Los Angeles Kings Scoring Chances: Part 2- Defensemen

Stephen Dunn

Leading up to the playoffs, we'll take a look at how the Kings have fared in scoring chance statistics. In the second part of this series, we'll take a look at defensemen.

We recently took a look at how Kings forwards have done with regard to scoring chance statistics. Now, we'll shift our focus to defensemen.

If you're unacquainted with the scoring chance project, read more about it here. Basically, during each game I keep track of scoring chances which are generally defined by shots within this area of the ice.

People have found that there is a very heavy correlation between scoring chances and possession numbers. Yet, scoring chances are still useful in smaller samples. It's just another layer of information we can take into account when trying to analyze a team's performance. Also, more than anything, they are probably the most accessible entry point for people who are curious about looking into new types of hockey stats.

Now onto the numbers.

(Table is sortable.)


Even Strength Scoring Chances - Defensemen

Defensemen EV TOI ES SC % EV SC FOR /60 EV SC AGAINST /60 EV SC Diff /60
Muzzin 623.08 65.4% 18.4 9.7 8.7
Drewiske 210.63 64.8% 16.8 9.1 7.7
Voynov 800.08 55.9% 15.7 12.4 3.3
Doughty 904.48 55.5% 16.1 12.9 3.2
Martinez 379.08 53.7% 12.7 10.9 1.7
Ellerby 419.90 50.9% 12.3 11.9 0.4
Regehr 129.50 50.9% 13.4 13.0 0.5
Scuderi 792.10 49.1% 15.1 15.7 -0.5

Positives

  • Jake Muzzin's numbers are stratospheric. The Kings have registered the most scoring chances and given up the second fewest when he has been on the ice. A lot of this is due to playing buttery minutes alongside of Drew Doughty on the 1st pair. The Kings typically use their first pair with their best forward units, so Muzzin was really able to take advantage of it. What have his numbers looked liked since being paired with Keaton Ellerby? A much more trimmed down 51.5%.
  • Alec Martinez has put up very solid numbers in spite of mainly being used on the 3rd pair. The team has registered more chances and given up fewer with him on the ice than Keaton Ellerby who has been given a similar role. The main reason Ellerby remains in the line-up over Martinez is that Martinez doesn't play the right side, while Ellerby does. If the Kings could find a way to get him in the line-up over Ellerby, it could be worthwhile. This is probably moot anyhow because when Matt Greene returns they'll likely both be in the pressbox.
  • Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov have put up strong numbers. Voynov's are slightly more impressive when you take into account the fact that he has spent more time on the ice with depth lines. Doughty plays the majority of his time with the top 6.

Negatives

  • Not much to complain about since nearly every defenseman is ahead in scoring chances. The only one who isn't is Rob Scuderi. For his part, Scuderi does play against tough competition and is saddled with more defensive zone starts than everyone else. Still, he doesn't play with linemates poor enough to warrant such dramatically worse results. Recently, it was found that perhaps who a player plays with matters more than who they play against.
  • Davis Drewiske's numbers were stellar (albeit in a small sample) . We should take into account that he was used in a heavily sheltered role, but maybe the team could have expanded it. His results in Montreal have been good so far while receiving tougher assignments. Drewiske may have been an undervalued asset in Los Angeles.
  • We can't really read very much into Robyn Regehr's scoring chance numbers just yet due to the fact that he's spent such little time with the team. He has given up the second most chances relative to ice time, but again it's a small sample and this result is likely heavily influenced by variance. Even with the high chances against, he has been a plus player. Also, it should be noted that Drew Doughty has the exact same possession rating with Regehr as he did before being paired with him, 59%.
If you have any questions or observations please fire away in the comments.
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