Watching the (shot) clock

One statistic that Terry Murray always keep a close eye on is shots on goal against. This season, the Kings are tied for the second in the league, averaging 27.7 shots against. That’s even an improvement over last season, when they were tied for fourth at 28.1 shots against. The Kings could face a challenge tonight in the Red Wings, who are third in the league, averaging 33.3 shots per game, just a tick behind No. 1 Toronto.

The Kings have kept opponents under 30 shots in eight of their last 10 games, with one glaring exception being Monday’s game, in which the Sharks had 47 shots on goal. Actually, Murray took issue with that number, and he also discussed shots (and scoring chances) against, and what they mean to him…

MURRAY: “We look at the Washington Capitals game. At the end of the day, we were not pleased with the way we executed. We talked about it as a team. I think I spoke with you, the media, after, about the same. Jonathan Quick was tremendous in that game, although we were better as a defending team. The shot clock was not accurate. I went through that game. I counted every shot on net. We did a pretty good job of protecting the middle of the ice. There were plays coming from the perimeter, outside of the dots and below the goal line, that Jonathan Quick had to be real good on, but we still need to be better.

“The number of shots, the structure that we show on the defensive part of things, we need to step it up. We have another big challenge against Detroit, a great offensive team. Their history is, for the last 15 years, is as one of the premier teams in the game. We’re going to have to be very aware.”

And, if not 47, how many Sharks shots did Murray count in that game? He laughed, then said, “Well, quite a few fewer than what was on the clock. I’ll put it that way.”

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