Posts Tagged ‘los angeles kings’

Minnesota Wild–in like a lamb, out like a lion! Read on…

Sort of a stream of consciousness notes from tonight’s disappointing shootout loss:

  • NHL HOCKEY IN MINNESOTA IS BACK!
  • Kyle Brodziak was sporting a nasty-looking cut right in the middle of this forehead and a black eye. I noticed it at the start of the game so it must have happened during one of the preseason games.
  • Keith Ballard made his return to Minnesota, and to my eye he didn’t go so great. He played just over 14 minutes and recorded one shot, two hits, and one blocked shot. He was checked hard into the boards by Colin Fraser midway through the first period, and politely expressed his displeasure by dropping the gloves. The fight wasn’t much to look at, but I’m sure there were some gopher fans that were happy to see him mix it up. He looked slow and stiff on defense throughout the night, and while he may not be much of an asset, a number of other Wild blueliners didn’t really sparkle either.
  • The Kings power play will be capital-L Lethal this yr (see: Doughty PP goal in 1st)…Kopitar, Carter, Voynov, Doughty, and probably Brown when he gets healthy if we wasn’t out there last night. Doughty can distribute the puck well or fire off an absolute rocket from the top of the circle like last night. Watch out. And with guys like Dustin Brown who are known for drawing a *ton* of penalties, the Kings’ PP will get lots of opportunities.
  • Former UMD Bulldog Justin Fontaine looked pretty good, considering he was stashed on the fourth line with Konopka and Mitchell. I saw good positioning and anticipation from him and he was okay on the forecheck in one of the few situations where that line saw offensive zone time. Not sure yet if he sticks because he won’t dent the stat sheet much, but at least for now I sort of liked what I saw. Read on…


^^Podcast is embedded in this post. Click here to download the .mp3 file.

Can’t wait to get on iTunes so I don’t have to embed the files! I’m this close too, there appears to be a problem on the iTunes side…waiting to hear back from their tech support >_>

A player spotlight podcast today, with a twist: I did a top-10 list of forwards and defensemen by CorsiOn (min 10 GP). Talked a bit about how underlying stats like Corsi don’t always illuminate how well a player might do for fantasy, and gave lots of examples. For reference he’s the list.

Defense

  • 10. Davis Drewiske (LA) 16.4, (1+2=3), +1, 4 PIM, 8 SOG, 13:46, 6.9% on ice
  •  9. Dennis Wideman (CGY) 17.5, (3+6=9), -1, 4 PIM, 33 SOG, 24:53, 7.5%
  •  8. Paul Postma (WPG) 18.8, (1+4=5), -2, 2 PIM, 17 SOG, 16:04, 7.1%
  •  7. Zdeno Chara (BOS) 19.2, (2+3=5), +2, 14 PIM, 31 SOG, 25:29, 9.5%
  •  6. Johnny Boychuk (BOS) 19.3, (1+1=2), +3, 6 PIM, 22 SOG, 20:33, 10.9%
  •  5. T. J. Brodie (CGY) 19.6, (0+4=4), +4, 0 PIM, 11 SOG, 17:57, 9.1%
  •  4. Erik Karlsson (OTT) 23.0, (6+4=10), +6, 8 PIM, 63 SOG, 27:04, 5.8%
  •  3. Marc Methot (OTT) 23.6, (0+3=3), +1, 14 PIM, 14 SOG, 22:22, 7.0%
  •  2. Slava Voynov (LA) 26.8, (2+4=6), +6, 2 PIM, 24 SOG, 21:41, 7.7%
  •  1. Alec Martinez IR (LA) 29.7, (1+1=2), +/- 0, 4 PIM, 14 SOG, 18:56, 5.4%

Forwards

  • 10. Anze Kopitar (LA), 25.4, (4+4=8), +/-0, 8 PIM, 19 SOG, 20:55, 6.1% on ice
  •  9. Eric Fehr (WAS), 26.4, (3+2=5), +/-0, 4 PIM, 13 SOG, 9:15 ATOI, 13.3%
  •  8. Brad Marchand (BOS), 26.5, (7+1=8), +4, 4 PIM, 16 SOG, 16:40, 8.6%, (43.8%)
  •  7. Tyler Seguin (BOS), 26.8, (2+5=7), +8, 6 PIM, 37 SOG, 17:39, 11.2%
  •  6. Patrice Bergeron (BOS), 27.4, (2+5=7), +6, 4 PIM, 44 SOG, 18:43, 7.3%
  •  5. Jeff Carter (LA), 28.8, (6+1=7), -2, 6 PIM, 31 SOG, 18:34, 7.5% (19.4%)
  •  4. Kyle Clifford (LA), 30.8, (2+5=7), +/-0, 12 PIM, 12 SOG, 11:37 ATOI, 13.4%
  •  3. Henrik Sedin (VAN), 33.1, (0+10=10), +9, 8 PIM, 19 SOG, 20:0 ATOI, 11.3%
  •  2. Daniel Sedin (VAN) 34.1, (4+8=12), +5, 0 PIM, 34 SOG, 19:03 ATOI, 9.1%
  •  1. Justin Williams (LA) 35.7, (1+4=5), +3, 12 PIM, 44 SOG, 16:29 ATOI, 9.0%

Hey! If you like the Hashtag Hockey podcast, check out the NHL Numbers podcast! They’re not on iTunes yet either so in the meantime check out their pod here.

Join me next week when I will have a special guest, fancy stat innovator extraordinaire, Rob Vollman!

In the mean time, send me any show ideas or fantasy hockey questions at hashtaghockey [at] gmail [dot] com and make sure to follow me on Twitter, @Hashtag_Hockey

hashtag hockey podcast logo chiller

Jonathan Quick’s numbers this NHL postseason are staggering: 15-2 with a 1.36 GAA and a .950 Sv%, to go along with 3 shutouts and 14 Quality Starts, good for 82.4% (brush up on your QS chops here). He has not allowed more than 3 goals in any game, and only twice has he allowed a trio of pucks into his net.

Against the Devils in the Stanley Cup Finals, Quick owns a .972 overall Sv% with a .968 at even-strength. He has not allowed a Power Play goal in the finals, nor did he in Round 2 against the Blues.

Watching the games, you almost get the sense that Quick is inside the Devils’ heads, as they seem to be passing up good shooting opportunities to try to make the extra pass. In Game 1, they fired just 8 pucks on net in the first two periods combined. They will have to find a way to solve Quick, something the top three-seeded teams in the West could not do.

I can only imagine most of the Devils fans I know channeling their inner-Puddy this week. Also did you catch the Hockey Pron?

While we have some time before the Finals start on Wednesday let’s look at the Kings and Coyotes numbers in their respective Conference Finals, plus their performances put end-to-end. First the West:

LA vs PHO Fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

LA vs PHO Fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

The Kings continued to tilt the ice in their favor, never allowing the Coyotes to as much as pull even with them in the SMS numbers. Perhaps for some of the Finals games I will try to get my hands on per-period stats or break them down per-game. Gamewide stats are interesting but they don’t really tell the story of the game, so with fewer and fewer games I’ll change the way I analyze the numbers.

LA vs PHO SMS (c) Hashtag Hockey

LA vs PHO SMS (c) Hashtag Hockey

The Coyotes decided to turn up the heat in Game 5, but not until their backs were against the wall. In the first four games they served up a mediocre-but-steady diet of shots and missed in the mid-thirties, while the Kings had three games over sixty and only one game under fifty. I think about score effects often when I post these type of charts, but is at least a little remarkable how consistent the Yotes were in games 1-4.

LA vs PHO sh rate (c) Hashtag Hockey

LA vs PHO sh rate (c) Hashtag Hockey

Recently, I examined a new way of looking at Sh + MSh, and while that piece was on the player-level, since I had the data anyway I thought I’d look at teamwide Sh-Rates. If you haven’t read that article, the figures above are basically the proportion of Shots + Missed Shots that hit the net, or (Sh / Sh+MSh). Something I have noticed is that the numbers seem to vary together–in Game 2 we see a discrepancy of +.09 for the Kings, but every other game is within just a few percentage points.

NJ vs NYR fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

NJ vs NYR fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

We see a different picture in the East, with the Devils managing to outshoot the Rangers in games 2 and 3 (winning one and losing one,) but in the other games the Rangers were throwing more pucks at the Devils–by design one would think.

NJD vs NYR SMS (c) Hashtag Hockey

NJD vs NYR SMS (c) Hashtag Hockey

NJ vs NYR sh rate (c) Hashtag Hockey

NJ vs NYR sh rate (c) Hashtag Hockey

Here we see a Rangers team that did not pull the trigger much in Game 3 (just 22 Sh but only 4 MS) and was quite selective in Game 5 as well (35 Sh to 8 MS). The Devils won the last three games of the series while potting 4 goals on 16 shots in Game 4 (excluding the EN goal).

Now that we have a good sample of games played, I thought it might be cool to stack up each team’s games end to end to look at their respective runs through the tournament. Note that SMS are adjusted per 60 mins here.

LA vs OPP fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

LA vs OPP fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

.

LA vs OPP sms 60 (c) Hashtag Hockey

LA vs OPP sms 60 (c) Hashtag Hockey

While the Coyotes started to look like they wanted to make it a series after shutting out the Kings in Game 4 and taking a lead midway through Game 5, these numbers suggest the Kings manhandled Phoenix more consistently than the Canucks or Blues. Their Fenwick rate was consistently near-.600 throughout and they topped 60 SMS/60 twice, after not getting to that mark in any game since the start of the Playoffs.

NJ vs OPP fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

NJ vs OPP fenwick (c) Hashtag Hockey

.

NJ vs OPP sms 60 (c) Hashtag Hockey

NJ vs OPP sms 60 (c) Hashtag Hockey

The Devils have certainly played a different brand of hockey than the Kings–where Los Angeles has played 4 games out of 14 with a SMS/60 rate less than 40 (28.6%), New Jersey has played 10 of their 18 games under 40 SMS/60 (55.6%). You don’t have to read the tea leaves too much to wonder how the Devils will try to play the high-octane Kings…will they try to run with them or sit back and weather the storm?

Finally, let’s look at how the two goalies have stacked up. Their even-strength Sv% are near-identical, but Quick owns the Ov Sv% advantage, as Brodeur and the Devils have allowed 15 PPG on 77 Sh (.805) plus another 1 in 4 for Hedberg. Each netminder has notched 11 Quality Starts, but the Devils have played four more games than the Kings, which brings Brodeur’s QS% to just .611 and Quick’s to .786.

Brodeur vs Quick 2012 NHL PLayoffs (c) Hashtag Hockey

Brodeur vs Quick 2012 NHL PLayoffs (c) Hashtag Hockey

Of course, these stats are more descriptive than predictive, but hopefully they are enlightening. While I would guess that a lot of the talking heads will have the Kings, New Jersey fans can still dream of bringing Lord Stanley’s hardware back home…

It’s been a while since I put up more than a couple simple charts, so let’s dig in and look at the Elite Eight of 2012! Only one series has yet to be decided, so let’s start with the Caps/Rangers. This time, I have included Fenwick/60, or Sh+MSh adjusted for overtime games. This post will be long so I’ll put a table of contents at the top for easier navigation:

**If you need a refresher on the stats used here, check out the Glossary**

WAS vs NYR

NJD vs PHI

LAK vs STL

PHX vs NSH

All Teams Fenwick/60

Goalie Stats

Washington Capitals (#7) vs New York Rangers (#1)

The teams have alternated wins in this series, leading to a Game Seven tomorrow night…they have flip-flopped so much we could call this the Romney Series (hey, you got politics in my hockey! you got hockey in my politics!!) Quoth Homer Simpson: “Okay Marge, its your child against my child. The winner will be showered with praise. The loser will be taunted and booed until my throat is sore!!” I couldn’t find a clip of that line so here’s another from the same episode

If the Rangers win, this series will probably be remembered by the Game 5 Joel Ward kerfuffle…which would be unfortunate because like any sports implosion, they usually find a scapegoat *coughBARTMAN* and just blame it on one guy instead of realizing all the events that led up to that flashpoint. After Game 1, which ended 3-1 Rangers, the teams played very evenly for four games, trading one-goal victories. Then, in game 5 and 6, New York seemed to turn on the afterburners like Maverick and Goose or Brian and Dominic, depending on what year you were born. Score effect seems to have played a huge factor in Gm 5, but Washington only mustered 24.2 SMS/60, and was outshot 68-32 in Fenwick, which shows they turtled in a big way. It is reasonable to expect that Game 7 will be more even like the early games in the series, but if Washington gets a lead, they might consider keeping their foot on the gas, as two blown leads in the last three games of a series seems like a pretty good way to get your coach fired. The League has announced that the conference finals will begin on Sunday, so don’t be surprised if the series winner drops the first game to the more rested Devils. Speak of the…Devils…(ugh,) Let’s move to the other series in the East…

Top

New Jersey Devils vs Philadelphia Flyers

I admit I feel a bit reedemed, as I wrote about Bryz in Round 1 and how lucky he was that Fleury shit the bed the way he did…though picking on the Flyers for having bad goaltending is like picking on Justin Bieber for his haircut. Just because it’s an easy joke doesn’t mean I’m not going to make it o_O

The Flyers came out strong in Game 1 and then sputtered out, particularly in Game 2 and Game 4. The Devils blocked a moderate amount of Philadelphia’s shots, but not enough to cover for the fact that the Bullies just didn’t let rip with enough pucks, especially if we consider that they probably had a good idea “Y U Heff 2 B Mad” wasn’t likely to strap the team on his universe-contemplating shoulders and carry them through. One would think that based on the way the Rangers and Capitals are playing, the plucky Devils will be underdogs in the East Finals, but maybe Broduer the Timeless one has got some magic left in those 40-year old bones.

Top

Los Angeles Kings vs St Louis Blues

Bill Simmons mentioned on the B.S. Report this week that Kings fans are sort of waiting for the other shoe to drop, because everyone who followed this team in the regular season remembers the ABYSMAL offense of the Kings for a good chunk of the season. I’ve got a first-hand view of things out here, and they seem to have convinced themselves that the addition of Jeff Carter was their saving grace, but as long as they keep winning, we don’t have to revisit the 30th-ranked G/Gm the team carried for about four months…but who am I kidding, I’m going to probably reach for Carter in next year’s fantasy draft. Besides, we all know Jon Quick is the real Savior-on-skates…these charts were posted earlier, but I thought I’d revisit them here. Note that since no game went to overtime, the Sh + MSh numbers are also the SMS/60 figures, so no point in being redundant redundant.

The West bracket has been a showcase of elite goaltending, and the Quick vs Smith matchup is very enticing to people like me who prefer defensive struggles to barnstorming Pennsylvania-style games. There is no love lost between these division rivals, and people seem to forget that it would not have taken much for the Kings to wind up with the #3 seed and the Yotes to get #8.

Top

Phoenix Coyotes vs Nashville Predators

Mike Smith continues to play the part of the “Hot Goalie” and the Nashville Predators are bounced sooner than many predicted. If the Preds don’t sign Ryan Suter or Radulov decides to go back to Mother Russia, the Preds may not be in a position to come back as contenders next year. Stores of franchises turning themselves around are good for sports leagues, SEE: Lions, Detroit; Rays, Tampa, Tigers, also Detroit, but if they don’t get any hardware, they typically get lost in the history books.

We got a few very even games sandwiched between two lopsided games in Games 1 and 5. Look at the disparity in the last game. The Preds split their SOG pretty evenly across periods, 10-12-11, and unfortunately I do not have MS by period. If anyone knows where to find those numbers please let me know! I’m STILL not taking Mike Smith on my fantasy team next year, but you can’t deny he’s got a fair chance to bring that Conn Smythe trophy back to the desert.

Top

All Teams Fenwick/60

Now that I have started adjusting for time, we can look across series and see how the teams compared in their shot output:

A couple of things surprise me–first, that six of the eight teams are basically between 35 and 40 S+MS/60, with Washington trailing the pack but just barely and Nashville leading the field by more than just a few shots. This is where adjusting for score effects would be beneficial. Per Behind the Net, this is the closest I could find, but I’ll keep looking.

Top

Goalie Stats

Of course I saved the best for last! We knew there some top-notch goalies (and also Bryz) going into this round, but raise your hand if you predicted Rinne AND Elliott would have a lower Ov Sv% than Bryzgalov. Ok, put your hands down now, liars.

Smith and Quick, #1 vs #2. LAK vs STL was supposed to be a 10-goal series (that’s combined) but it didn’t really turn out that way. We could very well be in for 6 or 7 2-1 games, but on a per-game basis, anything can happen. That’s why they play the games! Brian Elliott–yikes.

So what do you think? Who do you think will make it out of the NYR-WAS series, and who will make it to the finals? Post a comment below and share your thoughts!

Top

Luongo sucked! Mike Smith was great! Canucks choked! Blow up the Sharks! Now that we’ve gotten that out of the way, let’s take a look at some numbers from the first round matchups. First, the goalies:

The five tenders that made it out of the first round were remarkable, with Mike Smith’s .945 Ev Sv% and Jaro Halak’s .935 Overall Sv% coming in at the LOW END. If you taped Quick, Smith, Rinne, Halak, and Elliott together to make one supergoalie this round, they collectively would have turned in a .949 Sv% and a 1.57 GAA. That’s prettay…prettay good.

By contrast, the losing goalies showed more variance. Crawford was about who we thought he was (.915 Ev, .903 Ov regular season,) while Jimmy Howard underperformed (or was overwhelmed if you’re a Preds fan,) .929 Ev, .920 Ov regular season.

The narrative for the Canucks this offseason is that Luongo choked…again!…Schneider outplayed him, Schneider is the goalie of the future…et cetera and so on until our collective ears begin to bleed. However, they had the same Ev Sv%, while Schneider’s PP and SH rates were perfect, Luongo let in three power play goals and two shorties (gulp!) Schneider finished with better rate stats, but a couple of bounces here and a couple breaks reversed there and Luongo is 1-2 and Schneider is 0-2. Just saying…

Let’s look at Fenwick rates and total numbers of Sh and Missed Sh for the matchups:

LAK vs VAN

This series saw games where each team dominated in shots fired. The Kings had three games where they pushed the 60/40 mark, but in games 2 and 3, the Nucks blasted almost 60 pucks toward the net and dominated the stat. Also notable is that Game 4 (sans Daniel) and Game 5 (avec Daniel) were very similar in terms of shot output. Each game in the series was close, but the Hockey gods favored the Kings this time. Much has been made of the Kings out-fenwicking their opponents on the regular since the trade deadline, so I will be interested to see if they can continue that trend against a Blues team that is fantastic on defense…

STL vs SJ

Game by game fenwick rates were pretty even throughout the series, but what stands out to me is that after losing game 1 in double-OT despite outshooting the Sharks, the Blues turned around and won the next four despite being outshot by San Jose. LA vs STL could very well turn out to be the Bizarro PIT/PHI series where the losing goalie each night stops 39 of 40 shots and takes the 1-0 loss. It will be interesting to see if the Blues can continue to win games while putting up shots and missed shots totaling in the low-30s, or if the Kings can throw 50+ pucks at the net and find a couple weak spots in the armor of Elliott and Halak.

PHX vs CHI

It’s time for the requisite NHL-owns-the-Coyotes crackpot theory: the League FIXED the series so that the first five games would go into OT so they could sell more beer and make themselves more money! Those pigs. It all makes sense now…

I have written elsewhere on this site that Mike Smith won’t be on any of my fantasy teams next year, but there is no denying how locked in he was during the first round. The Hawks were touching 60 shots and misses in four games, and he still turned in a sub-2 GAA and a .950 Sv%. You have to hand it to the old guy. Maybe he’ll start doing credit card commercials where he’s locked in a taxi with a psychopath, frantically calling a gender-confused customer service agent with passive-aggressive tendencies…

What I said about St Louis needing to continue finding goals on a low number of shots goes double for Phoenix. I was surprised when they were able to run with the Hawks in game 1 and even game 2, but then they dropped off drastically in games 4-6, while Chicago kept increasing their total shot count. If Phoenix thinks they can settle in the low-twenties against Pekka Rinne, they must be feeling really lucky.

NSH vs DET

No team scored more than 3 goals in any game this series, while Pekka Rinne turned in some impressive performances in games 3 and 4, making more than 40 saves in each. I am not a Red Wings homer (they are so proud of their Hockeytown…Minnesota has a whole STATE OF HOCKEY) though I do sort of like their organization. I admit I had them picked to beat the Predators in this series, but that’s why they play the games. Nashville turned in some low total shot games, and if Mike Smith continues to be Voltron, they might be desparate for a goal. Phoenix has shown that even if they are undermatched on paper, they can take a game to overtime where anything can happen.

What do you think? What stats would you want to look at when breaking down a series? Who are your predictions to make it to the Western Conference finals and why? Leave a comment and share your thoughts, and don’t forget to follow me on twitter @Hashtag_Hockey

Will update with results of SJ/STL once that game is in the books. Eastern Conference coming tomorrow!

  • You can see that CHI/PHX is the closest series in the West, though Mike Smith’s injury could potentially shift the dynamic, the Hawks fired 59 (shots + missed shots) in each of the firs two games, and I feel pretty comfortable saying Mike Smith >>> Jason LaBarbera…
  • LA was outshot badly in game 2 yet still managed to score 4 goals. Then in game 3, in a scoreless game until late in the third period, they directed much more rubber at the net than did Vancouver. The Canucks need to find some way to make this into a series or they will be making tee times by next week.
  • The Red Wings are leading the Predators in Fenwick, but a Hot Goalie like Pekka Rinne can neutralize those differentials in short order. All three games have ended with a score of 3-2, and in each game the winner was outshot. It will be interesting to see if that pattern holds. A more advanced look at Fenwick would parse out 5v5 shots, but this is just a quick and dirty look at the series.