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What the Fancy Stats Say About the Los Angeles Kings Season

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Where the Kings are thus far and where they might be going.

NHL: DEC 06 Kings at Oilers

With the Kings’ season nearly 40 percent finished, we can look into what the fancy stats say about the Kings season thus far.

With the Kings firmly at the bottom of the standings in the Pacific Division, we can take a look and see how they ended up there and whether there is hope for the remaining 50-ish games.

Stats via Natural Stat Trick

First and foremost, the Kings continue to be among the league leaders for team Corsi. They consistently have possession of the puck yet continue to lose games. If you wanted to find a comparable to this team, I would look at the 2016-17 Carolina Hurricanes. They finished the year sixth overall in Corsi for the year and seventh in the Metropolitan Division.

It just so happens that a bunch of the teams in the Pacific Division are very good at Corsi, except for Arizona and Anaheim who are near the bottom of the league.

When it comes to using that possession for generating scoring chances, the Kings are doing a pretty good job.

They even use their possession and ability to create a good number of high danger opportunities!

So what are the issues with the Kings exactly if all these analytics put them near the top of the league? This is an instance where the statistics and eye-test are likely congruent with each other. The Kings just don’t score. Their shooting percentage is poor and their PDO supports this.

In the writer’s opinion, the statistics are a good indication that the Kings system is strong and the team will be good soon so long as they stick with it for the next few years. The problem lies with the roster itself.

It can be exemplified by Todd McLellan’s critique of Tyler Toffoli:

“There’s areas of the game that if you watch him closely, he’s elite at right now. He’s really good on the boards, he’s making really good breakout plays, he’s not turning pucks over in that area. But after that, it’s the up-ice part, it’s putting yourself in position to have success offensively, and we’ve got to get more from him, whether it’s power play or even strength, for him to have success individually and us collectively.”

The Kings need some time to upgrade the roster in order to capitalize on the strengths of their system.

[Editor’s Note: Stats current as of December 10, 2019.]