Winning the close ones

What do good teams have in common? For the most part, they win one-goal games. The Phoenix Coyotes, this season’s most surprising team, has won 72.2 percent of its one-goal games this season, the highest success rate in the entire NHL. New Jersey is No. 2 and Pittsburgh is No. 3. The Kings are fifth, with a 22-9-5 record (61.1 percent) in one-goal games this season. Last season, the Kings were 22nd in the league with a 20-12-11 record (46.5 percent) in one-goal games. Today, Terry Murray talked about the importance of playing well in tight games, particularly late in the season.

MURRAY: “That’s the part of the game, at this time of the year, that you have to be real good at, in my mind. It becomes a half-ice game, almost, as you get to the latter part of the season, through the playoffs. Everyone is structured so compact through the middle of the ice and into the D zone that, when you do find a way to get the goal, you know that with the way the game is going, you’re probably not going to end up with two, three, four goals. So you have to find a way to play the right way. That’s an important part of the game all the time, but it’s always highlighted at this time of the year.”

Rules for Blog Commenting

  • No profanity, slurs or other offensive language. Replacing letters with symbols does not turn expletives into non-expletives.
  • Personal attacks against other blog commenters, and/or blatant attempts to antagonize other comments, are not tolerated. Respectful disagreement is encouraged. Posts that continually express the same singular opinion will be deleted.
  • Comments that incite political, religious or similar debates will be deleted.
  • Please do not discuss, or post links to websites that illegally stream NHL games.
  • Posting under multiple user names is not allowed. Do not type in all caps. All violations are subject to comment deletion and/or banning of commenters, per the discretion of the blog administrator.