Things haven't really been going very well here in Kings Land. The Kings remain a maddeningly inconsistent team, playing well enough to win on most nights but just not getting the bounces or the goaltending required to pick up victories (witness their horrendous record in one-goal games for proof). While we all like to make jokes about how there's no way the Kings are missing the playoffs, the fact remains that they're rapidly running out of time. They have a lot of ground to make up now, and they just aren't picking up the wins necessary to get the job done.
So let's slog through another crappy week of Kings hockey, and hope this is the last losing week we have to talk about for a while. For the Kings' sake, it had better be.
This Week in Games
(here's all the games involving the Pacific Division from this past week. we'll talk about the LA Kings' games in great detail, while the rest will mostly just be scores, unless there's something that really stood out about them. you'll also get links to Eric's awesome recaps which will expand on everything I'm saying in much greater detail if you missed any of them.)
Monday, February 2nd
-Calgary Flames 5, Winnipeg Jets 2
-Edmonton Oilers 5, San Jose Sharks 4 (SO): Maybe I was too tough on this week. Maybe it was actually great. Witness, for one, the Sharks losing to the Oilers for the second time this season. And this wasn't even the only embarrassing thing the Sharks would do over the course of seven days! Ah San Jose, the eternal pick-me-up.
Tuesday, February 3rd
-Washington Capitals 4, Los Angeles Kings 0: Yep, the Kings got their asses kicked by an admittedly pretty good Washington team. This wasn't pretty, and I'm not sure there's really much to say about it. Los Angeles was just the inferior team virtually all over the ice. If the Kings were solidly in a playoff spot right now, I'm sure you could write this one off and say "oh well, these kind of games happen", but given where they are in the standings this kind of performance is simply unacceptable. (recap) (gamethread)
-Arizona Coyotes 4, Columbus Blue Jackets 1: The Kings are playing the Jackets next, so I hope they remember this: even the 2014-15 Arizona Coyotes stomped Columbus. And they are horrible!
-Vancouver Canucks 3, Winnipeg Jets 2 (OT)
-Anaheim Ducks 5, Carolina Hurricanes 4 (OT)
Wednesday, February 4th
-Pittsburgh Penguins 2, Edmonton Oilers 0
-Calgary Flames 3, San Jose Sharks 1: Technically it would've been better for the Kings if the Sharks could have pulled this one out, but uh, lol, they did not. Fun fact: this wasn't even the other embarrassing thing I was talking about before! I forgot they lost to the Flames too! Holy crap Sharks.
Thursday, February 5th
-Florida Panthers 3, Los Angeles Kings 2: Oh yeah, this one hurt. This one hurt a lot. The Kings outplayed a Panthers team that is probably a lot better than you think they are (51.6% score-adjusted Corsi at evens) and somehow managed to come away with absolutely nothing. This would be a classic "MAKE A FRIGGIN' SAVE, QUICK" game, as the Kings outshot the Panthers 31-20 and had no business not at least getting a single point out of it. But the Panthers scored a couple goals in the 3rd, with Brandon Pirri's tally with just 3:05 left in regulation standing out as particularly hideous (short side, bad angle, definitely more than stoppable), and once again the Kings lost a one-goal game in regulation. All the sighs. (recap) (gamethread)
-Anaheim Ducks 5, Nashville Predators 2
-Carolina Hurricanes 2, Arizona Coyotes 1 (SO)
-San Jose Sharks 5, Vancouver Canucks 1: Oh, hey, the Sharks did get a win in here after all! Good for them. The Canucks don't qualify as "a bad team", meaning of course San Jose utterly destroyed them.
Friday, February 6th
-Washington Capitals 3, Anaheim Ducks 2 (SO)
-Pittsburgh Penguins 4, Calgary Flames 0
Saturday, February 7th
-Los Angeles Kings 4, Tampa Bay Lightning 2: Yes, of course the Kings would beat probably the best team in the National Hockey League, in their home rink where they had gone 21-4-1 through their first 26 games of the year there. Is anyone really surprised? The Kings got some big help from Tampa starting goaltender Ben Bishop, who allowed the Kings to score 3 goals on just 9 shots in the 1st period, and despite a brief scare from the Lightning getting back within 1 very early on in the 3rd period that was enough to hold on and pick up the much-needed victory. I'd say that maybe this is the start of the Kings turning it around, but the last time we all thought that was the come-from-behind win against Chicago and the Kings followed that up by losing their next three straight. So, uh, yeah. Let's just wait and see, I guess. (recap) (gamethread)
-Toronto Maple Leafs 5, Edmonton Oilers 1: The Leafs had lost a team record 11-straight games going into this one. The Oilers were in fact the Oilers. I am not kidding you when I say I had more interest in this game than anything else on Saturday, simply because SOMEONE HAD TO WIN!!! But sadly, the Battle of the Bad was a major bust, as the Leafs destroyed the Oilers thanks mostly to some horrendous goaltending from Viktor Fasth. Oh well.
-Detroit Red Wings 3, Arizona Coyotes 1
-Vancouver Canucks 5, Pittsburgh Penguins 0
-Carolina Hurricanes 5, San Jose Sharks 4: Yes, this would in fact be that other embarrassing thing I was alluding to earlier. Through two periods the woeful Hurricanes outplayed the Sharks all over the Shark Tank, outshooting them 24-17 and outscoring them 3-1. The Sharks finally decided to play some hockey in the 3rd, turning the tables on the Canes a bit with a 10-6 shots advantage, and managed to tie the game at 3 just 3:49 into the frame. But because they are in fact the Sharks, they let the Hurricanes score again with just under 5 minutes left in regulation (on a hilariously stoppable shot by defenseman Andrej Sekara that basically just bounced right off Niemi's glove and into the net). The Canes added an empty-netter and then the Sharks scored their fourth goal of the game, because they just hate their fans that much. So yes, the Sharks somehow managed to lose to the Oilers, Flames, and Hurricanes within a single week. Good work, Sharks!
Sunday, February 8th
-Tampa Bay Lightning 5, Anaheim Ducks 3
This Week in Standings
(5v5 SAC% = score-adjusted Corsi percentage at even strength)
|Team||GP||W||L||OTL||Points||ROW||GF||GA||Diff||Home||Away||Last Week||5v5 SAC%|
|2. San Jose||54||28||19||7||63||26||153||149||+4||14-9-4||14-10-3||1-2-1||52.1%|
|5. Los Angeles||52||22||18||12||56||21||140||141||-1||16-6-6||6-12-6||1-2-0||54.6%|
Once again we have no movement in the Pacific division standings, which makes my job of talking about it pretty boring. C'mon you guys. The Kings remain 5 points out of 3rd in the division, 7 points out of 2nd, but definitely need to get it into gear here. The Ducks look pretty much uncatchable by anyone. Oh well. Onto the Wild Card, where stuff at least occasionally happens!
|Team||GP||W||L||OTL||Points||ROW||GF||GA||Diff||Home||Away||Last Week||5v5 SAC%|
|1. Winnipeg (C)||55||27||18||10||64||23||152||145||+7||13-10-4||14-8-6||1-1-2||53.8%|
|2. Calgary (P)||53||29||21||3||61||26||152||136||+16||15-11-2||14-10-1||2-1-0||45.0%|
|3. Minnesota (C)||51||25||20||6||56||23||139||140||-1||13-7-5||12-13-1||2-0-0||53.1%|
|4. Los Angeles (P)||52||22||18||12||56||21||140||141||-1||16-6-6||6-12-6||1-2-0||54.6%|
|5. Dallas (C)||53||24||21||8||56||22||167||152||-5||11-11-6||13-10-2||1-2-1||51.1%|
|6. Colorado (C)||54||22||21||11||55||15||137||152||-15||13-10-3||9-11-8||1-3-0||43.0%|
|7. Arizona (P)||53||19||27||7||45||16||122||176||-54||9-13-4||10-14-3||1-1-1||49.2%|
|8. Edmonton (P)||50||14||30||9||37||10||121||177||-56||9-16-2||5-14-7||1-2-0||48.5%|
The Kings could have finished as low as 12th in the West, and for a little while were 12th, behind the Wild, Stars, and Avalanche, but their win over the Lightning on Saturday at least spared them that humiliation. Still, they did allow the Wild to pass them in the standings; technically they're tied but the Wild have a game-in-hand and two more ROWs. The Stars are also tied and have one more ROW, but they've played one more game than the Kings. They had their own subpar week, going 1-2-1, to help allow the Kings to at least remain tied with them in points. Meanwhile, the Avalanche went 1-3-0, and hopefully this is the start of them just going away and leaving us all alone. I mean, the Arizona Coyotes have 1 more ROW than the Avs, and yet somehow Colorado is 10 points ahead of them. This league is stupid.
This Week in #fancystats
(all stats are total attempts, not percentages. thanks to
extra skater war-on-ice.)
Capitals 4, Kings 0
Corsi: Capitals 52-Kings 44 (overall), Kings 42-Capitals 36 (5v5), Capitals 14-Kings 11 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Capitals 43-Kings 35 (overall), Kings 33-Capitals 29 (5v5), Capitals 11-Kings 8 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Muzzin (+11), Doughty (+10), Williams (+6). Worst: Regehr (-8), Martinez (-5), Lewis/Carter (tied, -4)
WSH Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Ovechkin/Johansson (tied, +6), Backstrom/Alzner (tied, +5). Worst: Kuznetsov/Burakovsky (tied, -12), Hillen/Brouwer (tied, -10)
Panthers 3, Kings 2
Corsi: Kings 50-Panthers 30 (overall), Kings 42-Panthers 28 (5v5), Kings 33-Panthers 22 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Kings 36-Panthers 25 (overall), Kings 30-Panthers 23 (5v5), Kings 22-Panthers 18 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Doughty (+16), Regehr/Carter (tied, +10). Worst: Nolan (-4), Shore/Greene (tied, -3)
FLA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Upshall (+3), MacKenzie/Kopecky (tied, +1). Worst: Kulikov (-12), Bjugstad (-10), Hayes (-9)
Kings 4, Lightning 2
Corsi: Lightning 58-Kings 47 (overall), Lightning 41-Kings 37 (5v5), Kings 1-Lightning 0 (5v5 tied)
Fenwick: Lightning 44-Kings 39 (overall), Kings 32-Lightning 30 (5v5), Kings 1-Lightning 0 (5v5 tied)
LA Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Regehr (+11), King (+6), Carter (+5). Worst: Muzzin (-10), Stoll/Martinez/Kopitar/Doughty (tied, -5)
TB Indv. Player Corsi 5v5- Best: Palat/Nesterov (tied, +7), Stralman (+6). Worst: Sustr (-7), Barberio (-6), Stamkos (-4)
Next Week in the Pacific
(this is exactly what it sounds like: the next week's schedule for all 7 Pacific Division teams. all times are pacific because, um, duh.)
|LA||@CBJ (4:00)||-||-||vs.CGY (7:30)||-||vs.WSH (7:00)||-|
|ANA||-||@FLA (4:30)||-||@CAR (4:00)||-||-||vs.WSH (5:00)|
|SJ||vs.CGY (7:30)||-||vs.WSH (7:30)||-||@ARI (6:00)||-||vs.TB (5:00)|
|VAN||@MIN (5:00)||-||@CHI (5:00)||-||vs.BOS (7:00)||@CGY (7:00)||-|
|CGY||@SJ (7:30)||-||-||@LA (7:30)||-||vs.VAN (7:00)||-|
|ARI||@CHI (5:30)||@STL (5:00)||-||-||vs.SJ (6:00)||vs.NYR (5:00)||-|
|EDM||@NJ (4:00)||@NYI (4:00)||-||@MTL (4:30)||-||@OTT (11 am)||-|
The Kings wrap up their pretty awful road trip with a chance to make it slightly less awful tonight in Columbus, against the lowly Blue Jackets. They then open up a 3-game homestand with the Flames on Thursday in what even a cursory glance at the standings could tell you is a very important game, and then get a chance for revenge against the Capitals on Saturday.
The Ducks play basically the same teams the Kings have been playing, I don't know who cares about them they'll probably go 3-0 with all three wins coming in shootouts. San Jose plays two pretty good teams (Caps & Lightning) and two pretty bad ones (Coyotes & Flames), so expect a 2-2-0 record out of them this coming week. The Canucks have a couple tough road games against the resurgent Wild and the Blackhawks before coming home to face the Bruins (snicker) and heading right back out to play the Flames in Calgary the next night. I just told you all of Calgary's games, and who cares about the Coyotes or the Oilers, honestly?
So that wraps up another edition of TWIK. Jewelcast is off this week, so we'll see you next Monday.