Good morning from the skies over the Western United States, Insiders. ICYMI, the Kings play their next nine games on the road. This span includes two separate road trips: one seven-game trip (Buffalo, Detroit, Pittsburgh, Boston, Columbus, Nashville, Dallas), followed by the NHL’s Christmas Break, and then a quick two-game trip (Vancouver, Edmonton) before the team returns home to face San Jose on New Year’s Eve.
While Los Angeles played 10 consecutive road games in 2010-11 – a Northwest Division jaunt to Minnesota, Edmonton and Calgary, a return home for three days, a six-game trip in the Eastern Conference and then a road game at Anaheim – the longest uninterrupted road trip in franchise history is nine games, set in 1969-70. The Kings finished 1-7-1 on that late fall trip through Pittsburgh, Boston, Toronto, Philadelphia, Minnesota, Chicago, Detroit, St. Louis and Oakland, and ultimately tallied just 38 points on the season, going 14-52-10.
This will be the 15th seven-game trip in franchise history and only the second since the 2011-12 season. Last year, Los Angeles was 3-3-1 on the trip that began with a 9-2 win at Boston and ended with a 2-1, Anze Kopitar-less overtime win in Nashville. In seven-game trips, the Kings have finished with a better-than-.500 points percentage four times, an even .500 points percentage twice, and a points percentage worse than .500 eight times.
Personnel changes across the league from year to year, but the Kings will be visiting several buildings in which they have historically not fared well. The most prime examples would be Buffalo’s arena, now called the KeyBank Center, where the team has not won since the 2002-03 season, and Boston’s TD Garden, located in a city in which the team is 16-47-6 all-time. Los Angeles will also make its final regular season visit to Joe Louis Arena in advance of the opening of Little Caesars Arena in Downtown Detroit next season. I’ll speak with the Michigan contingent on the roster in advance of the team’s final visit to one of the most historic venues in the hockey history.
All-time record vs Sabres: 43-56-18-2 (W-L-T-OT)
All-time record in Buffalo: 16-32-9-2
Joe Louis Arena
All-time record vs Red Wings: 83-81-27-5
All-time record in Detroit: 34-47-13-4
PPG Paints Arena
All-time record vs Penguins: 73-59-18-4
All-time record in Pittsburgh: 27-41-10-1
All-time record vs Bruins: 42-81-13-1
All-time record in Boston: 16-47-6-0
All-time record vs Blue Jackets: 30-19-1-3
All-time record in Columbus: 13-10-0-3
All-time record vs Predators:31-25-3-5
All-time record in Nashville: 16-11-3-2
American Airlines Center
All-time record vs North Stars/Stars: 86-102-32-8
All-time record in Minnesota/Dallas: 35-61-13-5
There wasn’t much on-ice business to report this morning. The team did not practice before boarding the plane, though Brayden McNabb did skate at Toyota Sports Center with Assistant General Manager Rob Blake. He is not expected to travel with the team at the outset of the trip.