1975–76 Los Angeles Kings season

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1975–76 Los Angeles Kings
Division 2nd Norris
1975–76 record 38–33–9
Goals for 263
Goals against 265
Team information
General Manager Jake Milford
Coach Bob Pulford
Captain Mike Murphy
Alternate captains None

Offseason[edit]

The Kings were coming off their most successful season ever, built largely on the strength of their defense and goaltending. They ranked 2nd in fewest goals allowed in the 1974–75 season, but tied for 9th in goals scored. In addition, while their penalty killing was excellent, their power play ranked in the lower third of the league. Finally, their early round playoff upset by Toronto (where the Kings scored only 6 goals in 3 games) prompted them to make one of the biggest trades in club history. High scoring superstar Marcel Dionne was in a contract dispute with the Detroit Red Wings and was available to a team that would meet his salary demands. So to bolster the offense, they Kings traded veteran defenseman and team captain Terry Harper and tough guy forward Dan Maloney along with draft picks to the Detroit Red Wings for future hall of famer Dionne and defenseman Bart Crashley. They then gave Dionne one of the richest contracts in NHL history up to that point at $300,000 per year.

Regular season[edit]

Unlike the prior season when the Kings started fast, after the first two games in 1975–76, they were 0–2–0 and had been outscored 16–0! It was later revealed that golatender Rogie Vachon was playing with a flu like virus related to typhus. Vachon recovered and the Kings won 10 of their next 12 games to right the ship. However, they played .500 hockey the rest of the way and finished 27 points behind the Montreal Canadiens in the Norris Division. While Dionne delivered a club record 40 goals and 94 points, the team missed Harper's leadership and defense, and Maloney's tough guy presence. A number of players missed significant time with injuries, and the club actually scored 6 fewer goals that the year before despite the addition of Dionne. The Kings ended up with a record of 38–33–9, 2nd in the Norris Division and 6th overall in the league.

Post Season[edit]

The Kings mini series opponent was the Atlanta Flames. The Kings scored in the 1st minute of game one and went on to win 2–1 behind Vachon's brilliant goaltending. In game 2, Atlanta tried to physically overwhelm the Kings but Vachon was even better than in game one; Bob Berry's 3rd period goal won the game 1–0 and the series; it was the Kings first playoff series win since 1969.

Boston Series[edit]

What followed the Atlanta series was one of the most memorable playoff series in Kings history. The Kings were big underdogs against the big, powerful, tradition rich Boston Bruins. Game 1 went according to form as the Bruins used their size advantage on the smaller rink at the Boston Garden and smothered the Kings, 4–0. Boston continued to dominate play in game 2, but Rogie Vachon was brilliant and kept the Kings tied at 2 going into overtime. Butch Goring then stunned the Boston crowd with an overtime winner, and the teams flew to L.A. tied at a game apiece. One the larger ice surface at the Forum, the Kings' offense got going and, led by Marcel Dionne's hat trick, won game 3 by a score of 6–4. Suddenly the Kings led a series in which many thought they would get swept. Boston appeared to wake up and won games 4 and 5, outscoring the Kings 10–1, and again seemed in control of the series. When the Kings skated onto the ice in game 6 back in L.A., the sellout crowd greeted them with a 5-minute standing ovation that delayed the national anthem and the start of the game. Players on both sides said they had never seen anything like it. The game that followed was even more amazing. After a scoreless first period in which Vachon made numerous outstanding saves, the Kings' Tom Williams beat Gerry Cheevers over the glove hand on a wicked 55 foot slap shot to send the crowd into a frenzy. Boston came right back to tie the game, and then Vachon stopped Terry O'Reilly on a breakaway to keep the score 1–1. As the game wore on, the Bruins appeared to wear down the Kings and they took a 3–1 lead into the final five minutes. Mike Corrigan scored to make it 3–2, and with the crowd going crazy, Corrigan had another chance as he went for a rebound. Cheevers tripped him, but Corrigan swiped at the puck while lying on his stomach and put it in the net to tie the game. After Vachon made numerous great saves, the first overtime was winding down to its final minute when Butch Goring took a pass in the top of the slot and beat Cheevers, sending the crowd into a frenzy and the series back to Boston for the 7th game. Goring's game winner prompted Kings' hall of fame announcer Bob Miller's famous call "We're going back to Boston! We're going back to Boston! We're going back to Boston!" Goring was carried off the ice on his teammates' shoulders while the crowd continued to go crazy. In the 7th game, after a scoreless first period, Boston eventually wore down the Kings and won 3–0.

Final standings[edit]

Norris Division
GP W L T GF GA Pts
Montreal Canadiens 80 58 11 11 337 174 127
Los Angeles Kings 80 38 33 9 263 265 85
Pittsburgh Penguins 80 35 33 12 339 303 82
Detroit Red Wings 80 26 44 10 226 300 62
Washington Capitals 80 11 59 10 224 394 32

[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 L October 8, 1975 0–9 @ Montreal Canadiens (1975–76) 0–1–0
2 L October 11, 1975 0–7 @ New York Islanders (1975–76) 0–2–0
3 W October 12, 1975 6–4 @ New York Rangers (1975–76) 1–2–0
4 W October 15, 1975 4–3 Washington Capitals (1975–76) 2–2–0
5 W October 17, 1975 5–3 @ Vancouver Canucks (1975–76) 3–2–0
6 W October 18, 1975 5–3 California Golden Seals (1975–76) 4–2–0
7 L October 21, 1975 1–6 @ St. Louis Blues (1975–76) 4–3–0
8 W October 22, 1975 5–3 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1975–76) 5–3–0
9 L October 24, 1975 1–7 @ Atlanta Flames (1975–76) 5–4–0
10 W October 26, 1975 4–2 Minnesota North Stars (1975–76) 6–4–0
11 W October 28, 1975 6–0 Washington Capitals (1975–76) 7–4–0
12 W October 30, 1975 4–0 Pittsburgh Penguins (1975–76) 8–4–0
13 W November 1, 1975 3–1 Atlanta Flames (1975–76) 9–4–0
14 W November 5, 1975 3–1 @ Washington Capitals (1975–76) 10–4–0
15 T November 6, 1975 1–1 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1975–76) 10–4–1
16 W November 8, 1975 3–1 New York Rangers (1975–76) 11–4–1
17 L November 11, 1975 2–3 California Golden Seals (1975–76) 11–5–1
18 W November 13, 1975 4–3 New York Islanders (1975–76) 12–5–1
19 T November 15, 1975 1–1 Toronto Maple Leafs (1975–76) 12–5–2
20 L November 19, 1975 2–4 Chicago Black Hawks (1975–76) 12–6–2
21 L November 22, 1975 3–6 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1975–76) 12–7–2
22 L November 23, 1975 1–4 @ Detroit Red Wings (1975–76) 12–8–2
23 L November 25, 1975 2–4 @ Boston Bruins (1975–76) 12–9–2
24 L November 26, 1975 2–7 @ Washington Capitals (1975–76) 12–10–2
25 W November 29, 1975 8–3 Buffalo Sabres (1975–76) 13–10–2
26 W December 2, 1975 5–3 Atlanta Flames (1975–76) 14–10–2
27 W December 3, 1975 3–2 @ California Golden Seals (1975–76) 15–10–2
28 W December 6, 1975 3–2 Detroit Red Wings (1975–76) 16–10–2
29 W December 10, 1975 5–0 St. Louis Blues (1975–76) 17–10–2
30 L December 13, 1975 4–6 Philadelphia Flyers (1975–76) 17–11–2
31 L December 17, 1975 1–2 Montreal Canadiens (1975–76) 17–12–2
32 L December 20, 1975 1–5 Pittsburgh Penguins (1975–76) 17–13–2
33 L December 22, 1975 3–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1975–76) 17–14–2
34 W December 23, 1975 4–3 @ Boston Bruins (1975–76) 18–14–2
35 W December 26, 1975 4–2 @ California Golden Seals (1975–76) 19–14–2
36 W December 27, 1975 9–4 Kansas City Scouts (1975–76) 20–14–2
37 L December 29, 1975 1–2 @ Minnesota North Stars (1975–76) 20–15–2
38 L December 31, 1975 1–5 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1975–76) 20–16–2
39 W January 1, 1976 9–6 @ Buffalo Sabres (1975–76) 21–16–2
40 L January 3, 1976 0–3 Boston Bruins (1975–76) 21–17–2
41 W January 7, 1976 5–2 @ Kansas City Scouts (1975–76) 22–17–2
42 L January 8, 1976 4–6 @ Philadelphia Flyers (1975–76) 22–18–2
43 L January 10, 1976 3–4 @ Toronto Maple Leafs (1975–76) 22–19–2
44 W January 13, 1976 3–0 @ Atlanta Flames (1975–76) 23–19–2
45 L January 15, 1976 0–4 @ Boston Bruins (1975–76) 23–20–2
46 L January 17, 1976 2–4 @ Montreal Canadiens (1975–76) 23–21–2
47 W January 18, 1976 8–3 @ Detroit Red Wings (1975–76) 24–21–2
48 W January 22, 1976 6–3 Toronto Maple Leafs (1975–76) 25–21–2
49 L January 24, 1976 0–5 @ New York Islanders (1975–76) 25–22–2
50 W January 25, 1976 4–1 @ New York Rangers (1975–76) 26–22–2
51 W January 27, 1976 2–0 Washington Capitals (1975–76) 27–22–2
52 T January 29, 1976 3–3 Detroit Red Wings (1975–76) 27–22–3
53 W January 31, 1976 7–3 Montreal Canadiens (1975–76) 28–22–3
54 L February 4, 1976 3–4 Buffalo Sabres (1975–76) 28–23–3
55 L February 7, 1976 3–7 Pittsburgh Penguins (1975–76) 28–24–3
56 T February 10, 1976 2–2 @ Washington Capitals (1975–76) 28–24–4
57 W February 11, 1976 7–4 @ Chicago Black Hawks (1975–76) 29–24–4
58 T February 14, 1976 2–2 @ Montreal Canadiens (1975–76) 29–24–5
59 L February 15, 1976 4–6 @ Pittsburgh Penguins (1975–76) 29–25–5
60 W February 17, 1976 2–1 Minnesota North Stars (1975–76) 30–25–5
61 T February 18, 1976 2–2 St. Louis Blues (1975–76) 30–25–6
62 T February 21, 1976 3–3 Philadelphia Flyers (1975–76) 30–25–7
63 L February 26, 1976 2–6 Chicago Black Hawks (1975–76) 30–26–7
64 W February 28, 1976 3–1 @ Detroit Red Wings (1975–76) 31–26–7
65 L February 29, 1976 1–5 @ Buffalo Sabres (1975–76) 31–27–7
66 L March 3, 1976 3–5 Boston Bruins (1975–76) 31–28–7
67 L March 6, 1976 1–4 Toronto Maple Leafs (1975–76) 31–29–7
68 W March 9, 1976 6–1 Vancouver Canucks (1975–76) 32–29–7
69 W March 11, 1976 4–3 New York Rangers (1975–76) 33–29–7
70 L March 13, 1976 1–4 Detroit Red Wings (1975–76) 33–30–7
71 L March 16, 1976 2–4 Buffalo Sabres (1975–76) 33–31–7
72 W March 20, 1976 4–3 Montreal Canadiens (1975–76) 34–31–7
73 T March 21, 1976 4–4 @ Minnesota North Stars (1975–76) 34–31–8
74 T March 24, 1976 1–1 New York Islanders (1975–76) 34–31–9
75 L March 26, 1976 3–4 @ Vancouver Canucks (1975–76) 34–32–9
76 W March 27, 1976 7–3 Vancouver Canucks (1975–76) 35–32–9
77 W March 30, 1976 8–6 @ Kansas City Scouts (1975–76) 36–32–9
78 W March 31, 1976 2–1 @ St. Louis Blues (1975–76) 37–32–9
79 W April 3, 1976 5–1 Kansas City Scouts (1975–76) 38–32–9
80 L April 4, 1976 2–5 @ California Golden Seals (1975–76) 38–33–9

Playoffs[edit]

Mini Series

  • Kings 2 Flames 1
  • Kings 1 at Flames 0

Quarter Finals

  • Kings 0 at Bruins 4
  • Kings 3 at Bruins 2 (OT)
  • Kings 6 Bruins 4
  • Kings 0 Bruins 3
  • Kings 1 at Bruins 7
  • Kings 4 Bruins 3 (OT)
  • Kings 0 at Bruins 4

Player statistics[edit]

Awards and records[edit]

Transactions[edit]

  • January 24, 1976 – Obtained defenseman Ab DeMarco from the Vancouver Canucks for future considerations.

Roster[edit]

Draft picks[edit]

  • 2nd round, 3rd pick, #21 overall – Steve Clippingdale
  • 3rd round, 13th pick, #49 overall – Don Moores
  • 4th round, 13th pick, #67 overall – Bob Mears
  • 5th round, 13th pick, #85 overall – Robert Palmer
  • 6th round, 13th pick, #103 overall – Larry McRae

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]