Kings vs. Coyotes: Game Grades and Stat Analysis

Victor Decolongon

Kings won 4-0 in one of the few games where they lost the possession battle. What were some of the factors in their victory?

Game Grades

Forward Lines

  • 1st line (Brown-Kopitar-Williams), Grade: C+. Out-shot and out-chanced against the Hanzal line while also starting more of their shifts in the defensive end. But they did pot a goal on 5 combined shots. They also drew two penalties from Martin Hanzal. Not the dominant effort we're accustomed to seeing from them, though.
  • 2nd Line (Toffoli-Richards-Carter), Grade: D. Matched against the bottom 6 and got crushed. Spent a lot of time in their zone and were out-chanced. But thanks to Mike Smith's awful game they too got a goal on 5 shots.
  • 3rd Line (King-Stoll-Lewis), Grade: B+. A strong defensive effort. Only allowed 4 shot attempts (2 on goal) and 1 scoring chance. Didn't create much offensively but they didn't need to. Stoll won 67% of his faceoffs.
  • 4th Line (Penner-Fraser-Clifford), Grade: A. Like the top two lines they also got five shots on goal but in much fewer minutes. Also did most of their damage against the Coyotes top 6 and top pair. Most of their shots were from the outside (only managed one chance) but also allowed the Coyotes zero chances when they were on the ice.

Defensive Pairings

  • Muzzin-Doughty, Grade: C. Spent most of their minutes against the top 6 (with more going to the Doan line) and had a hard time staying above water. Muzzin took a poor tripping penalty at the start of the third. Even with Doughty's spectacular breakout and zone entry abilities they weren't much of a factor offensively at even strength. Only combined for 1 shot on goal and only helped generate 2 off entries.
  • Scuderi-Voynov, Grade: D. Their 2nd subpar game in a row. They got eaten alive in puck possession by the bottom 6 and gave up 7 scoring chances. The kids have been the biggest area of concern for most, but to my eye Scuderi seems to be a step behind the play and even more puck shy than usual these days. On the other hand he does have a 3 game point streak and is getting very difficult assignments. This game was no different. He (along with Voynov) spent most of the game starting in their own end on faceoffs.
  • Martinez-Ellerby, Grade A. Sutter is showing some faith in Ellerby's defensive zone coverage and started him in the defensive zone as much as Scuderi (33%). They did most of their damage in the possession battle against Phoenix's top 6 and didn't allow a scoring chance against when they were both on the ice.
Power Play
  • Grade: A+. The Kings registered a season high 7 scoring chances on the power play. They received a whopping 9 minutes of PP time and scored 2 goals. Those 2 were the first of the game. Without a strong power play (along with plenty of opportunities) this could have easily been a much different game.
Penalty Kill
  • Grade: A. 6 minutes of PK time, 4 shots against and 2 chances allowed. Scuderi-Voynov saw 83% of the PK time. My criticism of Scuderi above, definitely does not extend to his penalty killing abilities.
Goaltending
  • Grade: A+. Jonathan Quick looked back to form. He stopped all 14 scoring chance shots against and 27 shots overall.

Overall Team Grade: C+.
  • Goaltending and special teams are what won this game for the Kings. Also the Coyotes undisciplined play and a shaky Mike Smith helped a lot.
  • One of the few times the Kings were outplayed at even strength this year (although score effects played a part, especially in the second). The top two lines both scored but both goals were late in the game against what looked to be a tired and uninspired squad. If you look at the game chart below you'll see that the Kings dominated the third in spite of playing with a huge lead. A sign that both the Coyotes knew they were beaten and also that the Kings didn't take their foot off the gas.
  • Total chances were 16-16 in spite of the Kings being out-chanced 8-14 at even strength.

Numbers

If you're unfamiliar with shot attempts and scoring chances, check out these links to see why they are important: Corsi - Scoring Chances.

Kings_phx_318_large

Phoenix Lines (note: As opposed to this link, I considered the Ekman-Larsson pair to be D1)


Even-Strength - Forwards

Possession +/- Chance +/- O-Zone %
RICHARDS -11 -3 57%
KOPITAR -2 -4 38%
CLIFFORD 5 1 50%
WILLIAMS -1 -4 29%
LEWIS 0 1 20%
BROWN 0 -3 38%
FRASER 4 1 50%
PENNER 6 1 50%
STOLL 2 1 20%
TOFFOLI -9 -4 50%
KING -2 -1 20%
CARTER -11 -4 57%


Even-Strength - Defense

Possession +/- Scoring Chance +/- O-Zone %
ELLERBY 2 1 33%
MUZZIN -2 -4 47%
SCUDERI -11 -3 33%
DOUGHTY -1 -4 47%
VOYNOV -8 -3 33%
MARTINEZ 6 1 50%
Kings_phx_game_chart_318_medium
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