Kings vs. Coyotes, WCF Game 2: Possession and Deployment Breakdown (or Euphoria)

The way the Kings continue to mow down competetion is starting to feel surreal. I keep oscillating between states of euphoria and paranoia. Paranoia because something uncanny always seems to happen to the Kings whenever things seem to be going well resulting in hopes being covered with salt and scorched (I'm sure we all felt a twinge of this when Dustin Brown went down the other night). Nonetheless, this team is already one that will be remembered and celebrated for years down the road no matter what happens in the coming weeks. Also the core of this team is in place for a really long time, maybe we'll be able to start getting used to this winning stuff?

That being said, it's Chart Time!

    Line Matching Heat Map
    H2H Scoring Chances

via NHL Numbers, incredibly awesome site please click link and read the article.

  • Boy the Hanzal line really took it to Stoll in the scoring chance department (Stoll -6) and had a bounceback game possession wise (Hanzal, 54.5% ZSAC). Maybe Phoenix is turning this thing around. Oh wait what? Hanzal attempted to maim Dustin Brown and now won't be available for the most important game in Coyotes history you say? Oh.....whoops!
  • The reasons for Hanzal's turnaround in this game were a.) he only saw 16% of his total ice time against Kopitar and was able to exploit the Stoll line and b.) he was given a new linemate in Pyatt as Whitney was demoted to L2 (Whitney has looked none too hot in this series thus far).
  • Interesting how well the Kings 4th performed sans Fraser. I do really like Fraser but remain skeptical about him being in the line-up over Clifford or Loktionov. The 4th line received a boost by adding Clifford and moving Richardson over. Richardson proved to Sutter he can play Center. Is Fraser's job safe when he comes back?
  • A really big, huge, interesting fact is that while Greene-Martinez were matched mainly against the Hanzal line, they succeeded in controlling the play and not giving up scoring chances. We've been harping all season long about how Martinez is ready for tougher matchups. In this game, he and Greene proved it.
  • The Hanzal line did all of their damage against Mitchell-Voynov (-6 scoring chances) but Quick bailed them out. Will they bounceback tonight?
  • Kopitar (-1 scoring chance) was held in check by the Gordon line with a meager 37.5% ZSAC. Tippett has got to be wondering where that was in GM 1. If you're Sutter how do you deploy the Kopitar line tonight?
  • In our Game 1 breakdown, we touched on the fact that the Richards line was going to be better and that the Kings could not continue being that top heavy. Well, a natural hat trick by Carter, +3 scoring chance rating, and a 52.6% ZSAC all prove that they read my post and decided to answer the bell.

Even Strength Line Combinations:

Kings Forwards:

  • L1 = Brown-Kopitar-Williams
  • L2 = Penner-Richards-Carter
  • L3 = King-Stoll-Lewis
  • L4 = Clifford-Richardson-Nolan/

Kings Defense:

  • D1 = Scuderi-Doughty
  • D2 = Mitchell-Voynov
  • D3 = Martinez-Greene/

Coyotes Forwards:

  • L1 = Pyatt-Hanzal-Vrbata
  • L2 = Whitney-Vermette-Doan
  • L3 = Korpikoski-Gordon-Boedker
  • L4 = Brule-Langkow-Chipchura/

Coyotes Defense:

  • D1 = Yandle-Morris
  • D2 = Rozival-Ekman-Larsson
  • D3 = Klesla-Stone/

Others in the series: Preview and Game 1.
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