Edmonton casually watched the Kings shoot pucks at Richard Bachman for two and a half hours on Sunday Night and eventually fell in the shootout.
Eric has the game recap here.
1st line (King - Kopitar - Williams), A. This is going to be a little repetitive until I get to the special teams stuff. The Kings dominated possession and scoring chances with the top line on the ice, but failed to score. However, they did just about everything right. Kopitar saw the Oilers' second line more than any other and went +17 in shot attempts in that match-up. Kopitar managed 4 scoring chances on his own even though I yelled at him for not shooting at least 3 times last night. He's pretty good at this hockey stuff.
- 2nd line (Richards - Carter - Frattin), A-. This line saw a lot of the 1st and 3rd lines for the Oilers and succeeded against both. They dominated possession all night long. However, they did struggle to create offense at 5v5 play, registering just 2 chances as a unit. At the same time, they did score a goal and had another negated by a correct incidental contact call. From an eyeballs perspective, I thought Carter had a slightly off night. Had some pucks bounce over his stick and just didn't look like the excellent player that he normally is. He was still pretty damn good.
- 3rd line (Brown - Stoll - Lewis), B-. This was the most effective that a Lewis line has been offensively in a very long time. They produced a staggering 2 scoring chances. This trio was also effective defensively when called upon (as in: never) and won possession against all of their competition. That's including a pretty healthy dose of the top line from Edmonton. That should probably frustrate Edmonton's fans as Stoll and Lewis have been the least effective possession players on the Kings so far this year.
4th line (Clifford - Fraser - Nolan), F. In spite of the fact that Edmonton kinda stinks and they were playing the back half of a back-to-back and about 80% of the faceoffs in the game took place in Edmonton's zone, this line came out behind in both scoring chances and shot attempts. Clifford wound up even for the game, but the other two were sub-average. After the Kings' last game, I noted that a pair of defensive zone starts for this line ended poorly, and Sutter seems to have learned his lesson. Jordan Nolan was the only of the three to even get a neutral zone start, and he got just 1. Otherwise, every zone start came in Edmonton's end. This line got very few minutes and did less than nothing with the time they received. Individually, Clifford was okay and received some shifts away from this unit throughout the game. Unfortunately, Clifford also kneed Nugent-Hopkins and I'd rather he not do dumb things like that.
- 1st pairing (Regehr - Doughty), B. Although it was a little bit low-key, this pairing had a decent night. Doughty took a penalty, except he didn't really, and that's about all the bad I can find for these two. They primarily saw Edmonton's top six and they were pretty solid, coming out slightly ahead in chances and possession.
2nd pairing (Mitchell - Voynov), B+. Awesome night possession-wise for these two. Like Doughty and Regehr, these two saw the top six from Edmonton and they went +14 in shot attempts over the course of the game. In terms of chances, they weren't quite as dominant. They came out slightly ahead, but struggled a bit defensively. Edmonton had 7 chances at evens and this pairing was on the ice for 4 of them.
3rd pairing (Muzzin - Greene), B+. This pairing got soft minutes, but a tougher task in analyzing a team's performance against Edmonton is finding out who didn't get soft minutes. Muzzin and Greene safely won possession and chances. However, Muzzin took a bad penalty and it's a play he's made a habit of making lately. After a forward chipped a puck behind him into the Kings' zone, Muzzin went out of his lane to hit the forward. Stop making that play Muzzin. It's bad. Just don't do it.
- Power Play, D. They registered 5 chances in 5 opportunities but didn't score and looked bad in the process. Also, 1 of those chances came during the 4v3 in overtime. That situation should only produce 1 chance if that 1 chance goes into the net. They should have done more against one of the worst penalty kills in the league.
- Penalty Kill, C. The Kings PK has slid backwards a bit lately, but they had been able to off-set that regression by producing offensively. Didn't quite work that way tonight, as they failed to log a chance while allowing a goal to the Oilers. Still, my biggest beef with the penalty kill is that I'm seeing it far too often. The Kings have to take fewer penalties. They've spent more time shorthanded this season than any other team in the league.
Jonathan Quick, B
- He wasn't tested much, but he rose to the challenge when called upon. Quick's SV% on scoring chances was .889, but, again, Edmonton had just 9 chances in the game. Can't fault him for the goal they scored and he was solid otherwise. I like not having to say much about Jon Quick. It usually means good things for the team.
Overall Team Performance, A-
- The Kings were absolutely dominant at 5v5 on Sunday night. The only thing that deterred the Kings against Edmonton were the Kings themselves. They took too many penalties, but even that didn't prevent them from picking up the win. The Kings registered 74% of all shot attempts in the game. Just 7 of the 51 5v5 faceoffs in the game occurred in the Kings' end of the ice. They tilted the ice toward Richard Bachman and he happened to withstand the storm. There were small issues with the quality of shots that the Kings generated. The offense was a little Terry Murray-ish, but they still managed 16 chances in the game (and, according to Edmonton writer Jonathan Willis, it appears that I may be a pretty stingy scorer). Some of that is expected. The Oilers haven't been very good to begin the season, they're battling injuries and they were playing the second of a back-to-back on the road. Still, the Kings took full advantage. If there's cause for concern, it's the second time in a short span that the Kings have dominated a mediocre hockey team only to have an otherwise average goalie shut the door on them. Then they go and do things like chase Mike Smith after just 20 minutes.
- Here's Extra Skater. Michael Parkatti has some more numbers at Boys on the Bus. He's keeping track of shot distances for and against players on the Oilers, which is pretty cool. As you can see, the Kings and Oilers took shots from just about the same area on the ice, with the Oilers getting slightly closer to the net than the Kings on average. He also has a cool individual corsi match-up table. Go take a look! Our own tables are below.