The Kings have been battered and beaten through two games against Chicago. Last night, the game was never in doubt as the Blackhawks jumped out to a 4-0 lead midway through the second. Still, even in spite of the blowout, it seemed like the Kings' game took a step forward in game 2.
Given that the game was heavily affected by the score, I decided not to do game grades for this post and am just going to put up the numbers with a few observations.
Be sure to check out Eric's excellent recap of the game: here.
If you're unfamiliar with shot attempts and scoring chances, check out these links to see why they are important: Corsi -Scoring Chances.
Even Strength - On-Ice Player Stats
|NAME||ATTEMPTS FOR||ATTEMPTS AGAINST||ATTEMPT +/-||CHANCES FOR||CHANCES AGAINST||CHANCE +/-|
|MATT GREENE (A)||9||14||-5||0||5||-5|
|ANZE KOPITAR (A)||9||12||-3||0||1||-1|
|DUSTIN BROWN (C)||7||13||-6||0||2||-2|
Even Strength - Team Stats
|PERIOD||ATTEMPTS FOR||ATTEMPTS AGAINST||ATTEMPT +/-||CHANCES FOR||CHANCES AGAINST||SCORING CHANCE +/-|
|Total||37||33||+4||6 (11)*||7 (7)||-1 (+4)|
Click the buttons to reveal fancy charts.
- Rob Scuderi (19:50) and Slava Voynov (18:02) lead all Kings in even strength ice time. Voynov had the toughest job of any Kings defenseman as he spent 67% of his minutes against the Chicago top 6. And while we should keep in mind possession numbers from this game were skewed from the Kings trying to play catch-up, he ended up above water against them. He was also only on ice for one scoring chance against while the Kings registered 4. In addition, he was very effective in leading the breakout and didn’t commit any turnovers despite copious defensive zone touches. Voynov was one of the lone bright spots for the Kings for the second game in a row.
- In today’s media scrum, Darryl Sutter was asked about Penner-Carter-Toffoli and his response was, “that line was awesome”. The numbers back that up. They registered all 6 of the Kings’ even strength scoring chances. Jeff Carter was on ice for all 11 at all strengths. They spent most of the game matched against the Oduya-Hjalmarsson pair and logged ample zone time against them. The largest question mark going into the game ended up being the team’s greatest strength.
- The power play was another strength for L.A. They were on the man advantage for a whopping 9 minutes. In that time they rattled off 9 shots and 4 scoring chances (5 if you count 6v5). Chicago has a very strong penalty kill unit, but if the Kings can continue putting on this kind of pressure, goals will come.
- During the regular season, the Kings owned 61% of all shots that were attempted while Anze Kopitar was on ice. In the playoffs, they have only owned 47% of those shots. That is a pretty solid indication that top line is going through something more than a slump. If injuries are responsible, giving this new look 2nd line more of their ice time could help matters.
- Matt Greene had a tough game. He was on ice for 2 goals against and 5 of the Blackhawks 8 chances. He spent more of his time matched against the Sharp-Handzus-Kane line which he had a really hard time handling. He has been very solid this post-season, so hopefully this was just a blip rather than an indicator that he is still dealing with an injury.
- It’s hard to say how much of it was score effects, but the Kings seemed to play much better in game 2. They played a very strong first period and actually spent more time in Chicago’s zone that period than vice versa. In fact at the time of their 4th goal, the Blackhawks were being out-attempted 19 to 27. Jonathan Quick was just due for a blow up. He had been playing at an unsustainable pace this post-season and his numbers were due to come down to earth. 2 of his goals came on non-scoring chances, one was a soft goal on a shot from just beyond the faceoff dot from Brent Seabrook. The other was Regehr’s own goal that Quick could hardly do anything about. Outside of those two gaffs, it’s a 2-2 game heading into overtime. Anyhow, this marks the second time in the post-season the Kings will have been down 0-2. They rattled off 4 wins in a row in that series when things looked utterly dire. In spite of all that ails them, they are still capable of accomplishing a similar feat.