Note from the editor: You’ll be seeing some new faces around here, as our first group of new contributors are ready to jump right in to our off-season coverage. You’ll learn more about each of our new team members shortly, but for now, please welcome Steve Dewald, making his JFTC debut today!
The excitement from the Kings’ prospects performances in the World Junior Summer Showcase provided a slight reprieve in the doldrums of the NHL offseason. Breaking from that coverage, here is a look at few stories that have surfaced over the last week. In addition to that, Jewels From The Crown newcomer Steve Dewald delivers a brief look at the tale that the Kings’ 2018-19 Corsi ratings tell.
Apologies if this is redundant for some, but here is a quick refresher on the Corsi ratings that appear on the advanced stats portion of the Kings’ leaderboards.
- The Corsi rating is a compilation of shots, misses, and blocks during even strength offensive sequences.
- Those totals are commonly broken down into three categories: Corsi for (CF), Corsi against (CA), and Corsi for percentage (CF%). CF numbers are generated by chances created on offense, CA represents the action allowed inside the defensive blue line. CF% is calculated by combining both totals and dividing them with the CF total. Long story short: a 50 percent rating equates to a skater that spends an equal amount of time on both ends of the ice. Cresting the 50-percent mark usually points to a skater who creates and maintains scoring opportunities.
As a team, the Kings finished with the ninth-lowest Corsi rating in the NHL. Their 48.1 percentage is indicative of what everyone observed over the course of last year’s 31-win season. Lack of cohesion, shifting lineups, and prolonged cold streaks from traditionally reliable players placed the Kings in the bottom third of the league.
Struggles aside, a trio of regular contributors did rise above the 50-percent threshold. Tyler Toffoli (52.7), Kyle Clifford (52.0), and Adrian Kempe (51.6) all finished above the Kings’ combined Corsi for percentage. For Kempe and Toffoli, their work on offense could construct the foundation for them to hold positions in the top six.
The Athletic’s Lisa Dillman caught up with newcomer Mario Kempe last week. Adrian’s older brother parlayed his stint with the Coyotes into a contract with the Kings in early July. When Mario was asked about Adrian’s post-goal demeanor, he explained to Dillman that he would like to see his younger brother to show a little more emotion.
“I want him to show some more emotion. I keep telling him, ‘Be happy when you score. I know you’re happy. I know you just want to look cool in front of the cameras.’
“It’s pretty funny. But he’s a cool dude. Hopefully, he scores a big goal and then he smiles. I know sometimes he gets emotional on the ice. Mostly he gets angry. I can see when he scores a goal, he looks really mad about it. But inside I think he’s happy.”
Mario, a 30-year-old winger, was featured in 70 NHL games for the Coyotes over the past two seasons. He figures to bounce between the Kings and Reign as Ontario attempts to balance out the youth on its roster.
You can read Dillman’s full post on the Kempe brothers at The Athletic (subscription required).
ESPN’s Greg Wyshynski provided an in-depth look at the near-extinct art of fighting in the NHL. The professional game has rapidly advanced toward an offense-first style, which has pushed out the brawlers of yesteryear.
Daniel Carcillo, who last played for the Blackhawks in the 2014-15 season, explained to Wyshynski that this is the new normal in the NHL.
“I believe this is the new normal,” said Carcillo, who had 103 career bouts and is now a leading voice for player health awareness, “and I think the game is better off without fighting, no doubt.”
Matthew Barnaby, who also made a name for himself in the NHL through fisticuffs, echoed Carcillo’s comments.
“No, I don’t ever see it reversing,” said Barnaby, who retired in 2007 and is now a cohost of The Instigators on WGR in Buffalo. “It’s the way teams are being built. And having coached junior, it’s not a part of that culture anymore, with all the rules in place.”
You can read Wyshynski’s full article at ESPN.