Waking up with the Kings: November 3 - LA Kings Insider

Regression. Is it happening? Yeah, it looks like it’s happening. Sure, the Kings beat some impressive teams as part of the first 6-0-0 home stand in club history, but let’s face it, it wasn’t the best six-game home stretch in club history. The team was able to shelter some of its players who were still sanding off some of the sharper edges in their game and banked on several performances from individuals who were going to face tougher sledding without the benefit of the last line change. As Darryl Sutter famously remarked, “It’s not always whether you win or lose. It’s whether you’re winning or losing.” The Kings weren’t playing particularly poorly on the home stand, but they weren’t quite playing at a 6-0-0 level. So, let’s talk PDO.

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What is PDO? PDO is the very basic addition of a team’s even strength shooting percentage and save percentage. It can be used to evaluate the fortunes of when an individual player is on the ice as well as a team’s performance over any swath of games. It could be the most accurate statistic applicable to calculating how “lucky” a player or team is, if that’s even possible. It’s not my favorite of the #fancystats, but it’s worth keeping an eye on every now and then, and it certainly foretold the Toronto Maple Leafs’ plummet last season (not that you needed an advanced stat to measure that, considering how that team was getting heavily out-shot virtually every game).

Anyway, take a look at the Kings’ PDO between the home stand and the current trip:

WPG – 109.6
EDM – 120.0
STL – 100.0 (1.000% Sv% + 0.0% Sh% = 100.0)
MIN – 110.1
BUF – 105.1
CBJ – 110.2
___________________________________________
@ PHI – 98.0
@ PIT – 87.0
@ DET – 92.6
@ CAR – 96.9

That’s not to say that the Kings are “unlucky” on this trip. The Kings’ recent swing can be traced to several factors, among them:

1) They were getting away with some suspect play on the home stand through their ability to protect certain players through match-ups and Jonathan Quick’s outstanding play
2) There are still quite a few players whose individual performances have not yet rounded into form

Yesterday I asked Sutter whether the team’s offensive challenges were due in part to not generating second and third chances, and his response was “We’ve got a lot of guys that haven’t scored this year.” Forwards who haven’t scored: Marian Gaborik, Kyle Clifford, Andy Andreoff, Trevor Lewis, Jarret Stoll, Jordan Nolan. Forwards with one goal: Justin Williams, Dustin Brown, Dwight King.

Sutter will also be one to remind you that it’s hard to win when allowing three goals in any game. We all remember his “six, seven, four, three, zero, one” response when asked what he attributed the Kings’ first round turnaround to prior to Game 7 in San Jose. This trip? Three, three, five, three. When Team X allows three goals a game, it’s going to lose more than 50% of the time. When the Kings allow three goals in a game – and are still trying to enhance individual performances early in the season – they’re going to struggle stringing together wins.

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It’s going to take some time for Marian Gaborik and Anze Kopitar to rekindle what they had built up last spring. A frustrating aspect about Gaborik’s recent injury was that it had appeared that he was beginning to take a step forward after an injury-halted preseason; in the Winnipeg game he was consistently dangerous and led the team with seven shot attempts, and then he was immediately back on the mend and then Anze Kopitar was out for a week and the Kings were back to square one. The two were dangerous on their first shift and had their moments, but it’s going to take some time for them to build up what they’re capable of.

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Adrian Kempe

#9 | 6′ 2″ | 195 lb | Age: 21

Born: September 13, 1996
Birthplace: Kramfors, SWE
Position: LW
Handedness: Left

Bio

Kempe was selected by the Kings in the first round (29th overall) in the 2014 NHL Draft.
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Alex Iafallo

#19 | 6′ | 185 lb | Age: 23

Born: December 21, 1993
Birthplace: Eden, NY, USA
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

Iafallo was signed by the Kings as an unrestricted free agent on April 18, 2017.
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Anze Kopitar

#11 | 6′ 3″ | 224 lb | Age: 29

Born: August 24, 1987
Birthplace: Jesenice, SVN
Position: C
Handedness: Left

Bio

As the 11th overall pick in the 2005 NHL Entry Draft, Kopitar became the first Slovenian to play in the NHL. Kopitar has spent his entire NHL career with the Kings, and following the 2015–16 season, was named the Kings’ captain. Noted for both his offensive and defensive play, Kopitar was awarded the Frank J. Selke Trophy as the best defensive forward in the NHL in 2016.

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Drew Doughty

#8 | 6′ 1″ | 195 lb | Age: 26

Born: December 8, 1989
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: D
Handedness: Right

Bio

Bio: Doughty is a Canadian defenceman who was selected second overall by the Kings in the 2008 Draft. Doughty made his NHL debut in 2008 as an 18-year-old and was named to the All-Rookie Team. He is a two-time Stanley Cup champion with the Kings, a two-time Olympic gold medallist with the Canadian national team, and a Norris Trophy finalist.

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Jeff Carter

#77 | 6′ 4″ | 215 lb | Age: 31

Born: January 1, 1985
Birthplace: London, ON, CAN
Position: C
Handedness: Right

Bio

Carter began his hockey career playing in the Ontario Hockey League in Canada before joining the AHL and playing for the Philadelphia Flyers. He was then traded to the Colombus Blue jackets before joining the LA Kings in 2012, where he has since won two Stanley Cups with the Kings.

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Jonathan Quick

#32 | 6′ 1″ | 218 lb | Age: 30

Born: January 21, 1986
Birthplace: Milford, CT, USA
Position: G
Handedness: Left

Bio

Bio: Quick is the current goaltender for the LA Kings and was selected by Los Angeles at the 2005 NHL Entry Draft. Previously, Quick was a silver medalist with USA at the 2010 Winter Olympics. He’s won two Stanley Cup championships with the Kings, along with being the most recent goaltender to be awarded the Conn Smythe Trophy as the Most Valuable Player (MVP) of the 2012 Stanley Cup playoffs.

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