Season Review: Scoring Chances

These guys love to score - Kevork Djansezian

Which Kings pushed the pace in the offensive zone?

Throughout the course of the season, I was responsible for tracking scoring chances for almost every single game (Robert and Andrew also contributed a game apiece). A scoring chance is defined as a shot from the "home plate area" in the offensive zone. Some slight leeway is given in the event of a screened shot or if dangerous puck movement immediately preceded the shot. I am generally not very lenient in this regard.

Scoring chances generally line up with possession. This is mostly delivered to us within the Kings' numbers. At a basic level, we can see that the Kings had a 56.8% corsi at 5v5 play and controlled 53.2% of the scoring chances during the same sample. I do sort of buy into the theory that the Kings play a system that may inhibit their ability to produce scoring chances in spite of overwhelming territorial dominance. I do not, however, think it is as pronounced as some others do. I also believe that the additions of Tanner Pearson, Tyler Toffoli, and Marian Gaborik significantly reduce this effect on the team. Three scoring lines is better than two, basically.

5v5

The Kings largely got respectable performances from their roster this season. The vast majority of the team cleared the 50% barrier in terms of on-ice scoring chance share. Predictably, Anze Kopitar led the way (58.9%) with Justin Williams (56.8%) and Dwight King (seriously) (56.5%) next in line.

Just seven Kings failed to help the Kings control more than 50% of scoring chances while they were on the ice, and three of those seven also saw very limited minutes this season. The four remainders are Kyle Clifford, Trevor Lewis, Robyn Regehr, and Jordan Nolan. Jordan Nolan was particularly abysmal, conceding 58.5% of scoring chances to his opponents. Essentially, when Jordan Nolan was on the ice, every skater on the other team turned into Anze Kopitar. When you consider how soft his minutes were (34th easiest zone starts and 13th easiest competition in the league) and the fact that no one else was even close to his poor level of performance (Trevor Lewis allowed 54.6% of chances to go the wrong way) it is pretty clear that Nolan does not belong on a NHL roster, at least not on one that is contending for and winning championships.

I still cannot get over the fact that he started the playoffs in the lineup over Tanner Pearson.

That about covers the highs and lows of scoring chance share, but how about scoring chance production?

The Kings remain predictable in this regard, at least at the very top. Jeff Carter obliterated the competition here. His 7.0 scoring chances per 60 minutes of ice time (C/60) outclass the second best King by a scoring chance and a half. Justin Williams tagged behind at 5.4 C/60 and then Dustin Brown logged 4.9 C/60. Carter's dominance is mindblowing. He was very nearly 25% better than his teammates at producing scoring chances. This includes Marian Gaborik and all of the kids in their small samples. Those are ridiculous numbers.

While Carter is an excellent offensive player, he is not the best playmaker in the world. This season I tracked set-ups, which are basically primary assists limited exclusively to intentional passes immediately preceding scoring chances. To the surprise of no one, Anze Kopitar beats the field here. He's an outstanding passer, very occasionally to his detriment (shoot the puck more!). Kopitar notched 3.8 set-ups per 60 minutes (S/60), which barely edged Mike Richards (3.4 S/60). After those two, there's a fairly sizable gap before we get to Justin Williams (2.5 S/60) at third on the team.

No surprises on the defensive side of the puck, so I'll leave that all for you to discover in the table I'll have attached to the bottom of the article.

 

Power Play

Shockingly, Jeff Carter did not also lead the Kings in C/60 on the power play. That title belongs to Corsi God Justin Williams. It appears that this Williams guy may be a good hockey player. Williams led the way by producing 10.0 C/60 on the power play. Carter follows him at 9.5 C/60, then finally Richards at 8.0. Mike Richards carried his excellent playmaking over to the power play. His set-up rate exactly matched his scoring chance rate at 8.0 S/60 to lead the team. Kopitar (6.7 S/60) finished second, and finally Jake Muzzin (4.9 S/60) came in third. Jake Muzzin! What a guy.

If you combine set-ups and chances (I/60, the I stands for chances Involved in), the best three Kings are Richards (16.0 I/60), Kopitar (14.6 I/60), and Williams (13.5 I/60). At the other end of the spectrum, it's troubling to see how much players like Tyler Toffoli (5.5 I/60), Jarret Stoll (4.2 I/60) and Slava Voynov (4.9 I/60) struggled.

Well, maybe Voynov's numbers are limited simply because he's a defenseman. Is this the case? Eh, not so much. Drew Doughty (8.2 I/60), Jake Muzzin (7.2 I/60) and Alec Martinez (8.5 I/60) all significantly out-performed him. Hell, in 34.5 minutes of power play time, even Willie Mitchell (8.7 I/60) bested him. Voynov's struggles were perhaps a bit overblown this year, but there is certainly cause for concern in his power play numbers.

Penalty Kill

Though Voynov struggled on the power play, he was excellent on the penalty kill. Among players with significant shorthanded ice time, Voynov logged the best mark on the team in terms of suppressing scoring chances. He conceded 29.2 chances against per 60 minutes of ice time (-/60) this season. Dwight King (29.8 -/60) follows closely behind while Mike Richards (30.4 -/60) finished third on the team. Richards' 5v5 play has deteriorated to an extent, but his special teams play remains excellent.

King and Richards also were able to drive significant shorthanded offense for the Kings. If you factor in the scoring chance those players produced, King conceded 24.3 NET/60 (net chances allowed per 60 minutes) while shorthanded and Richards just 25.6 NET/60. After that, things get a bit muddled. I'll give much more credit to the forwards for creating offense while shorthanded than I will to the defensemen. I don't think Matt Greene did anything special to end up on the ice for a significant handful of Kings shorthanded chances, but it did happen.

Goaltending

This will be brief. Jon Quick faced 625 scoring chances this year and stopped 400 of them for an .820 SV%. Ben Scrivens faced 170 and stopped 113 for an .850 SV%.. Martin Jones faced 217 and stopped 149 for a .903 SV%. Quick had the worst numbers on the team and Jones's are almost certainly unsustainable.

It has been speculated in the past (though I cannot currently find a link) that league average save percentage on scoring chances is .875. I do not buy into any theory that says the Kings allow particularly high quality scoring chances. As such, Quick (and to a lesser extent Scrivens) had a poor season. With that said, his numbers are probably low to an unsustainable degree. I feel like something similar has often been said about Quick over the last two years ("unsustainably bad"), but I really feel like he is a better goalie than this. It's speculated that we need thousands of shots to get a read on a goalie's true talent level, and scoring chances are no different. We're now evaluating a smaller sample of an already too-small sample. I expect a slight bounce-back season from him in 2014/15, though I'm concerned after back-to-back average or worse seasons.

 

Table!

Below I'll attach a sortable table for you to sift through. I've tried to outline abbreviations and acronyms in the post already, but if you have any further questions, feel free to ask! The only thing I haven't clearly outlined is what is on the far right of the table, which is 5v5 'on-ice' numbers. These are basically just how the entire team performed with this player on the ice.

Just to preemptively attempt to eliminate confusion, the blank columns are spaces to delineate a new category. So everything after the "5v5" column is a 5v5 stat until you get to the next game state column


Scoring Chances

## Player 5v5 TOI C/60 S/60 I/60 PP TOI C/60 S/60 I/60 PK TOI -/60 5V5ONICE +/60 -/60 NET/60 SC%
2 Greene 475.4 0.1 0.3 0.4 11.2 0.0 0.0 0.0 101.7 43.7 12.5 10.6 1.9 54.1%
6 Muzzin 1169.0 0.9 0.5 1.4 183.4 2.3 4.9 7.2 32.8 31.1 14.3 11.5 2.8 55.5%
8 Doughty 1389.6 1.4 0.7 2.1 301.7 5.0 3.2 8.2 198.1 32.4 13.7 12.4 1.3 52.5%
10 Richards 951.7 4.0 3.4 7.4 232.1 8.0 8.0 16.0 126.4 30.4 13.9 13.4 0.5 50.9%
11 Kopitar 1169.1 4.3 3.7 8.0 276.1 7.8 6.7 14.6 161.4 39.4 15.9 11.1 4.8 58.9%
12 Gaborik 261.6 4.1 1.4 5.5 57.2 9.4 5.2 14.7 1.0 60.0 14.4 11.7 2.8 55.3%
13 Clifford 684.4 1.8 1.1 2.9 11.4 0.0 0.0 0.0 21.9 27.4 8.5 9.0 -0.5 48.5%
14 Williams 1089.7 5.4 2.5 7.9 191.7 10.0 3.4 13.5 52.9 34.0 14.8 11.2 3.5 56.8%
17 Carcillo 252.9 2.8 1.7 4.5 3.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 0 13.3 11.4 1.9 53.8%
21 Frattin 426.1 3.8 1.1 4.9 48.0 13.8 1.3 15.0 0.8 150.0 12.0 11.0 1.0 52.1%
22 Lewis 785.6 3.8 0.9 4.7 21.3 0.0 0.0 0.0 136.6 32.1 10.0 12.1 -2.1 45.3%
23 Brown 1007.8 4.9 1.5 6.4 168.4 5.3 2.1 7.5 37.9 52.2 13.9 10.9 3.0 56.1%
24 Fraser 272.3 2.0 0.9 2.9 3.0 0.0 0.0 0.0 20.3 29.6 7.7 10.6 -2.9 42.2%
26 Voynov 1354.2 0.8 0.6 1.4 231.8 3.1 1.8 4.9 166.5 29.2 13.2 11.7 1.6 53.2%
27 Martinez 785.4 0.8 0.2 1.1 120.7 6.5 2.0 8.5 26.3 29.7 10.9 8.9 2.0 55.0%
28 Stoll 908.7 2.9 1.3 4.2 115.6 3.1 1.0 4.2 161.7 30.8 11.6 11.2 0.5 51.0%
33 Mitchell 1213.8 0.5 0.1 0.6 34.5 3.5 5.2 8.7 219.9 37.7 13.8 11.3 2.5 55.0%
44 Regehr 1212.3 0.0 0.2 0.2 5.8 0.0 0.0 0.0 221.0 32.0 11.7 12.5 -0.8 48.4%
57 Vey 170.7 1.1 2.1 3.2 26.6 2.3 2.3 4.5 17.6 34.1 8.4 10.2 -1.8 45.3%
70 Pearson 249.2 3.1 2.4 5.5 15.8 15.2 3.8 19.0 3.0 60.0 11.6 10.8 0.7 51.6%
71 Nolan 567.5 2.5 1.2 3.7 4.7 0.0 0.0 0.0 2.0 60.0 7.2 10.1 -3.0 41.5%
73 Toffoli 682.0 3.2 1.8 5.0 97.5 4.3 1.2 5.5 5.1 23.5 11.6 9.4 2.2 55.2%
74 King 996.6 3.6 2.0 5.5 38.2 3.1 1.6 4.7 98.8 29.8 15.9 12.2 3.7 56.5%
77 Carter 936.3 7.0 2.1 9.0 233.5 9.5 2.1 11.6 107.5 32.9 15.6 13.2 2.4 54.1%
81 Campbell 36.7 1.6 0.0 1.6 0.0 N/A N/A N/A 1.4 0.0 6.5 8.2 -1.6 44.4%

C/60 = Scoring chances taken per 60

S/60 = Scoring chances setup per 60

I/60 = Scoring chances player was involved in (C/60 + S/60)

 



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