Kings coach Darryl Sutter was very critical of the Kings penalty kill last night. Namely, he choose to call out two Kings veteran back-enders:
[Matt] Greene and Willie [Mitchell] are supposed to be good penalty-killers and they’re both not doing anything, so obviously we’ve got to look at the people we’re using on our penalty kill."
The Kings penalty killers were subpar last night, but how have they been this season as a whole? Well, at face value it seems they've been mediocre, having allowed the 14th least goals relative to shorthanded time in the league.
Unfortunately, it's hard to rely on that given the amount of noise related to goal based metrics in small samples. It might be better to look at shots. L.A. is 6th best in the NHL in shots against while shorthanded and 4th best in shot attempts (shots, misses and blocks) allowed.
So what gives? Why do they have such a mediocre goals against rate when they've been strong in denying shots? The answer lies in goaltending. The Kings have just an .867 save percentage when they have been down a man.
Sutter calling out veterans in public is a rare occurrence. Usually, Sutter has reserved his public shaming for the younger set of the Kings' roster. What makes this extra strange is that he publicly called out the two Kings defenseman who've been on ice for the fewest shots allowed at 4v5 this season.
Kings vet Robyn Regehr has escaped any criticism while bringing up the rear in shots and attempts allowed on the PK for the 2nd year running.
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