The Los Angeles Kings gave a balanced effort in their victory over the Calgary Flames on Wednesday night. Join us as we take a look at how each component of the Kings roster pitched in.
The Kings came into Calgary and thoroughly outplayed the Flames in all three zones. L.A. out-attempted Calgary 60-35, and were propelled by a dominant 2nd period were they only allowed Calgary 4 attempts at the net.
Perhaps for the first time this season, all four lines showed up to play. There weren't any weak spots for L.A. among their forward corps. Calgary struggled to find an answer and resorted to rolling 3 lines for much of the game.
For more check out Eric's recap here.
Now let's take a look at how the team graded out overall.
- 1st line (Brown-Kopitar-Williams), Grade: A. This line was reunited and played very well. They had an easier matchup than usual, as they were matched mainly against Calgary's 2nd line. Combined for 1 goal, 5 shots and 4 scoring chances. They dominated the neutral zone and were aggressive in carrying the puck in on the rush. It was especially encouraging that Anze Kopitar was the Kings most effective forward at leading the rush. He has been weaker in that area this season than we are accustomed to seeing. In the defensive zone, they kept shots and chances down to a minimum. Even more impressive, the line started most of their shifts in the defensive end. On the downside, Williams and Kopitar both took two bad penalties in the 3rd.
- 2nd Line (Lewis-Richards-Carter), Grade: B+. Great offensively. 2 goals, 7 shots and 5 scoring chances. A very tough matchup as they were hard-matched against Calgary's top line of Tanguay-Iginla-Cammalleri. As a result, they did have some struggles in the defensive end. Despite their offensive dominance they were out-attempted and actually lost the scoring chance battle. They allowed Calgary to register 6 chances. Nevertheless, it shouldn't go unnoticed that Trevor Lewis had a superb effort. He helped gain the zone as many times as Anze Kopitar, very often gaining it aggressively and helped generate a number of shots. I had mentioned this earlier in the year, but Trevor Lewis should do well on a line with two players who can shoot. He is limited in his ability to get quality shots off, but is very adept at creating turnovers in the offensive end. Putting him on a line with two scorers who can take advantage of this could be deadly.
- 3rd Line (Penner-Stoll-King), Grade: A. Given more of a shutdown role, they were zone matched and started the vast majority of their shifts in the defensive end. In spite of this they dominated possession and were able to generate a ton of shots-- they combined for 9. Penner was very effective in transitioning play from the neutral zone onto the attack. Their matchups weren't overly soft either as they saw almost as much time against the Iginla line as they did the 3rd line.
- 4th Line (Clifford-Fraser-Nolan), Grade: B. Won their matchup against the 4th line. As a unit, they only allowed Calgary 2 attempts at the net and 1 scoring chance. They were limited offensively, though, and had a difficult time generating quality opportunities themselves. One problem was that Fraser defaulted to making the safe dump-in much more often the rest of the forwards.
- Muzzin-Doughty, Grade: B. Jake Muzzin saw a career high in ice time as he made his debut on the top pair. He mainly tried to stay out-of-the-way and deferred to allowing Doughty take all the puck handling responsibilities. Muzzin did lead the team in possession numbers, but he wasn't particularly active in driving possession himself as he only helped gain the offensive zone once. The pair was also on ice for quite a number of scoring chances against-- one of which resulted in a goal.
- Scuderi-Voynov, Grade: A-.Voynov had a couple of miscues in the defensive end and seemed a bit shakier than he has been of late. As a result he saw a little less time on ice and Scuderi saw a bump in his time. All-in-all, they played well. Won both the possession and scoring chance battles in a tough matchup against primarily Calgary's 1st line.
- Ellerby-Drewiske, Grade C.Sutter didn't seem pleased with Ellerby's play early as he was benched for a spell in the 2nd period. Drewiske took a bad interference penalty in the 2nd. The pair had the easiest matchups among the defense, and this is reflected in Drewiske's eye-popping +12 in shot attempt differential. Ellerby, though, broke even and lost the scoring chance battle. It might not be long before we see Andrew Campbell get the nod over Ellerby-- as he seems headed for Sutter's dog house.
- Grade: B. The Kings were only awarded 2:00 of PP time. They did register 2 scoring chances and 2 shots in limited time.
- Grade: B. Were on the kill for 8:00. Calgary registered 8 shots, 5 chances and no goals.
- Grade: A. This time Jonathan Bernier deserves a lot of praise for his effort. Of Calgary's total 17 scoring chances for the game 14 of them were on goal. Bernier's save % on scoring chances .928. He faced 27 shots and allowed only 1 goal. One of the Kings strongest goaltending efforts of the season.
Overall Team Grade: A.
- Even though the Kings were out-chanced 13-17, a lot of that was a result from having a two goal lead late in the 2nd period.
- Maybe the most complete effort by the Kings this season. Very few players had a bad game. Right now the Kings strength is forward depth. When all four lines are driving play and aggressively gaining the zone, the Kings are very hard to beat.
- The team is at their best in the neutral zone. L.A. leads the league in possession numbers and have won the offensive zone more often than their opponents in almost every game this season. That being said, they too often default to playing dump and chase rather than carrying or passing the puck in on the rush. They've improved in this area as the season has gone on, but keep an eye on this going forward. When they are on their game, they are being aggressive in how they gain the zone.
If you're unfamiliar with shot attempts and scoring chances, check out these links to see why they are important: Corsi - Scoring Chances.
Los Angeles Kings - Even Strength
|Player||Shot Attempts For||Shot Attempts Against||Shot Attempt +/-||Scoring Chances For||Scoring Chances Against||Scoring Chance +/-|
Los Angeles Kings - Even Strength - Team Totals
|Period||Shot Attempts For||Shott Attempts Against||Shot Attempt +/-||Scoring Chances For||Scoring Chances Against||Scoring Chances +/-|
For in-game scoring chance and shot attempt updates: Follow @RobertJftC