March 1, 2013 8:33 am

Improving stats

The Los Angeles Kings’ basic statistics have improved in virtually every category since the loss in Detroit on February 10. Easily the most noticeable trend over the team’s last eight games is its improved defense; by holding eight consecutive opponents under their seasonal scoring average, the Kings have leapt 15 spots in the goals against per game rankings. As Darryl Sutter mentioned after the win over Detroit on Wednesday, the club’s save percentage is the most important factor in limiting goals against. Entering play on Friday night, the team’s save percentage is tied for 11th in the league at .910 – a rate that isn’t quite where the team wants it to be but a vast improvement over the first three weeks of the season.

“The thing we’ve got to work on, it’s not goals against, it’s save percentage. So Bernie continues to get [it] up…Jonathan Quick has to move up,” Sutter said Wednesday night. “We play 17 games in March. His save percentage has to be better. It’s simple. When you do it in the league, our goals against is now probably top-five, six or whatever it is. But our save percentage has to be better. There are statistics that hold true, and that’s one of them.”

Prior to Games on February 11 (Kings record: 3-5-2)
Goals / Game: t-25th / 2.10
Goals Against / Game: t-21st / 3.00
Power Play: 27th / 10.9
Penalty Kill: 17th / 79.6
Shots / Game: 5th / 30.8
Shots Against / Game: 2nd / 25.2
Faceoffs: t-19th / 49.0

Prior to Games on March 1 (Kings record: 10-6-2)
Goals / Game: 19th / 2.56
Goals Against / Game: 6th / 2.28
Power Play: 21st / 15.5
Penalty Kill: 16th / 81.6
Shots / Game: t-13th / 29.5
Shots Against / Game: 2nd / 25.4
Faceoffs: 8th / 51.3

Change
Goals / Game: +.46
Goals Against / Game: -.72
Power Play: +4.6%
Penalty Kill: +2.0%
Shots / Game: -1.3
Shots Against / Game: +0.2
Faceoffs: +2.3%

Another interesting statistic is that the club’s scoring has increased (really, there was nowhere to go), despite the team taking fewer shots. Faceoffs have also improved, which is partly due to the team having played more home games.

For more advanced stats, there’s always good material at Jewels from the Crown and McSorley’s Stick. The former keeps an excellent track of zone entry data, while the latter maintains points-blown standings. But you knew that already.

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