Freeway Faceoff: Anaheim Ducks and Los Angeles Kings Round 1 Preview

It may not be the oldest or most storied and it certainly isn't the most paid-attention-to showdown in the NHL, but let me throw it out there right now: the rivalry between the Los Angeles Kings and the Anaheim Ducks is easily one of the most fierce, underrated and brutal rivalries in the league today.

The six annual meetings, dubbed the Freeway Faceoff series a few years back, result in some of the most hard-fought games that frequently see a return to what commentators like to call "Old Time Hockey."

You guessed it, gloves are dropped, punches are thrown, penalty minutes are taken and these two teams give a master demonstration on what happens when two teams that really don't like each other are forced to share the same sheet of ice for a game.

To top it off, the two teams share the Southern California market.

Staples Center is separated from the Honda Center by just over 30 miles of roadway (39 minutes of drive time according to Google Maps, but come on...this is LA traffic we're talking about here—try an hour-and-a-half).

As a result, the two also split the television market, and both are constantly battling for fans in what is turning into one of the most rapidly growing markets in the league, and no time has this been more true than right now with baseball shut down for winter and the NBA still in its lockout.

So tonight, Staples Center will play host to the first of six battles in this season's edition of the Southern California civil-war-on-ice and here is what you can expect to see:


The Breakdown


Anaheim Ducks (6-8-3, 15pts—14th in Western Conference) at Los Angeles Kings (8-6-3, 19pts—10th in Western Conference)

Powerplay—Anaheim: 13.6% (21st in NHL); Los Angeles: 20.3% (7th in NHL)

Penalty Kill—Anaheim: 87.0% (9th in NHL); Los Angeles: 83.6% (14th in NHL)


About the Author