Off Day Watch, 10/16: This Can’t Possibly Continue, Unless...
Kopitar and Brown have set a blistering pace, and it’s starting to feel less surprising.
There’s a weird mix of players in the top ten of NHL points per game. Jakub Voracek, Mike Green, Shayne Gostisbehere, and Will Butcher have zero goals but at least eight assists. At the other end of the spectrum, there’s Alex Ovechkin, who’s got nine goals and just one assist. It’s easy to write off the first four as just being fortunate that their teammates are converting chances, and they all have at least four power play assists inflating their total. Meanwhile, Ovechkin himself is shooting at twice his career shooting percentage. So what do you say about the guys getting goals and assists? The rest of the top ten have at least three of each, including Anze Kopitar, tied for fifth at 1.6 points per game. He and Dustin Brown (tied for 13th) have also been getting the majority of their points at 5v5.
Unless you expect them both to reach 100 points — and Connor McDavid was literally the only guy who did that last season — you already know that Kopitar and Brown will slow down at some point. Plus, Kopitar (4 goals on 12 shots) and Brown (4/20) have gotten shooting luck so far as well, and these games have been in a friendly building. However, you can also hope that both players might start to benefit more from the power play time they’re receiving, Alex Iafallo will help both guys’ assist totals, and the Kings’ overall offensive output will stay strong even if the defense loosens up. Regardless, if they keep producing like this, it’ll be less of a surprise each time they combine for a goal.
HIGHLIGHTS TO WATCH
[RECAP: Perfect special teams seal the deal]
[RECAP: Just another thrilling day at the frozen office]
The last time Brown had seven points in a four-game stretch? February/March 2012, and as you might have guessed, it started with his famous “Don’t trade me, here’s a hat trick” game against Chicago.
Last night was a nice way to start his Kings tenure for Darcy Kuemper, who improved to 3-1-2 with a .945 save percentage at Staples Center in his career. Here are other fun facts about Darcy Kuemper:
Fast Facts relating to Darcy Kuemper and his debut with the Kings tonight: pic.twitter.com/UVyLGvczd5— LAKingsPR (@LAKingsPR) October 16, 2017
Oscar Fantenberg picked up points in both weekend games after I said it was okay if he didn’t pick up points. Just to be clear: I do like it better when he picks up points. Also, his nickname is Fanta...
Crucial Kings update from @FoxSportsWest here... #moose pic.twitter.com/JVUDvRJrwf— Jewels from the 👑 (@JFTC_Kings) October 16, 2017
... although Alex Faust said Oscar told him it rhymes with “Ant.” Tricky!
- Get ready for an Erik Karlsson sighting. [Silver Seven Sens]
- It sure looks like this is a diminished Capitals team, at least so far. [Japers’ Rink]
- It sounds like 2017 fourth-rounder Mikey Anderson is off to a decent start at Minnesota-Duluth, even if the goalies behind him are struggling mightily. He scored the first goal of the Bulldogs’ season and has received praise for his “smarts” and “positioning,” which is par for the course for LA’s upcoming wave of blueliners. [KDAL 610]/
Jordan Nolan got a video tribute on Saturday’s return to Staples and was very appreciative.
Welcome back to Staples Center, @Jordan_Nolan71. Nice ovation from the @LAKings faithful for the 2-time Stanley Cup champ. #NHL pic.twitter.com/VE2mDPGyWl— FOX Sports West (@FoxSportsWest) October 15, 2017