Kings @ Ducks: Grades and Analysis

The Kings win <strike>at home</strike> on the road again against the Ducks.

Anaheim traveled to Honda Center but fell to the home team. Eric has the game recap here.

Forward Lines

  • 1st line (King - Kopitar - Carter), A. How about Dwight King? With more defensive zone starts than any other Kings forward, King led the entire team in both scoring chances (+8/-2) and possession (87.9 CF%). He also notched 3 scoring chances of his own at evens, knotting him with Jeff Carter for a team-high figure. Kopitar and Carter were no slouches either. Kopitar created a chance and set up another while Carter assisted in the creation of a scoring chance on top of the 3 I mentioned a second ago. The top line matched up primarily with Saku Koivu's line, but worked over the entire Ducks lineup.
  • 2nd line (Brown - Stoll - Williams), C+. Though nearly every Kings player received more offensive zone starts than defensive ones, the second line was particularly sheltered. However, Boudreau tried to expose them by matching the potent Getzlaf line against them. While the second line thoroughly dominated the puck, they had some issues defensively and were at least partly responsible for the first Anaheim goal of the game. Much like the Blues game, this trio struggled to create offense in spite of some lofty possession numbers. Much unlike the Blues game, they also struggled in their own end, as each forward was on the ice for a minimum of 4 chances against. Only Jarret Stoll came out ahead in EV chance +/-.
  • 3rd line (Nolan - Richards - Toffoli), B-. Sutter treated this line like a true third line against Anaheim. None of the three forwards received more than 10 minutes of ice time at 5v5 play. Not many units struggled in their head to head matchups. However, this line was responsible for three of the seven negative Corsi battles against Anaheim, including the only three match ups that were lost by 3 or more shot attempts. Richards received the toughest minutes of the three and went +2/-5 in scoring chances while Toffoli and Nolan were closer to even. Overall, their shot attempt margins were solid./
  • 4th line (Clifford - Fraser - Frattin), D. While, overall, I was happy with Frattin's game against St. Louis, he wasn't particularly visible in the latter half of the game. I chalked that up to score effects in my head, so it was unfortunate to see him turn in the worst statistical performance on the team against Anaheim. He was the only King to wind up below water in shot attempts and tied for a team-worst in EV chance +/- amongst forwards. The rest of the line didn't really pick up the slack either and failed to create a scoring chance for the duration of the game./

Defensive Pairings

  • 1st pairing (Muzzin - Doughty), B+. As has become common place for these two, they received the most defensive zone starts on the team. Sutter did nothing to shield Muzzin from the defensive zone, although Doughty got a handful of offensive zone starts without his regular partner. In spite of those zone starts, this pairing helped the Kings control around 75% of all shot attempts. The two combined on their own to generate 25 shot attempts, though only 8 found their way to the net. Once again, the Kings created some pretty solid offense with these two out there, but they bled chances a bit in the game. Muzzin wasn't bad (+6/-4), but Doughty gave up 7 scoring chances. The top pair primarily matched up with the Getzlaf line, but were a ridiculous +20 in shot attempts against the Saku Koivu line./
  • 2nd pairing (Regehr - Voynov), A. After leading the team in Corsi against the Blues, Robyn Regehr posted the third best figure (82.8%!!!) against the Ducks. He was the only Kings player not on the ice for a Ducks scoring chance in the game. He did that in spite of primarily facing the only line the Ducks had going on Tuesday night. That said, his zone starts were rather sheltered compared to his regular partner, but it doesn't take away from a very good night for him, probably his best of the season.
  • 3rd pairing (Mitchell - Martinez), C-. Willie Mitchell had the worst Corsi of the entire defense, but that was still good enough to be an overall positive (+14/-12). Unfortunately, he also had the worst scoring chance numbers on the team, going +1/-6. Martinez wasn't as bad, but his minutes were sheltered. While Martinez's minutes were soft, it's not as if Mitchell's were very difficult to begin with. Not much excuse for his performance against Anaheim.

Special Teams

  • Power Play, B. No goals, still some tough moments trying to gain the zone, but much better execution when they actually got there. They generated over 3 shot attempts and 1 scoring chance per minute while on the power play. Richards was particularly useful on the power play, generating 3 scoring chances and setting up another. /
  • Penalty Kill, F. Anaheim was able to beat the odds and use their power play to keep them in a game that otherwise had no business showing up for. Hard to say if their strong play came completely to an end on the kill, but Anaheim was just about as efficient at creating shots as their King counterparts. On top of that, they picked up the go-ahead goal early in the third period./

Martin Jones, A-.

  • Bizarre game for the Kings' goalie. For large portions of the game, he could've taken up a new hobby or counted to a billion or performed some other tedious, time-consuming activity. Between those portions, he was tested pretty heavily. Anaheim was able to counter-punch against the Kings' effective puck possession game pretty easily and created 17 scoring chances in the game. Jones largely stood up to the challenge, although you could perhaps assess him some of the blame for Getzlaf goal. Fortunately, any shortcomings he may have had during the actual game were made up for by a composed performance in the shootout. He coolly turned aside every shooter he faced and only Corey Perry, the very first shooter, appeared to have him even a tiny bit solved. The Kings earned the win, but Martin Jones put an exclamation point on it.

Overall Team Performance, A.

  • Another thoroughly dominant performance. Perhaps lifted by the fact that they had 3 days off before their next game, the Kings never took their foot off the gas. They controlled the puck from start to finish and were only undone by Jonas Hiller and an excellent trio of performances by Dustin Penner, Corey Perry, and Ryan Getzlaf. Still, they overcame whatever issues with fatigue they may have had to hem the Ducks in their own zone for the majority of the night. This game speaks to the quality of both teams: the impressive quality of the Kings and the unrefined quality of the Ducks. The Ducks are almost certainly good enough to make the playoffs, but they are not yet ready to compete with the cream of the crop in this league. They'll win a game here and there and play well now and again, but they still carry a monolayered offense with an extremely inexperienced defense.

The Numbers

  • Extra Skater
  • Our stuff is below, this time with Corsi table!/