1976–77 Los Angeles Kings season

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1976–77 Los Angeles Kings
Division 2nd Norris
1976–77 record 34–31–15
Goals for 271
Goals against 241
Team information
General Manager Jake Milford
Coach Bob Pulford
Captain Mike Murphy
Alternate captains None
Team leaders
<1975–76 1977–78>

Offseason[edit]

Regular season[edit]

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 standings[edit]

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

[1]Note: GP = Games played, W = Wins, L = Losses, T = Ties, Pts = Points, GF = Goals for, GA = Goals against

Note: Teams that qualified for the playoffs are highlighted in bold.

Schedule and results[edit]

No. R Date Score Opponent Record
1 T October 6, 1976 2–2 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 0–0–1
2 L October 7, 1976 2–4 @ Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 0–1–1
3 W October 9, 1976 7–4 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 1–1–1
4 L October 10, 1976 0–1 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 1–2–1
5 T October 13, 1976 4–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 1–2–2
6 W October 16, 1976 7–1 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 2–2–2
7 W October 17, 1976 6–2 St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 3–2–2
8 W October 20, 1976 4–2 @ New York Rangers (1976–77) 4–2–2
9 T October 21, 1976 5–5 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 4–2–3
10 L October 23, 1976 2–4 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 4–3–3
11 W October 26, 1976 3–2 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 5–3–3
12 W October 28, 1976 5–1 Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 6–3–3
13 W October 30, 1976 4–3 Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 7–3–3
14 L November 2, 1976 1–7 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 7–4–3
15 W November 3, 1976 4–2 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 8–4–3
16 L November 5, 1976 1–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 8–5–3
17 T November 6, 1976 3–3 New York Rangers (1976–77) 8–5–4
18 T November 10, 1976 2–2 Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 8–5–5
19 T November 13, 1976 3–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 8–5–6
20 L November 14, 1976 4–5 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 8–6–6
21 T November 16, 1976 0–0 Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 8–6–7
22 L November 18, 1976 1–3 New York Islanders (1976–77) 8–7–7
23 L November 20, 1976 3–4 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 8–8–7
24 L November 24, 1976 4–5 Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 8–9–7
25 L November 27, 1976 3–4 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 8–10–7
26 T November 28, 1976 6–6 @ Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 8–10–8
27 L December 1, 1976 3–6 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 8–11–8
28 T December 2, 1976 3–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 8–11–9
29 W December 4, 1976 4–1 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 9–11–9
30 T December 8, 1976 3–3 Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 9–11–10
31 L December 11, 1976 2–4 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 9–12–10
32 W December 14, 1976 4–2 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 10–12–10
33 W December 15, 1976 3–1 @ Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 11–12–10
34 L December 18, 1976 0–2 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 11–13–10
35 L December 22, 1976 2–3 Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 11–14–10
36 W December 27, 1976 7–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 12–14–10
37 L December 28, 1976 3–8 @ Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 12–15–10
38 L December 30, 1976 0–2 Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 12–16–10
39 W January 1, 1977 5–2 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 13–16–10
40 L January 4, 1977 3–4 @ St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 13–17–10
41 L January 5, 1977 2–5 @ Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 13–18–10
42 L January 8, 1977 1–6 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 13–19–10
43 W January 9, 1977 5–4 @ New York Rangers (1976–77) 14–19–10
44 L January 12, 1977 2–3 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 14–20–10
45 L January 13, 1977 3–4 @ Boston Bruins (1976–77) 14–21–10
46 L January 15, 1977 0–6 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 14–22–10
47 W January 18, 1977 6–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1976–77) 15–22–10
48 W January 20, 1977 5–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 16–22–10
49 W January 22, 1977 6–0 New York Rangers (1976–77) 17–22–10
50 L January 26, 1977 2–3 Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 17–23–10
51 W January 29, 1977 4–0 @ New York Islanders (1976–77) 18–23–10
52 W February 2, 1977 7–2 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 19–23–10
53 T February 5, 1977 3–3 Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 19–23–11
54 L February 8, 1977 1–4 @ New York Islanders (1976–77) 19–24–11
55 L February 9, 1977 3–6 @ Cleveland Barons (1976–77) 19–25–11
56 L February 12, 1977 2–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 19–26–11
57 W February 15, 1977 3–0 New York Islanders (1976–77) 20–26–11
58 L February 17, 1977 3–4 Atlanta Flames (1976–77) 20–27–11
59 W February 19, 1977 2–0 Boston Bruins (1976–77) 21–27–11
60 W February 22, 1977 4–0 St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 22–27–11
61 T February 24, 1977 2–2 Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 22–27–12
62 W February 26, 1977 4–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 23–27–12
63 W February 27, 1977 5–1 @ Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 24–27–12
64 W March 1, 1977 3–2 @ Washington Capitals (1976–77) 25–27–12
65 W March 2, 1977 5–0 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 26–27–12
66 L March 3, 1977 2–7 @ Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 26–28–12
67 T March 5, 1977 3–3 Pittsburgh Penguins (1976–77) 26–28–13
68 W March 8, 1977 7–1 Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 27–28–13
69 W March 10, 1977 6–0 Washington Capitals (1976–77) 28–28–13
70 T March 13, 1977 2–2 @ Boston Bruins (1976–77) 28–28–14
71 L March 14, 1977 0–3 @ Montreal Canadiens (1976–77) 28–29–14
72 W March 17, 1977 3–2 Detroit Red Wings (1976–77) 29–29–14
73 L March 19, 1977 3–5 Philadelphia Flyers (1976–77) 29–30–14
74 L March 22, 1977 2–4 @ St. Louis Blues (1976–77) 29–31–14
75 W March 23, 1977 3–1 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1976–77) 30–31–14
76 W March 26, 1977 6–4 Buffalo Sabres (1976–77) 31–31–14
77 T March 29, 1977 3–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1976–77) 31–31–15
78 W March 31, 1977 7–5 Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 32–31–15
79 W April 2, 1977 7–2 Minnesota North Stars (1976–77) 33–31–15
80 W April 3, 1977 6–4 @ Colorado Rockies (1976–77) 34–31–15

Playoffs[edit]

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 statistics[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Lady Byng Memorial Trophy - Marcel Dionne

All NHL 2nd team - Rogie Vachon, Goalie

Transactions[edit]

Roster[edit]

Draft picks[edit]

Farm teams[edit]

See also[edit]

References[edit]

  1. ^ Dinger, Ralph, ed. (2011). The National Hockey League Official Guide & Record Book 2012. Dan Diamond & Associates. p. 151. ISBN 9781894801225. 

External links[edit]