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03-06-2011, 06:30 PM
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Inside the Numbers

Well after some frustrating games as of late and various discussions relating to the coaching, style of play, PP, etc I decided to break down some numbers. I guess I am somewhat like Lombardi in that I 'go to the spreadsheets' looking for trends to answer questions. All of what I am posting has been discussed or speculated either here or on the LGK site, but usually most people don't put the hard data behind their 'i think' statements.

I looked at some categories directly relating to the Kings lack of offense that posters think is the cause. Areas that I feel from experience would bear out some telling indicators.

First off so it's out there from the beginning I am not a Murray fan at this point and feel a change needs to happen. He has done a great job of turning around and instilling a system with alot of young players, which in turn helped to turn around a franchise. At the same time I feel his inflexibility to adapt has brought him, the players and DL to a crossroads. Part of my goal in breaking down these numbers was to see if they would support the "Murray's system is crippling LA' claims by many out there.

I looked at the last ten games, which date back to the game with PHI on 2/13. It presents a good cross section of how this team has performed this season. Highs and lows within a cross section, just like the entire season has gone. All data is from and the game breakdowns.

Stats looked at and analyzed:
1) where shots were taken during a game (4 areas)
2) goals scored from these zones
3) shots per game vs the opponent
4) blocked shots
5) missed shots

Shot Location
I break this down into four areas that years ago some coaches used to analyze our performance when I was playing from bantam to midget.
1- They called it the 'Golden Triangle', because of the higher percentage of goals scored here. This zone runs from each goal post out diagonally to the face-off dot, then from the dot straight back (north or south) to the top of the face-off circle. Then run a straight line from these points across the 'slot'. Not exactly a triangle by geometry standards, but they added the back part from the dots to the circle. They considered this still prime scoring areas, because it was still seen as being in the high slot.

2- Goal line/Corner. Again from the goal posts to the face-off circles, then a diagonal line to the goal line on the boards. Very low percentage chance due to the angles.

3- Point shot. Whether it's a defenseman or forward, but within a few feet of the blue line. Mid range percentage, but usually heavily dependent on screens.

4- Perimeter. Everything outside and around the other areas. Also low percentage

The one area that I think they could improve on with the data is showing pass and plays coming from out of the corners, or behind the net. Without breaking down each game it's tough to say how many of the shots that are logged right around the crease came from behind the goal line. LA has at least a handful every game, but the stats from the site don't reflect it.

Shots Taken
Triangle - 45.3%
Goal Line/Corner - 6.2%
Point - 16.8%
Perimeter - 30.5%

This is the percentage breakdown of shots averaged out for the ten games. It doesn't total to 100%, because the source was missing some shots I couldn't account for, but less than 10 total.

Goals Scored
Triangle - 56%
Goal line/Corner - 8%
Point - 20%
Perimeter - 16%

Looking at these two stats side-by-side starts to show results. LA is taking a lot of shots from the perimeter with diminishing returns. This follows with the old adage of 'you can't score if you don't shoot', or 'put it on net if all else fails'. In today's game I don't think this longer applies, because in most cases it just leads to the other team getting possession of the puck. This is obviously one of the areas every LA fan has been *****ing about this season.

There is also a high number of shots being taken by the F3, or a pinching D man between the top of the F-O circle and the blue line. These are perimeter shots that also have a low percentage of success. Looking at 10 games you see Kopi, Stoll, Brown, Williams taking a lot of shots from here. IMO stop shooting, look weak side and keep your feet moving; but maintain possession and don't shoot.

Shots per Game
So much of Murray's system is based on limiting the opponent. To play sound 'two way' hockey. Well just how effective has this been?

LA is playing .600 during this span (6-4). You would think it would be a clear break based on games they either out shot their opponent. Guess again, it's just another sign of inconsistency.

They were out shot by five opponents and went 3-2 in these games.
VAN -14, L
PHX -7, W
ANH -9, W
NYR -9, L
PHI -15, W

They out shot five opponents and again 3-2.
DET +12, L
COL +25, W
MIN +3, W
NYI +12, L
CBJ +5, W

More inconsistency. For a team and coach that preaches D mentality first, I find it hard to explain how they can have so much disparity. Whether it's the amount of shots, or the 50% difference in results based on the shots.

Blocked Shots
One of the aggravating stats many Kings fans have currently. This again goes with all the beefs of the 'stiff' and unchanging O system they play. The predictability that has become the LA offense. Well how do they rate against their opponents during this stretch?

Opponents: 139, or 14 per game
LA: 120, or 12 per game

LA is getting into the lanes and blocking as many shots as their opponent, so we can't say we are any more predictable than the others.

Missed Shots
The mere mention of this makes many Kings fan's blood boil these days. Many people see every one as a missed shot and nothing else. What many don't realize is that a good portion of these are intentional. They don't realize guys are trying to play for the bounce off the back boards to the posts, or to a teammate in the weakside corner.

They also don't realize that some are intentionally shot wide to avoid the block shot. I've got issue with these because it's a sign of either taking to long to shoot, or the pass took to long to get there and forcing a shot.

What really pisses me off are missed shots that go high and ring around and clear the zone for the opponent. How many times do we have to see another high perimeter shot trying for the upper corners that caroms around and they leave the zone faster than LA came in. Everyone knows who the offenders are here so I'm not pointing out who does it. IMO your in this spot then work the puck down the boards if your solo. Look to cross over or pass to the slot if supported. If all else fails control the puck and just don't shoot it.

The numbers....
Opponents - 114, or 11.4 missed shots per game
LA - 138, or 13.8 per game

There are two games in particular here that are distressing. The COL and PHX games. LA had a distressing number of missed shots and the only way of looking further into it is to analyze each missed shot to determine the cause. Against COL the Kings had 32 missed shots. Against PHX they had 21. WTF were they shooting at? Stop trying to pick the corner every time you shoot.

Murray's limited offensive scheme touts 'put the puck on net'. Well then stop trying to pick corners and have the puck carom out of the zone. Personally I shoot for shoulders quite a bit. Why? Goalies have a hard time controlling the rebounds here. Your either going to pick the corner, have the puck dribble over the shoulder or the rebound will drop down in front of them uncontrolled. The bounce is erratic, not like blocking a shot off the chest. Guys shoot for the corner and miss, they sail it over the damn net and don't hit anything.

OK so what does all your crap tell us Pete? Well to me the Kings are guilty of the following
-take to many low percentage, perimeter shots
-have a higher percentage of missed shots than opponents, which reflect the shots from low scoring areas (or worse - lower skill level)

For months now most everyone has been saying this, but here the facts support the statements and opinions.

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