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The Noon Number: 59

59: Slava Voynov’s goal on Saturday was his first in 59 games.

Defensive scoring is a fickle, fickle beast. Last year, Jake Muzzin led Kings‘ defensemen with seven goals, while the expected leading blueline scorers (Drew Doughty and Slava Voynov) each picked up six. Alec Martinez had just one in 27 games. This season, Martinez has scored eleven times as many goals (good math, Eric!), while Muzzin has experienced a small but predictable downturn in goals. However, after three goals in his first twenty games, Voynov has experienced remarkable goal-scoring struggles. His power play tally against Vancouver was his first goal since November 14, a span of 59 games.

Recall that Voynov scored six goals in last year’s playoffs alone. Possible reasons for this year’s downturn? Well, Slava Voynov has spent the majority of this season playing with Robyn Regehr. Regehr obviously isn’t an offensive force and provided a drag on Drew Doughty last season, but I’m not sure we can blame him too much for the shooting struggles. After all, Voynov played with Rob Scuderi for most of last season.

(Check out Voynov’s stats with certain partners. Voynov has scored one goal on-ice with Regehr at even strength in 762 minutes; one goal on-ice with Mitchell at even strength in 419 minutes; and one goal on-ice with Martinez in 21 minutes. Small sample sizes are fun!)

Maybe we can pin some of this on Regehr, but luck is obviously a factor. Voynov is shooting just 3% this season, which is by far the lowest shooting percentage he’s ever tallied. By the eye test, Voynov has lacked some of the offensive spark we’ve seen from him in past seasons, but a 59-game goalless drought has to involve some element of bad luck. The average shooting percentage for a defenseman this year is 5%. You’d expect our offensive defensemen to be slightly above that number; however, Doughty is right around that number, while Muzzin and Voynov are both well below it. Martinez is still leading the entire team in shooting percentage, which is hilarious.

Basically, don’t expect that it will take Voynov 59 games to do this again:

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