On possessing the puck in key situations
If you’re looking for a play-by-play depiction of the final five and a half minutes of Los Angeles’ overtime win over San Jose on Wednesday, here’s the official account:
3:01 – Anze Kopitar slapshot on goal, 39 feet
3:01 – Antti Niemi stops play
3:01 – Mike Richards faceoff win vs Joe Pavelski
2:56 – Jeff Carter wristshot blocked by Brad Stuart
2:03 – Dustin Brown offensive zone hit on Justin Braun
1:53 – Martin Havlat defensive zone hit on Dustin Brown
1:21 – Brad Stuart defensive zone hit on Justin Williams
1:05 – Matt Greene wrtistshot wide of net, 58 feet
0:57 – Mike Richards wristshot blocked by Marc-Edouard Vlasic
0:32 – Joe Thornton defensive zone giveaway
0:22 – San Jose icing
0:22 – Joe Thornton faceoff win vs Mike Richards
0:13 – San Jose icing
0:13 – Mike Richards faceoff win vs Joe Thornton
0:06 – San Jose icing
0:06 – Joe Thornton faceoff win vs Mike Richards
5:00 – Anze Kopitar faceoff win vs Joe Thornton
4:45 – Dustin Brown slapshot off crossbar, 33 feet
4:40 – Dustin Brown offensive zone hit on Tim Kennedy
4:28 – Mike Richards neutral zone takeaway
4:26 – Mike Richards snapshot on goal, 25 feet
4:25 – Antti Niemi stops play
4:25 – Jeff Carter faceoff win vs Joe Pavelski
4:19 – Matt Greene slapshot wide of net
4:07 – Justin Braun hooking penalty on Jeff Carter
4:07 – Anze Kopitar faceoff win vs Logan Couture
3:44 – Mike Richards slapshot on goal, 28 feet
3:41 – Antti Niemi stops play
3:41 – Joe Pavelski faceoff win vs Anze Kopitar
2:46 – Mike Richards slapshot over net, 24 feet
2:28 – Anze Kopitar slapshot GOAL, 42 feet
Over a span of five minutes and 33 seconds, the Kings attempted 10 shots, five of which were on goal. The Sharks did not attempt a shot. Though the puck was almost exclusively on Los Angeles sticks in the San Jose zone, the teams still tied with two hits apiece, the Kings were credited with one takeaway and the Sharks were credited with one giveaway. San Jose iced the puck three times in a 16-second span. These are clear indications that even before Justin Braun was whistled for a hooking penalty to deny Jeff Carter on a developing Grade-A opportunity that Los Angeles’ forecheck was being executed at an extremely high level when they weren’t possessing the puck.
This gets Larry David Approval.
Previously, Anze Kopitar, Matt Frattin and Darryl Sutter have discussed the factors that have allowed the Kings to dominate overtime situations. Los Angeles is 6-0 when games extend past 60 minutes and have out-shot their opponents 13-3 in overtime this season.
Jake Muzzin on the team’s performance late in the game:
Brownie in overtime there, bar and out. We just put pressure, good gaps. I think we have a tight five-man group…We create a lot of turnovers and force teams into dumping pucks in and if we are clean breaking out, we hardly spend any time in our zone and create more offense and more rushes and stuff.
Anze Kopitar, on how the team is generating offense:
I mean just playing the same way as we did last game. I’ve said it all along, I think part of our forecheck success is definitely managing the puck through the neutral zone. When we are strong with the puck it’s maybe not necessarily forechecking too much because we get a lot of possession entries. But when we do chip it in, first of all you have to chip it in to a spot where the goalie can’t play it and we get a chance to get it back. It’s not just put it in to put in and then go nuts. Again, it’s positioning the puck where you have to put it to get it back. Again going back, the neutral zone is a big thing for us because when we support each other, even though we chip the puck in, we can get it back.
Darryl Sutter, on the team’s possession and chances after killing a late power play:
We possess the puck a lot, all the time. I don’t think it was necessarily after a penalty. Now that’s one of the words that gets used in the press box because somebody brought it up, and now it’s about ‘possession.’ It’s always been about possession. The team that has the puck more than the other team, or what zone it’s in – generally that’s why games are close. There’s not a big difference in teams in terms of puck possession. [Reporter: Did it seem like your team might have done a better job on the forecheck against San Jose than in some of the other games?] Not much different, no.