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Even Strength Struggles

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03-30-2010, 11:14 AM
  #1
Ziggy Stardust
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Even Strength Struggles

  • The Kings rank 18th in the NHL in Even-Strength (ES) 5-on-5 goals with 130 GF (not including 8 goals scored in 4-on-4 situations).

  • The Kings' overall offense is ranked 10th in the NHL, averaging 2.79 goals per game.

  • The Kings have surrendered 127 goals while playing in even strength, which is 7th most in the NHL (not including the 6 goals they have allowed when playing 4-on-4).

  • The Kings' overall defense is ranked 10th in the NHL, averaging 2.63 goals against per game.

The overall team +/- is +8, good for 12th in the NHL. Since returning from the Olympic break, the Kings' even strength offense has flat lined and it appears that the team has lost the chemistry they had prior to the break.

The "drive-to-the-net" mentality appears to have vanished. The team is constantly looking for the perfect setup and when they do decide to pull the trigger, more often than not, they end up missing the net or having their shots blocked.

This is a result of poor puck management. The timing of passing and shooting has been off, as has their dump and chase game. The Kings are a team that is lacking an elite scorer, thus the need for scoring by committee. The organization is lacking in speed: their game is to play a grinding, tight-checking style, a style they have drifted away from.

Observe their demeanor in the recent losses. They look like a discouraged group.

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03-30-2010, 11:20 AM
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Chazz Reinhold
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Agree 100%. It's amazing how the effectiveness on their forecheck and cycle have just deserted them. I don't know if Murray is telling them to be more cautious on the forecheck or what, but they more often than not have one guy pressuring and the other two stand and watch as the first forward in gets beat from behind the goal line.

There are some serious issues in how the team is playing right now. We've seen them do these things right before, but will they start to do them right again? There were glimpses in the Colorado and St. Louis road games, but those were altogether inconsistent efforts, and that won't win many hockey games.

When the Kings have struggled before this season, I feel like I always saw things that were precursors to breaking out of the slump, but I'm just not seeing those things right now.

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03-30-2010, 11:23 AM
  #3
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Also, another note on the forecheck: most teams play a 2-1-2 forecheck, which means the first guy goes in hard and takes the body while the second guy goes in right behind and tries to dig out the loose puck. When the Kings were successful earlier in the season, they were doing this right a majority of the time. It honestly seems now that they're playing a 1-2-2.

That might have something to do with the discontinuity on the breakouts and dump ins, and the team is just too spaced out to get a proper forecheck going so they resort to a passive one, but they're just letting teams walk right out of the zone with barely any pressure. That needs to be addressed like yesterday (or about a month ago).

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03-30-2010, 11:26 AM
  #4
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There needs to be a greater puck movement presence from the defence. It seems like the Kings have a very hard time gettting the puck out of there own zone and thru the neutral zone and outside of Doughty there really isnt another consistant player whos effective at moving the puck with ease. I see Johnson make a few nice rush's here and there but I wouldnt really consider him a consistant puckmover. Sometimes being pinned in your own zone and not having strong puckflow from your defence can really hamper your ability to score 5 on 5.

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Old
03-30-2010, 11:27 AM
  #5
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
  • The Kings rank 18th in the NHL in Even-Strength (ES) 5-on-5 goals with 130 GF (not including 8 goals scored in 4-on-4 situations).

  • The Kings' overall offense is ranked 10th in the NHL, averaging 2.79 goals per game.

  • The Kings have surrendered 127 goals while playing in even strength, which is 7th most in the NHL (not including the 6 goals they have allowed when playing 4-on-4).

  • The Kings' overall defense is ranked 10th in the NHL, averaging 2.63 goals against per game.

The overall team +/- is +8, good for 12th in the NHL. Since returning from the Olympic break, the Kings' even strength offense has flat lined and it appears that the team has lost the chemistry they had prior to the break.

The "drive-to-the-net" mentality appears to have vanished. The team is constantly looking for the perfect setup and when they do decide to pull the trigger, more often than not, they end up missing the net or having their shots blocked.

This is a result of poor puck management. The timing of passing and shooting has been off, as has their dump and chase game. The Kings are a team that is lacking an elite scorer, thus the need for scoring by committee. The organization is lacking in speed: their game is to play a grinding, tight-checking style, a style they have drifted away from.

Observe their demeanor in the recent losses. They look like a discouraged group.
What does it mean when we as fans can spotlight problems with the teams performance, but the coach can't or won't admit these problems are there?

Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazz Reinhold View Post
Agree 100%. It's amazing how the effectiveness on their forecheck and cycle have just deserted them. I don't know if Murray is telling them to be more cautious on the forecheck or what, but they more often than not have one guy pressuring and the other two stand and watch as the first forward in gets beat from behind the goal line.

There are some serious issues in how the team is playing right now. We've seen them do these things right before, but will they start to do them right again? There were glimpses in the Colorado and St. Louis road games, but those were altogether inconsistent efforts, and that won't win many hockey games.

When the Kings have struggled before this season, I feel like I always saw things that were precursors to breaking out of the slump, but I'm just not seeing those things right now.
Its just bad bounces, or a minor bump in the road, "you've got it all wrong." "Everything is fine."

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Old
03-30-2010, 11:30 AM
  #6
Ziggy Stardust
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I think a lack of leadership in the dressing room might be another focal point in the lack of intensity and drive. While I don't doubt the players want to win, they are missing an element in the dressing room that goes beyond the coaches, and that is a vocal leader who will urge his players on, to amp up their intensity and to dig deeper.

Listening and reading the words from the captain makes it apparent to me that they are discouraged. Trying to find your game at this point of the season is going to lead to disastrous results. This is a team that is still seeking an identity.

I like to compare the Kings to the Cowardly Lion in the Wizard of Oz. First impression you get is that they are fierce, but as you gradually get to know their true identity you start finding out that they will cower in confrontations and will step aside when challenged to rise to the occasion.

How the team responds today is going to be very telling in what we should expect from the Kings from this point on. If they fail to deliver today, the game after, the game after that and continue with their inconsistent play right through into the playoffs (should they get there), then this organization needs a purging. They look like a disjointed group with no direction or strategy.


Last edited by Ziggy Stardust: 03-30-2010 at 11:36 AM.
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03-30-2010, 11:31 AM
  #7
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I've also noticed this, as well as an inability to cycle the puck like they used to, because they're not getting that 2nd/3rd man puck support. Before the slump, it was unthinkable to try to get the puck out to the point unless there was a clear opportunity. Right now, you're seeing the forwards using that move as an escape attempt, and more often than not it's turning into a turnover along the half wall.

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03-30-2010, 11:33 AM
  #8
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
There needs to be a greater puck movement presence from the defence. It seems like the Kings have a very hard time gettting the puck out of there own zone and thru the neutral zone and outside of Doughty there really isnt another consistant player whos effective at moving the puck with ease. I see Johnson make a few nice rush's here and there but I wouldnt really consider him a consistant puckmover. Sometimes being pinned in your own zone and not having strong puckflow from your defence can really hamper your ability to score 5 on 5.
I think a major issue with puck movement from the blueline is the lack of puck support. This is apparent in all three zones. All five skaters are too far spread apart. Three short passes can get you further than one long bomb from the defensive zone to the neutral zone.

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03-30-2010, 11:34 AM
  #9
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
There needs to be a greater puck movement presence from the defence. It seems like the Kings have a very hard time gettting the puck out of there own zone and thru the neutral zone and outside of Doughty there really isnt another consistant player whos effective at moving the puck with ease. I see Johnson make a few nice rush's here and there but I wouldnt really consider him a consistant puckmover. Sometimes being pinned in your own zone and not having strong puckflow from your defence can really hamper your ability to score 5 on 5.
The puck movement from the defense is definitely an issue. I think that fits right in with what I was saying about the discontinuity with regards to moving the puck up the ice. The forwards aren't always getting the puck with speed and moving up the ice as a unit. If they were doing that I don't think as many people would complain about the dump and chase because more often than not, the team would retrieve the puck as they would have the right amount of pressure to execute a 2-1-2 forecheck.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIEHARD the King fan View Post
What does it mean when we as fans can spotlight problems with the teams performance, but the coach can't or won't admit these problems are there?
Maybe it's just like other aspects in life: when you're too close to something you don't always see everything you should. When you take a step back you're able to see what may have been causing the problems. Although, if that's the case I'm very worried because Murray's getting paid to be able to see these things.

Quote:
Originally Posted by DIEHARD the King fan View Post
Its just bad bounces, or a minor bump in the road, "you've got it all wrong." "Everything is fine."
As negative as I've been the past couple weeks, I still believe they can turn it around. However, I'm definitely worried that I'm not seeing signs of said turnaround.

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03-30-2010, 11:39 AM
  #10
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Chazz Reinhold View Post
The puck movement from the defense is definitely an issue. I think that fits right in with what I was saying about the discontinuity with regards to moving the puck up the ice. The forwards aren't always getting the puck with speed and moving up the ice as a unit. If they were doing that I don't think as many people would complain about the dump and chase because more often than not, the team would retrieve the puck as they would have the right amount of pressure to execute a 2-1-2 forecheck.



Maybe it's just like other aspects in life: when you're too close to something you don't always see everything you should. When you take a step back you're able to see what may have been causing the problems. Although, if that's the case I'm very worried because Murray's getting paid to be able to see these things.



As negative as I've been the past couple weeks, I still believe they can turn it around. However, I'm definitely worried that I'm not seeing signs of said turnaround.
What I see is a group of forwards that are having to use a humongous amount of energy getting the puck thru there own zone and the neutral zone because the defensive unit isnt capable of this outside of Doughty and randomly Johnson. Soon teams are going to gameplan to smother Doughty and attempt to make his life tough. They will say we know Doughty is there main puckmover so we are going to try to make someone else move it. The Caps went out at the deadline and grabbed Corvo to ease Mike Greens job because they know once the playoffs come around teams are going to gameplan to limit Greens effectiveness and there needs to be a guy who can be the 1A or #2 puckmover.

Kaberle or Visnovsky would look great on this current roster.

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03-30-2010, 11:44 AM
  #11
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
What I see is a group of forwards that are having to use a humongous amount of energy getting the puck thru there own zone and the neutral zone because the defensive unit isnt capable of this outside of Doughty and randomly Johnson. Soon teams are going to gameplan to smother Doughty and attempt to make his life tough. They will say we know Doughty is there main puckmover so we are going to try to make someone else move it. The Caps went out at the deadline and grabbed Corvo to ease Mike Greens job because they know once the playoffs come around teams are going to gameplan to limit Greens effectiveness and there needs to be a guy who can be the 1A or #2 puckmover.

Kaberle or Visnovsky would look great on this current roster.
I agree. Hopefully the puck-moving defenseman is something Lombardi can address this offseason (whether by FA, trade, or having Hickey or Voynov step into that role).

I also agree with Ziggy that the team is too spaced in every zone. They need to get back to keeping it simple with 15 foot passes and strong support all the way up the ice.

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03-30-2010, 11:52 AM
  #12
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There was a rumor that we asked about Visnovsky, but they wanted Greene, a defensive prospect like Voynov, and a pick going the other way... I hope Dean can maneuver to get a decent solution this offseason, though it will be interesting if Hickey or Voynov make the team next season. I would just be at ease if we didn't rely on that.

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03-30-2010, 11:56 AM
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There was a rumor that we asked about Visnovsky, but they wanted Greene, a defensive prospect like Voynov, and a pick going the other way... I hope Dean can maneuver to get a decent solution this offseason, though it will be interesting if Hickey or Voynov make the team next season. I would just be at ease if we didn't rely on that.
What happened to Visnovsky in LA?

Was he unhappy or did the team just think he was too expensive?

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03-30-2010, 12:07 PM
  #14
Ziggy Stardust
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He had an upcoming no-trade clause, was getting older and a bit injury prone. I'd say Lombardi cashed out and sold high and got a great return for a depreciating asset.

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03-30-2010, 12:07 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by weems View Post
What happened to Visnovsky in LA?

Was he unhappy or did the team just think he was too expensive?
The team signed him to the lucrative long-term contract he has now and gave him a no-trade clause on top of it, all the while not expecting to tank the following season... Well, we did tank and ended up with the 2nd overall pick, Drew Doughty. Dean realized that if we allowed Visnovsky's no-trade clause to kick in, we would be in a tight spot financially as we have Hickey, Johnson, Doughty etc... rising on the back end and that Visnovsky's term was too long. Hence, he decided to maximize the value of the asset early and move him before the no-trade clause kicked in. Visnovsky was extremely happy in LA and a fan favorite. It was all dollars and cents.

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03-30-2010, 12:22 PM
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Ok you glass half empty people. First the Kings rank
11th 5 on 5 with a 1.02 last year they ranked 28th with a 0.82
6th in PP with a 20.7% last year 14 with a 19.2
20th in PK with a 80.4 last year 10 with a 82.9
So even with the horrid PK of the last few weeks Kings are still in the playoff hunt.

At the begining of the year we all were hoping they would just make it. Now i am sure they will. It might be the 8th seed but in is in (this year)

I bought playoff tickets this year. Ok only one game so far but I am broke right now. I haven't even thought about buying tickets in years

Go Kings Go

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03-30-2010, 12:30 PM
  #17
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Ziggy Stardust View Post
  • The Kings rank 18th in the NHL in Even-Strength (ES) 5-on-5 goals with 130 GF (not including 8 goals scored in 4-on-4 situations).

  • The Kings' overall offense is ranked 10th in the NHL, averaging 2.79 goals per game.

  • The Kings have surrendered 127 goals while playing in even strength, which is 7th most in the NHL (not including the 6 goals they have allowed when playing 4-on-4).

  • The Kings' overall defense is ranked 10th in the NHL, averaging 2.63 goals against per game.

The overall team +/- is +8, good for 12th in the NHL. Since returning from the Olympic break, the Kings' even strength offense has flat lined and it appears that the team has lost the chemistry they had prior to the break.

The "drive-to-the-net" mentality appears to have vanished. The team is constantly looking for the perfect setup and when they do decide to pull the trigger, more often than not, they end up missing the net or having their shots blocked.

This is a result of poor puck management. The timing of passing and shooting has been off, as has their dump and chase game. The Kings are a team that is lacking an elite scorer, thus the need for scoring by committee. The organization is lacking in speed: their game is to play a grinding, tight-checking style, a style they have drifted away from.

Observe their demeanor in the recent losses. They look like a discouraged group.
So, we're ranked 10th on overall offense and defense? I'll take it!!!

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Old
03-30-2010, 01:11 PM
  #18
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The main talented players grew up between NON Hockey players
and have a coach now why kills everything what comes close
to being creative, because it could lead to a counter attack.

jeeeee......... i really don't know why we can't score

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03-30-2010, 02:03 PM
  #19
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Changed avatar, washed jersey, moved stick signed by team to other corner of room, cleaned lucky shoes, will make nachos for dinner, stocked up on fav beer and crossed all fingers.
Hopefully something will work.


Last edited by onlyalad: 03-30-2010 at 02:56 PM.
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Old
03-30-2010, 02:08 PM
  #20
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i totally agree with the discussion of structural weaknesses in the kings' game. you guys are right on with the problems of puck support, spread out forwards, a one-man forecheck, and problems moving the puck up the ice. i totally agree that the team has major, system-wide issues in execution right now.

BUT, i think that the reason this slide has been extended, is a combination of these structural issues and some serious misplays at critical times in games. how many own-goals do the kings have in the past few weeks? i can think of like five. and, similarly, the power play has come to be a momentum killer (sorry, i know this is the "even-strength" thread, but the two are inextricable linked), for what i think are two reasons. first, WAY too much is being asked of jarret stoll. he's basically the go-to guy, and he's just not that good. and second, kopitar has pulled a major disappearing act. he's been hiding behind the half wall for a good stretch of games now, and this forces other players to make the big plays on the power play, with associated negative consequences. see the first point above.

it seems like in the past this season, there have been games where the kings made dumb plays, or lost momentum, or whatever, but their system was strong enough that they could climb back into the game. then, there were other games in which their system was not particularly effective, but they were able to collapse effectively enough and get good enough goaltending to keep the game close. then, the big players could make a few key plays and pull out a win. right now, we have neither of those things working for us. the big players have looked awful--kopitar and smyth have been particularly disappointing in my view--AND the system is out of sync. the result is clearly the worst stretch of the season.

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