A look at what elements of the Los Angeles Kings' game lead to their downfall in a debacle against the Anaheim Ducks.
I'm going to try a new way of breaking down the games by giving the Kings' unit-by-unit grades based on some advanced stat numbers and subjective opinion. Hopefully this will be a more fun and digestible way to process some of the numbers and open up a conversation. Please feel free to disagree with my grades and give us yours in the comments.
For more on the game check out Eric's excellent recap: here.
- 1st line (Brown - Kopitar - Williams), Grade: A. The only goal that Anaheim scored while this unit was on ice was Selanne's empty netter. In fact, Kopitar didn't allow a single scoring chance and generated 7. He also was a +13 in the shot attempt battle. Williams had an incredible game and also saw time on the Kings 3rd line.
- 2nd line (Penner-Richards-Carter), Grade: C. Penner was victimized by an o-zone penalty and some sloppy passing in his first game back from the doghouse. Despite that, the Kings were able to stay above water in the possession battle (Richards, +12). They were unable to generate very many scoring chances though and were also out-chanced.
- 3rd Line (Gagne-Stoll-Lewis), Grade: B. They were matched mainly against the Bonino and Getzlaf lines. They won both the shot and scoring chance battles. In addition, when Stoll was on the ice the Kings scored 2 goals and gave up none.
- 4th Line (Clifford-Fraser-Nolan), Grade: F. They gave up all 3 of the Ducks' 5v5 goals. Fraser only saw 1:42 of ice time and no shifts after the 5 minute mark in the 2nd. Clifford jumped lines and was able to stay ahead in possession. Nolan and Fraser had woeful efforts and one of the two is sure to be a scratch for the next game.
- Scuderi-Doughty, Grade: B. The top pairing played about 20 minutes of even strength ice time and were on ice for one of the Ducks' 5v5 goals. They were matched against the Ducks top 6 and were +13 in the possession battle but around break even in scoring chances. They've played better but not the reason why the Kings gave up 7.
- Martinez-Voynov, Grade: A. The Kings defense took a lot of heat in this game. Many pointed out that the Kings really miss Greene and Mitchell (and they do). But Martinez and Voynov played a great game at even strength. The only goal they allowed came on Getzlaf's marker in the 1st where the breakdown was mainly caused by an out of position Colin Fraser. They were able to both out-chance the Ducks and keep control of the puck. Their d-zone coverage can look suspect at times but this is heavily outweighed by how adept they are at moving play forward.
- Muzzin-Drewiske, Grade C. The Kings 3rd pairing saw soft minutes and were out-chanced by the Ducks bottom 6. They were ahead in the possession battle but some of that needs to be tempered by the fact that the Kings were playing catch-up the whole game.
- Grade: A. Sutter changed up his power play units from last game-- adding Carter and Richards to the 1st unit and Gagne to the 2nd. The Kings generated 2 goals and 7 chances in 5:17 of PP time. The power play looked better than it has all season. A great sign moving forward.
- Grade: D. It's been a while since the Kings PK has looked this bad. This is the area where the Kings are truly missing Mitchell and Greene. Martinez saw 2 minutes of PK time and looked bad on Bonino's PP goal in the 3rd. He also was on ice for 2 of the Ducks PP goals. The Kings yielded 3 goals in 6:28 of PK time, but a lot of that has to be on the goaltending. Bernier was unable to stop any of the Ducks 3 PP scoring chances.
- Grade: F. Kings' goaltenders only faced 9 difficult saves (shots on goal within the scoring chance area). They were only able to save four of them. Defensive breakdowns will occur no matter who you have on your back-end. Good defense's limit those breakdowns and good goaltending bails you out more often than not. the Kings defense didn't play a flawless game by any stretch, but they were not horrible. The play of their goaltenders on the other hand was.
Overall Grade: C.
- If the Kings play like this and receive even average goaltending they should be able to rack up a lot of wins this season.
Tables are sortable.
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||POSITION||TOI||Shot Attempts For||Shot Attempts Against
||Shot Attempts +/-||Scoring Chances For||Scoring Chances Against
||Scoring Chances +/-|
Los Angeles Kings - Even Strength - Team Totals
|Period||Shot Attempts For||Shot Attempts Against||Shot Attempt +/-||Scoring Chances For||Scoring Chances Against||Scoring Chances +/-|
For in-game scoring chance and shot attempt updates: Follow @RobertJftC