Canucks @ Kings: Grades and Analysis

Unbelieveyble. - Photo by Noah Graham/NHLI via Getty Images

I'm sorry.

Los Angeles got a steady performance from the entire roster in their drubbing of the Canucks.

Eric has the game recap here.

Forward Lines

  • 1st line (Brown - Kopitar - Williams), Vey+. This was an oustanding performance for the Kings' top unit, and they did it under less-than-ideal circumstances. Remember this when reading the rest of this paragraph (and the entire post, really): it was a very score effected game. The game was designed to tilt in Vancouver's favor as soon as the Kings went up 2-0 and it only got "worse" after that. I put that in quotation marks, because worse in this context means that the Kings were up several goals. With all that said: Cup-run-esque performance from 23-11-14. They drew tough competition and neutral-at-best zone starts, but they still managed to climb the mountain and turn in the best statistical performance on the team. All three players went +3 in chances while coming out ahead in possession. Probably this trio's most complete effort of the season. They... eveyscerated the opposition.
  • 2nd line (King - Richards - Toffoli), B+. Though it wasn't their best night via underlying numbers, it's worth noting that they only allowed scoring chances during one shift of their game. However, they allowed 4 chances during that shift and relied on Quick to keep things at a scoreless tie early in the game. The rest of the game pretty much belonged to this trio, Richards and Toffoli in particular. Those two factored in on 5 different scoring chances; Toffoli had 3 all by his lonesome. Even King got in on the action by setting up Richards' goal. Minus one bad shift, they were... inveyncible.
  • 3rd line (Clifford - Lewis - Frattin), C+. By the standards that Lewis's line usually sets, this trio had a downright active night. However, Lewis cemented his status as the worst offensive player on the Kings by shooting from behind the goal line after creating a breakaway for himself. Seriously. That's what happened. They came out behind in chances, but just slightly, and they did a respectable job possessing the puck otherwise. They were slightly better than... aveyrage.
  • 4th line (Carcillo - Vey - Nolan), B. Jordan Nolan had both a goal and the team's best possession numbers on Saturvey night. He also had a fight that I have some actual, real respect for. Sestito got his hands up while trying to hit Alec Martinez and Jordan Nolan filled his role adequately. Nolan came through with a reasonably easy goal after Linden Vey undressed former King Brad Richardson to set things up. Though the Kings didn't do much with them on the ice, they also did no harm throughout the rest of the game after Clifford's injury forced Sutter to shuffle the lines from time to time. The trio was more than... veypable in their role.

Defensive Pairings

  • 1st pairing (Muzzin - Doughty), A. Outstanding game. Sutter had issues with Muzzin's defensive play after the game against Buffalo so Muzzin responded by not allowing a single scoring chance against all night. Doughty had another elite offensive performance. He factored into 4 scoring chances against Vancouver, good for 2nd on the team (ahead of people like Williams, Richards, Toffoli, and so on). Doughty's form is getting better by the game right now. Sutter once again deferred to this pairing in the d-zone. They didn't get the toughest match-up of the night, mostly drawing away from the Sedin line, but they were so effective that it's hardly worth mentioning. Simply... magniveycent.
  • 2nd pairing (Regehr - Voynov), C-. Well, if you're gonna be the weak link in the chain, you may as well do it during the team's most complete game of the season. Regehr and Voynov were the d-pair that got roasted in the shift I mentioned during the write-up of the 2nd line. Unfortunately, while the 2nd line rebounded and performed nicely throughout the rest of the game, this pairing continued to struggle. Voynov went a team-worst -4 in chances at evens, while Regehr was -2 himself. Voynov was the only defenseman underwater in terms of possession, as well. Disveyppointing performance, particularly by Voynov.
  • 3rd pairing (Mitchell - Martinez), B. While Regehr and Voynov got smoked in the first portion of a 1:41 stretch that saw the Canucks post 2nd chances, Mitchell and Doughty got roughed up at the tail of it. It wasn't a banner night for Willie otherwise, but he got ever-so-slightly tougher match-ups than Martinez. However, they both got extremely easy zone starts. Sutter shifted his strategy slightly from previous games. He had been choosing to shelter Regehr and Voynov (perhaps he viewed it as a way to ease them into regularly playing together?), but altered that in favor of soft starts for the 3rd pairing, much like he was doing with Greene/Muzzin/Martinez to begin the season. A little thing to keep an eye on going forward. At any rate, they were... marveylous.

Special Teams

  • Power Play, F. This game served almost as antitheses to the 2-0 win against Buffalo. On Thursday, the Kings relied on an excellent power play to make up for average play at 5v5 play. On Saturday, the Kings scored so efficiently at evens that the power play's failures were inconsequential. Didn't help that they got 2 of those power plays long after the game had been decided. Their struggles were... insigniveycant.
  • Penalty Kill, B. While not as effective as they were against Buffalo (hard to be as effective as perfection), it was another solid night for a PK that appears to have solved its issues for the time being. They allowed 3 chances during Vancouver's 2 power plays, but the Canucks failed to convert on their opportunities. Adveyquate performance.

Jonathan Quick, A.

  • Quick was outstanding when the Kings needed him. He stopped 10 of the 11 chances that Vancouver directed on net in the game. He also stood on his head early in the game when the Kings needed him to come up with stops. It was a top-notch, Vey-1 performance.

Overall Team Performance, A.

  • Easy to grade this one. Any time you beat a team 5-1, you've probably done something right. The Kings executed their gameplan very well throughout, getting in on the forecheck and creating turnovers. While Vancouver had their chances early, the Kings rebounded in spectacular fashion and were the better team, even if the game was closer than the score indicated. Vancouver fans probably view that Luongo performance much like we viewed Quick's against Nashville. Tough to absolutely pin one of the goals on him, but you want him to come up with one of the shots that slipped past him. While score effects mitigated the possession numbers for LA, they still came up with 53.8% of the shot attempts in a game against a top-10 possession team in the league. Their performance against Vancouver is unveyralleled by any other so far this season.

My pun performance gets a failing grade.

The Numbers

  • Extra Skater
  • Behind enemy lines: here's the view from CanucksArmy. They were kind enough to use and credit our scoring chance and possession charts, so go check 'em out.
  • Our tables are also featured below, with some extra super neat stuff (well, kinda).

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