Los Angeles Kings assistant coach John Stevens knows the New Jersey Devils. As the former head coach of the Philadelphia Flyers, Stevens has seen those red and black jerseys often, and there are players on his roster that have as well.
Former Flyers Simon Gagne, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter are quite familiar with New Jersey, of course, both while playing under Stevens in Philly and after Stevens was fired in late 2009. But Stevens doesn't think that familiarity really gives the Kings much of an advantage in facing the Devils in these Stanley Cup Finals.
"I don't know, it's only a few guys," Stevens said. "Yes and no. We were kind of astonished when you look over the career records, both regular season and playoffs, how few games these guys have played against each other. It's really astonishing, and if you look at playoff games against each other, there's pretty much no one on the Devils other than [Steve] Bernier. Then obviously with [Jeff] Carter and [Mike] Richards and [Simon] Gagne and [Rob] Scuderi obviously.
"But there's not a lot of history in terms of these teams playing against each other, but I do think that in this day and age we all have people watching each other. We have access to video. I think all coaches do a great job of pre-scouting their opponent. Even though you don't play them, you really familiarize yourself with your opponent and by the time you get down to business, you're pretty familiar with your opponent."
Stick with SB Nation's dedicated NHL hub for full Stanley Cup Finals coverage. For more on the New Jersey Devils, check out Devils blog In Lou We Trust. For more on the Los Angeles Kings, check out Jewels From The Crown and SB Nation Los Angeles.