The first thing I noticed when I pulled up to Wells Fargo Center was that there are not one, not two, but THREE arenas - all within a few hundred yards of one another. This may be old news to some, but having never been to Philadelphia, it came as a bit of a shock.
The second thing I noticed was the tailgating.
It's been a long time since I attended a hockey game outside of California.
There was something jarring about seeing a horde of hockey fans march towards the arena clad in orange and black with names like Claude Giroux and Jakub Voracek on their jerseys instead of Anze Kopitar and Jonathan Quick.
Even the local supermarket was full of Flyers related products.
Philadelphia sports fans have a pretty rough reputation. I expected a "wretched hive of scum and villainy." Imagine my surprise when every person I spoke to - from the fans to the employees at the arena - was friendly, helpful and generally delightful.
The Wells Fargo Center is a fairly modern arena. The game presentation was standard hockey stuff. I was impressed by the on-ice projection during the intro.
Now, the Kiss Cam lacked the heart and crowd reaction it always gets at STAPLES Center...
... but the Lion King Cam? That has potential.
The game itself was fairly typical of our 2016-17 Kings.
Probably the loudest moment occurred halfway through the 1st period, when Radko Gudas dumped Kevin Gravel into the Flyers bench.
Attempt after attempt failed to generate a goal for either team, leading to plenty of gasps and broken cheers in the arena.
Drew Doughty provoked the most ire from Flyers' fans when he held the puck behind the Kings net to kill the clock and forced the game into overtime.
His response to the boisterous crowd? A dissmissive wave.
Just when it seemed the Kings would continue to struggle, Jeff Carter finally put his cape on and won it in the 3-on-3 OT session. There was a smattering of applause somewhere near the press box for the Flyers' forsaken forward, but it was mostly the familiar jeers one expects from a Philly crowd.
All in all, it was a pretty great start to my four game road trip with the Kings. They picked up two points, extended their winning streak to five games ... and oh yeah, I got to be on live TV for the first time.
That's good news for everyone!
Except Flyers fans.