Canucks @ Kings: Grades and Analysis

Welcome back, buddy. - Harry How

TOTAL DOMINATION

The Kings, perhaps fueled by rumors of their demise, took the Canucks to task on Saturday night. Although the score was just 2-1 with an empty netter, the game was not nearly that close. Eric has the recap here.

Forward Lines

  • 1st line (King - Kopitar - Carter), A. Even though Jeff Carter was one of a small handful of Kings below 60% in corsi, you'd be pretty hard-pressed to find a real flaw with this line's game. Dwight King played, in my opinion, his best game since entering the league. Jeff Carter notched 5 scoring chances. Kopi was his normal, dominant self. They ran over the Sedins and some pretty good defenders on their way to a very complete 5v5 effort.

  • 2nd line (Brown - Stoll - Williams), A. High grades will probably be a theme of this post, and there's no reason to avoid one with this line. While they were created mid-game (Stoll and Richards swapped spots), Brown and Williams spent more time with Stoll than anyone else. Stoll had an outstanding game by #fancystats. He had toughish zone starts -- though his competition was merely average -- but helped the Kings control 66.7% of shot attempts while he was on the ice. He was one of four Kings (and the only one with significant ice-time) not on the ice for a single Canucks scoring chance.

  • 3rd line (Frattin - Richards - Toffoli), B. Though Frattin and Toffoli were set up with neutral zone starts, Richards actually received slightly sheltered minutes. Knowing that, it's odd to look at the numbers and see Richards trending closer to 50% corsi than most of the Kings. Richards squared off against Kesler with some frequency, and I thought Kesler was the most noticeable Canuck on Saturday night. Whether that's Richards' doing or Kesler's is hard to say, but it lines up with a recent dip in Mike's play. On the positive side, I think Matt Frattin played his best game as a member of the Kings and probably deserved a goal for his efforts. Before the third period started, I noted in my head that I thought Brown, Carter, King and Frattin might contribute to a comeback effort as they were having excellent nights. Well, the other three were rewarded. Frattin wasn't. Hopefully that changes soon, because he's been very good since rejoining the lineup.

  • 4th line (Clifford - Lewis - Nolan), B. There isn't a lot to say about the night they had on Saturday. They didn't play much, but they played very well when called upon. All three were +1/0 in scoring chances, but all three also barely touched the ice. Their minutes were soft but they played as well as could reasonably be expected.

Defensive Pairings

  • 1st pairing (Muzzin - Doughty), A. Though their zone starts were merely average at their most difficult, they logged a bunch of minutes against the Sedins. We already know the Sedins got killed, so it's not much of a surprise to see Muzzin and Doughty's numbers reflect the same thought. Muzzin was +5 and Doughty +6, though only Doughty factored into a scoring chance (1 setup). Drew had another solid night in the neutral zone, though. He was able to gain Vancouver's blue line 5 times and 3 of those were with control.

  • 2nd pairing (Mitchell - Voynov), A. "Absurd success" may be the most succinct way to describe their night. Voynov was an amazing +9/-1 in chances, while Mitchell (+10/-3) was no slouch himself. Though this pairing's minutes were pretty soft, turning in one of the most productive games of the season is nothing to sneer at. Voynov was one of just five players to help the Kings control more than 70% of shot attempts while he was on the ice.

  • 3rd pairing (Regehr - Martinez), B. In spite of the fact that they spent 12.6 of their 14.5 minutes of ice time together, the duo had wildly different possession numbers (and certainly not in a way that you'd expect). Martinez was the only King that didn't come out a positive in both chances and shot attempts; he was exactly even in both. On the other hand, like Slava Voynov before him, Regehr was able to help the Kings control over 70% of shot attempts. Regehr also went +2 in even strength chances. I also credited him with a controlled zone entry, although James Nicholson -- the LAKingsInsider zone entry tracker -- did not.

Special Teams

  • Power Play, D. I actually would rather the Kings power play perform as they did against Vancouver than how they were in the long stretch prior. I think if the Kings can more regularly get set up in the zone, it will eventually turn into success. That said, though I feel they were better at gaining the line, the Kings scuffled in regards to turning that into a real attack. They created just 2 chances and a handful of shot attempts while giving up a scoring chance against.

  • Penalty Kill, D. Vancouver's power play was probably the only thing keeping them afloat in this one. They generated 5 scoring chances against the Kings' significantly-less-vaunted-than-a-week-ago PK and converted one of those into a goal.

Jonathan Quick, B.

  • I know what some of you may be thinking: how can I hold that goal against him. Well let me tell you a thing. I think a lot of other goalies in the league make that save. That is one of the goals you have to live with with Jonathan Quick's style, and I'm still -- after several years -- not sure if it's worth the benefit of some of the athletic, mind-blowing saves that he's made. A different goalie -- say, Martin Jones or Jon Bernier -- probably glides across on his knees and squares up the shooter and takes that shot in the chest. Quick lunges across the crease and makes himself as big as possible, but often leaves the top portion of the net wide open. Yes, every goalie gets beat high. That's how you score in this league. However, I think Quick's style, at times, exacerbates things. THAT SAID, he played very well in a fairly easy return to the league. He made a couple of nice saves and allowed just a goal. More than acceptable for his firs game back from injury.

Overall Team Performance, A.

  • Uncontested dominance. Minus special teams, the Kings won every single battle you could think of. They were dominant at 5v5. They controlled the neutral zone. They created a ton of offense. It was a throttling effort. Not much to analyze, just bottle this effort and repeat the process ad nauseum.

The Numbers

  • Extra Skater.
  • Canucks Army's rundown is always worth a read.
  • Zone entries are back. I don't have the matchup corsi, hopefully Robert drops by. (I did it! -RP)

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Kingscanucks1

Get it, Kinger.

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