Kings vs Blackhawks Game 1: Grades and Analysis
The hockey gods gave the Kings an early lead and Quick kept it close, but L.A. soon fell as they lost a game they deserved to lose.
The Kings showed up to the United Center with less than their best. They were heavily out-shot and struggled mightily to get sustained control of the puck. Or as Robyn Regehr put it: "We didn't do a very good job right off the start, getting out-shot considerably the first two periods, not doing a good job coming out of our zone, turning pucks over, not sustaining pressure on the forecheck."
Jonathan Quick was solid yet again and his effort kept the game close, but the Kings lack of offensive production did them in. They'll have little time to let this performance stew as game 2 rapidly approaches.
For a recap, including highlights and more: click here.
- 1st line (Brown-Kopitar-Williams), Grade: F. In spite of having scored the lone L.A. goal, probably their worst effort of the post-season. Dustin Brown didn't manage a shot. Kopitar only had one. Combined, they were only able to log one scoring chance (Williams). They spent most of their time against the 1st and 3rd lines and hardly logged any zone time against them. Defensively, they allowed 8 scoring chances against. All-in-all, they basically played liked this.
- 2nd Line (Penner-Richards-Carter), Grade: C. In spite of his 4 pims, Dustin Penner was the Kings strongest forward and the saving grace of this line. Of the Kings 5 even strength scoring chance, Penner logged 3 of them. Richards and Carter committed several turnovers and were generally pretty sloppy in the defensive and neutral zones. It is sort of a bright spot for L.A., that they were able to keep up with the Blackhawks top 6 even though they were far from being on their game.
- 3rd Line (King-Stoll-Lewis), Grade: D. In his return to the line-up, Jarret Stoll's results were mixed. The line was thoroughly dominated by Chicago's 3rd in the 1st. Then came on strong in the 2nd when they spent more time against the 2nd line. In the third, they all but disappeared from the game-- none of them were even able to attempt a shot in the final frame. L.A. is going to need much more offensive production from this unit to be able to keep pace with a deep Blackhawks club.
- 4th Line (Clifford-Fraser-Richardson), Grade: B-. Played a very low event game and were caught out quite about against the Toews line, so low event for them was good. Still very little from them resembling any offensive production.
- Regehr/Muzzin-Doughty, Grade: F. As expected, a very tough assignment. Doughty took the ice for 50% of L.A.'s defensive zone draws and spent most of his time against the Toews line (although not as much as we would have thought). Toews won the matchup. He won every matchup. The Kings were unable to record a chance while he was on the ice. His unit was able to log 6 scoring chances when they were out against Doughty. Muzzin was bumped up to the top pair in the 3rd as the Kings were trying to generate more offense. It didn't help as they were out-attempted 5 to 2 and LA was unable to generate a shot on goal with that combo on-ice.
- Scuderi-Voynov, Grade A. The best defensive combo for the Kings. They spent 50% of their time matched against the Sharp-Handzus-Kane line. Quenneville was heavily zone matching his 2nd unit to the offensive zone. They started 9 of their shifts in the offensive end to 0 in the defensive end. Even with that advantage, they still ended up in the red in possession and thanks in large part to L.A.'s 2nd pair. They only gave up 2 shots on goal and 0 scoring chances to that line at 5v5.
- Muzzin/Regehr-Greene, Grade D. Tough task from the 3rd pair tonight as well as they also saw a lot of time against Toews. And while they were able to hold their own when matched against him, overall they struggled to stay above water in possession.
- Power Play, N/A. Only 2:16 of power play time. They did manage a chance and three shots in that time. So not bad production against a very strong PK unit. A good sign going forward.
- Penalty Kill, A. Shorthanded for 6 minutes. Only one chance allowed and 5 shots. Doughty and Regehr were leaders in SH time with 4:32. Kopitar lead forwards with 3:58/
- Grade: B+. Another quality start from Jonathan Quick. He faced 36 shots and saved 34 of them. Of those 36, 14 were scoring chances and he saved 12. That's an .857 save percentage on tough shots which is around league average.
Overall Team Grade: F.
- A real stinker from L.A. Even when behind they had a hard time getting any sort of production. It'll be interesting to see if any lineup changes occur for game 2. Sutter intimated in his post-game that he wasn't happy with Stoll's performance in his first game back. They could use some offense and Tyler Toffoli could provide some spark for what was a lackluster bottom 6.
If you're unfamiliar with shot attempts and scoring chances, check out these links to see why they are important: Corsi -Scoring Chances.
Even Strength - On-Ice Player Stats
|NAME||ATTEMPTS FOR||ATTEMPTS AGAINST||ATTEMPT +/-||CHANCES FOR||CHANCES AGAINST||CHANCE +/-|
Even Strength - Team Stats
|PERIOD||ATTEMPTS FOR||ATTEMPTS AGAINST||ATTEMPT +/-||CHANCES FOR||CHANCES AGAINST||SCORING CHANCE +/-|
|Total||31||49||-18||4 (5)*||14 (15)||-10 (-10)|
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