Philly is 11-2-1, the Kings are 10-2-2. When leading after two periods the Flyers are 10-0-1, the Kings 8-0-0. In OT the Flyers are 3-1, the Kings 3-2. In November the Flyers are 5-1-0 (10 points), the Kings are 5-3-0 (10 points).

* You want balance - look at the Flyers shot totals by period: First 189, Second 183, Third 188. LA continues to take the majority of their shots in the second, their fewest in the third.

* The difference in this game will likely be the power play. The Kings PK has been dismal this year to say the least. They rank 27th overall and 28th at home. Meanwhile, the Flyers power play is first overall, 9th on the road. For the Kings to win they need to stay out of the box and/or have strong kills if they take any penalties.

* With Ryan Smyth out for the next month there will be several line-up changes tonight. The Flyers will provide a big test for the revamped Kings. LA will need continued production from Kopitar, even without his linemate and BFF.

* While the Flyers are no longer the bruisers they once were, three different players each have three or more fighting majors this season. Who leads the team with six? Ian Laperriere, the former Kings fan favorite. It would be a little surprising if he dropped the gloves tonight though. He tends not to do that when playing the Kings the last few years. We shall see.

The Mayor

Interview (podcast) with Ian Laperriere

Interview with Dave 'the Hammer' Schultz - former Flyer and King

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