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1976–77 Los Angeles Kings season

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76-77LAKings
1976–77 Los Angeles Kings · NHL
Division 2nd Norris
1976–77 record 34–31–15
Goals for 271
Goals against 241
Coach Bob Pulford
Captain Mike Murphy
Team leaders

OffseasonEdit

Regular seasonEdit

The 1976-77 season was similar to the year before for the Kings. Dionne continued to lead the offense, the defense was unspectacular but solid, but it was a season of roster turnover as some aging veterans departed (e.g. Bob Nevin, Mike Corrigan) and others lost significant time to injuries (Larry Brown, Juha Widing, Sheldon Kannegiesser). Youngsters like Glen Goldup, Lorne Stamler, and Steve Clippingdale struggled although second year defenseman Gary Sargent was solid. The Kings added Dave Schultz (the "Hammer") to replace Dan Maloney who left in the Dionne trade for toughness, but it took nearly all season for the roster to jell. In addition, backup goalie Gary Edwards struggled and was eventually traded for Gary Simmons; he was not the answer either, so #1 goalie Rogie Vachon was overworked. The Kings were also stuck behind the Montreal Canadiens who finished an amazing 60-8-12; many say this was the greatest team in NHL history.

After struggling near or below the .500 mark, the Kings won 5 of their last 6 games to finish 6th overall - the same as the year before although with 2 fewer points.

Final standingsEdit

Norris Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Montreal Canadiens 80 60 8 12 387 171 132
Los Angeles Kings 80 34 31 15 271 241 83
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 34 33 13 240 252 81
Washington Capitals 80 24 42 14 221 307 62
Detroit Red Wings 80 16 55 9 183 309 41

Note: W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, GF = Goals For, GA = Goals Against, Pts = Points
       Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.

Game logEdit

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1TOctober 6, 19762–2 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 0–0–1
2LOctober 7, 19762–4 @ Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 0–1–1
3WOctober 9, 19767–4 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 1–1–1
4LOctober 10, 19760–1 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 1–2–1
5TOctober 13, 19764–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 1–2–2
6WOctober 16, 19767–1 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 2–2–2
7WOctober 17, 19766–2 St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 3–2–2
8WOctober 20, 19764–2 @ New York Rangers (1976–77) 4–2–2
9TOctober 21, 19765–5 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 4–2–3
10LOctober 23, 19762–4 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 4–3–3
11WOctober 26, 19763–2 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 5–3–3
12WOctober 28, 19765–1 Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 6–3–3
13WOctober 30, 19764–3 Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 7–3–3
14LNovember 2, 19761–7 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 7–4–3
15WNovember 3, 19764–2 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 8–4–3
16LNovember 5, 19761–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 8–5–3
17TNovember 6, 19763–3 New York Rangers (1976–77) 8–5–4
18TNovember 10, 19762–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 8–5–5
19TNovember 13, 19763–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 8–5–6
20LNovember 14, 19764–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 8–6–6
21TNovember 16, 19760–0 Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 8–6–7
22LNovember 18, 19761–3 New York Islanders (1976–77) 8–7–7
23LNovember 20, 19763–4 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 8–8–7
24LNovember 24, 19764–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 8–9–7
25LNovember 27, 19763–4 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 8–10–7
26TNovember 28, 19766–6 @ Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 8–10–8
27LDecember 1, 19763–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 8–11–8
28TDecember 2, 19763–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 8–11–9
29WDecember 4, 19764–1 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 9–11–9
30TDecember 8, 19763–3 Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 9–11–10
31LDecember 11, 19762–4 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 9–12–10
32WDecember 14, 19764–2 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 10–12–10
33WDecember 15, 19763–1 @ Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 11–12–10
34LDecember 18, 19760–2 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 11–13–10
35LDecember 22, 19762–3 Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 11–14–10
36WDecember 27, 19767–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 12–14–10
37LDecember 28, 19763–8 @ Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 12–15–10
38LDecember 30, 19760–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 12–16–10
39WJanuary 1, 19775–2 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 13–16–10
40LJanuary 4, 19773–4 @ St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 13–17–10
41LJanuary 5, 19772–5 @ Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 13–18–10
42LJanuary 8, 19771–6 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 13–19–10
43WJanuary 9, 19775–4 @ New York Rangers (1976–77) 14–19–10
44LJanuary 12, 19772–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 14–20–10
45LJanuary 13, 19773–4 @ Boston Bruins (1976–77) 14–21–10
46LJanuary 15, 19770–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 14–22–10
47WJanuary 18, 19776–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 15–22–10
48WJanuary 20, 19775–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 16–22–10
49WJanuary 22, 19776–0 New York Rangers (1976–77) 17–22–10
50LJanuary 26, 19772–3 Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 17–23–10
51WJanuary 29, 19774–0 @ New York Islanders (1976–77) 18–23–10
52WFebruary 2, 19777–2 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 19–23–10
53TFebruary 5, 19773–3 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 19–23–11
54LFebruary 8, 19771–4 @ New York Islanders (1976–77) 19–24–11
55LFebruary 9, 19773–6 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 19–25–11
56LFebruary 12, 19772–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 19–26–11
57WFebruary 15, 19773–0 New York Islanders (1976–77) 20–26–11
58LFebruary 17, 19773–4 Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 20–27–11
59WFebruary 19, 19772–0 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 21–27–11
60WFebruary 22, 19774–0 St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 22–27–11
61TFebruary 24, 19772–2 Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 22–27–12
62WFebruary 26, 19774–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 23–27–12
63WFebruary 27, 19775–1 @ Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 24–27–12
64WMarch 1, 19773–2 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 25–27–12
65WMarch 2, 19775–0 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 26–27–12
66LMarch 3, 19772–7 @ Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 26–28–12
67TMarch 5, 19773–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 26–28–13
68WMarch 8, 19777–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 27–28–13
69WMarch 10, 19776–0 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 28–28–13
70TMarch 13, 19772–2 @ Boston Bruins (1976–77) 28–28–14
71LMarch 14, 19770–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 28–29–14
72WMarch 17, 19773–2 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 29–29–14
73LMarch 19, 19773–5 Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 29–30–14
74LMarch 22, 19772–4 @ St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 29–31–14
75WMarch 23, 19773–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 30–31–14
76WMarch 26, 19776–4 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 31–31–14
77TMarch 29, 19773–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 31–31–15
78WMarch 31, 19777–5 Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 32–31–15
79WApril 2, 19777–2 Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 33–31–15
80WApril 3, 19776–4 @ Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 34–31–15

PlayoffsEdit

For the second straight year, the Kings faced the Atlanta Flames in the mini series. And for the second year in a row, the Kings scored in the first minute of game 1 and won 5-2. But unlike the prior year, they lost game 2 in Atlanta 3-2, forcing a deciding game 3 back in L.A. Vachon was brilliant as the Kings took a 3-1 lead into the 3rd period. But Atlanta scored late to make it 3-2, and the issue wasn't decided until the Kings got an empty net goal for a 4-2 win.

For the second straight year, the Kings faced the Boston Bruins in the quarter finals and again were heavy underdogs. Boston dominated the first two games in Boston, winning 8-3 and 6-2. The Kings offense woke up when they returned to L.A., but the defense continued to struggle and the Kings lost 7-6 to fall behind 3 games to none. Vachon looked exhausted (he had now played 74 games) and the Kings could not cope with Boston's size advantage. But they managed to outskate Boston in a 7-4 game 4 win, but it seemed a formality to go back to Boston for game 5. It was in that game that Vachon played one of the great games in playoff history. The Kings were badly outshot but in the words of Boston goalie Gerry Cheevers, "Vachon did everything but stand on his head to make great save after great save." The Kings led 2-1 and clinched the game with an empty netter, forcing a game 6 in Los Angeles. In that game, the Kings fell behind 3-0 but battled back to tie the game in the 3rd period at 3. Then, as Kings defenseman Dave Hutchison went to clear the puck on a Boston power play, he broke his stick on the ice, turned the puck over, and Boston scored to win the game 4-3 and the series 4 games to 2.

Player statsEdit

Awards and recordsEdit

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy - Marcel Dionne

All NHL 2nd team - Rogie Vachon, Goalie

TransactionsEdit

RosterEdit

Draft picksEdit

Farm teamsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

External linksEdit

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