We’re all prepared emotionally for this to be a long, frustrating season of hockey, right? The general plan has always been for the Kings to be sort of mediocre this year as they continue their don’t-call-it-a-rebuild, get another high draft pick, and then go from there.
I don’t know that fun was necessary something most of us thought was in store for the Kings, especially those of us who greeted the news of Todd McLellan’s hiring with skepticism at best.
But somehow, the Kings are creating an abundance of chances — they’re second in the league with an average of 37.6 shots per game, they’re second in the league with a 55.05 Corsi-for percentage, fourth with 57.69% high danger chances, and they’re doing it all with a fairly average 8.05 team shooting percentage. We’re not going to dredge up last year’s numbers but it’s doubtful this team was top five in anything other than being bad.
Shut-out losses like the ones to Buffalo and Carolina were frustrating if only because you could see, with your very own eyes, that the Kings were getting their opportunities and just not cashing in. We’ve seen an explosion of offense at times this season, and the prospect that maybe, just maybe, that’s what the future could look like is incredibly tantalizing.
Winning sure is fun? Right? Changes everything! [Jewels from the Crown]
Meanwhile, from the other side of the bench... [Matchsticks & Gasoline]
We ARE fun, stats don’t lie!
"Pace"— Sean Tierney (@ChartingHockey) October 21, 2019
This can only be used to describe the types of game a team is playing in. For example, LAK is in "fun" because they're dominating play (I know, it's weird). NYR is in fun but they get dragged their nightly by their opponents. pic.twitter.com/3XsaHHdkxV
Ontario Reign GM Richard Seeley is optimistic about his team’s chances for success this season. [Cali Sports News]
Prospect Samuel Fagemo will play for the Swedish U-20 team next month:
Sweden's U20 roster for the November tournament. This gives an indication of who they are looking at for the World Juniors pic.twitter.com/tTvhnlNRlT— Corey Pronman (@coreypronman) October 21, 2019
Drew Doughty and Matthew Tkachuk: best rivalry in hockey? [ESPN]
Blake Lizotte’s success in finding a spot on the Kings isn’t a surprise to the people who helped shape him into a professional. [Cali Sports News]
Is this good? Or is this bad?
The @LAKings are now 3-0 when Ilya Kovalchuk scores a goal, 0-5 when he does not.— Alex Faust (@alex_faust) October 20, 2019
In case you missed it — there’s a new daily Kings podcast hosted by someone you should all know already. (Me. It’s me.) Check out Locked On Los Angeles Kings below, subscribe via your favorite podcast listening device of choice, and give the show a follow on Twitter at @LockedOnLAKings.
Elsewhere in the World
Mark Letestu thinks he’d be okay with being known as the Mustard Guy. [TribLive]
Is new technology in stick-making leading to the apparent increase in injuries from blocked shots? [ESPN]
Minnesota Whitecaps defender Amanda Boulier is an easy favorite for defender of the year, and it’s only October. [The Ice Garden]
Which NHL General Managers get the best value for the contracts they sign? [Winging it in Motown]
I regret to announce that there are no interesting games to watch tonight. Maybe give the Vegas Golden Knights/Philadelphia Flyers game a try, if solely because you’ll probably get some good Gritty content? Alternatively, the Ottawa Senators/Dallas Stars game may be an exercise in seeing who loses worse. (The Senators are the last team in the league with only one win.)
Vegas/Philly airs at 4:00 p.m. Pacific time on the NHL Network. Ottawa/Dallas is at 5:30 p.m. Pacific and can be found on the appropriate regional networks or the NHL’s streaming service.