- 1st line
(ugh - who cares - life is hellBrown - Kopitar - Williams), A. It was a very strange night. Sutter threw the lines in a blender just minutes into the game, the Kings dominated territorially but still seeemed lackluster, and the Calgary Flames won a hockey game. Did we all walk through The Scary Door just before that game started? One thing that wasn't strange was the top line. They controlled play in most regards. Kopitar (along with... Dan Carcillo -- THE SCARY DOOR) led the team by going +3 in EV chances. Though he received pretty neutral zone starts, I'd call his minutes fairly easy, especially in comparison to an average night for him. He saw a lot of the Backlund line, which I guess counts as a second line for Calgary. LA controlled over 70% of shot attempts with the top line (or some related variation) on the ice.
- 2nd line (
lmao - wtf - jesus christKing - Richards - Carter), D. Sutter apparently didn't much like what he saw from Richards and Carter as he gave them severely limited ice-time at even strength. While Kopitar and Williams soared over 15 minutes of 5v5 TOI, Richards and Carter received less than 9 minutes. Luminaries like Jarret Stoll, Kyle Clifford, and Dwight King all saw more TOI at evens than that twosome did. Unfortunately, based on their play, Sutter may have been justified. While they certainly didn't bleed shots or chances against, they did little to drive play. King was the worst King (lol) on the ice in terms of possession and was joined by Richards and Carter as part of a small handful of Kings that didn't control more shots than they conceded. All three players saw more o-zone starts than d-zone starts, but did so against Calgary's lone "strong" line (Cammalleri/Stajan/Stempniak).
- 3rd line (
first line winger - healthy scratch - idiotCarcillo - Stoll - Nolan), All over the map. No line was more reflective of Sutter's line shuffling than this one. All three had wildly different possession and scoring chance numbers. Stoll lagged behind in possession and was the only forward underwater in scoring chances. However, Stoll was used much more often in the d-zone than his wingers. Carcillo moved all over the lineup and was respectable, as the Kings controlled 56.3% of shot attempts with him out there. As I mentioned earlier, he was also a tied-for-team-best +3 in EV chances. Nolan led the trio in possession.
- 4th line (
rainbows - sunshine - goddammitClifford - Vey - Toffoli), B. Clifford and Vey had dominant possession games; each allowed the Kings to control over 75% of shot attempts. Toffoli was at the absolute other end of the spectrum, ahead of just Dwight King possession-wise. None of the three bled chances out there, but Calgary sucks, so that's expected. Unfortunately, they weren't able to convert their puck control to offense, as all three were on the ice for just 1 scoring chance at evens. None of the three received tough zone starts, although Vey was the only King to receive 0 d-zone starts.
- 1st pairing (Muzzin - Doughty), B. Individually, Doughty gets an A and Muzzin a C. Muzzin had some... tough moments out there, or whatever you wanna call it. It certainly wasn't his smoothest game with the puck. He made noticeable gaffes with the puck and didn't get involved offensively. However, Doughty was everywhere, particularly early in the game. He registered just 1 scoring chance at evens, but he was instrumental in an early-game push by the Kings. He led several rushes up ice and made many impressive plays but just could not force a puck past Karri Ramo. The pairing received the most d-zone starts on the team and tough competition, making their positive possession and scoring chance nights slightly more impressive.
- 2nd pairing (Regehr - Voynov), D. Though the top pair received some minutes against the Stajan line, this pairing got the lion's share, spending close to half of their night trying to shut Calgary's top line down. They were... okay at it, surrendering just 3 scoring chances against. However, one of those was the heartbreaking Mike Cammalleri game-winner. Voynov's up and down season perhaps hit a low point as he stood helpless after losing position and his stick to Cammalleri; he then chose to chase his stick instead of his defensive assignment, leaving Cammalleri by himself to beat lonely Ben Scrivens. Regehr also was a team-worst -2 in chances at evens, even though his and Voynov's zone start numbers were nearly identical.
- 3rd pairing (Mitchell - Martinez), A. Though their zone starts were soft and their competition average at best, it's hard to ignore the success this pairing had on Saturday. Los Angeles controlled 60% of shot attempts with these two out there and didn't allow a single scoring chance against. Just a quiet, effective night for the third pairing.
- Power Play, F-. There's failing, then there's the Kings' power play against Calgary on Saturday night. They registered just 11 shot attempts and 4 scoring chances in just under 9 minutes of time on the power play. To make matters worse, a bizarre, terrible sequence by just about everyone involved let Calgary score a goal that must have felt like the world on Atlas's shoulders to a Kings team that lumbered aimlessly around the ice for large portions of the night.
- Penalty Kill, A. The PK was not an issue. They surrendered just 2 chances against in over 7 minutes of Calgary power play time. Almost as strong as the power play was weak.
Ben Scrivens, C.
- While I don't hold awful, fluky goals against goalies very often, it's back to back games in which something tear-inducing has happened to him out of nowhere. What at first seemed like poor communication now seems like a Quick-esque inability to field the puck. While his actual plays with the puck aren't awful, his decisions often haven't been good enough. Now, the initial collapse that made the shorthanded goal against a possibility had nothing to do with that, but his bizarre choice to just lay flat on the ice after falling a second time (I'm not even sure if he fell or slid in an attempt to take away a lane like a defenseman on a 2v1 break) cost the Kings. However, not all of that was his fault. In spite of his slip, the Kings had the man advantage and seemed lackadaisical in returning to their own end and lifting their goalie after he had literally fallen (twice). The Cammalleri goal is also one of those situations in which you absolutely need a save out of your goalie. Again, not directly or even mostly his fault, but he's an aggressive goalie and it bites him from time to time. The game winner was one of those times. When teams have a chance to wait him out, they're going to have success. Could be said of a lot of goalies -- including the ever-aggressive Jonathan Quick -- but Scrivens seems particularly prone to this type of play. He's one of the most aggressive goalies I've seen in the past 10 years.
Overall Team Performance, C-.
- While I absolutely agree with any assessment that says that they were lackluster or playing to the level of their competition, they were still 20 seconds from earning a point in a game most people thought they looked awful. Los Angeles dominated possession from start to finish, throttled Calgary defensively and even did an okay job early at attacking the middle of the ice. However, as the game wore on, the Kings faded. The Kings generated 7 chances in the first period and just 5 in the last two.
- Extra Skater
- Flames Nation recap. Of interest is their scoring chance diagram. While their overall numbers differ a bit from mine (SURPRISE: I came out on the conservative side), the diagram lines up with what I had. The Kings penetrated the middle (especially early) and completely kept the Flames to the outside until there were 22 seconds left in the game.
- Our tables are below.