Kukla's Korner

The Puck Stops Here

Lowest Scoring Team

It is rare that the lowest scoring team in the NHL would also be a playoff team but that is the case right now as the Los Angeles Kings have the lowest goals per game in the league at 2.26.  The Kings would also be the eighth seed in the playoffs began today.  Despite being the lowest scoring team in the league, the Kings have outscored their opponents by one goal. 

The Kings defensive success comes from strong goaltending from Jonathan Quick as well as a top defence led by Drew Doughty.  Their problem has been scoring.  At this point only two players have ten or more goals.  They are Anze Kopitar and Mike Richards.  Richards is out with an upper body injury, so their offence could get even worse in the short term.  The only other King with more than five goals is Simon Gagne.  The Kings have a lack of significant goal scorers this season.

Last season the Kings had additional 20 goal scorers in Dustin Brown, Justin Williams, Dustin Penner, Jarrett Stoll and Ryan Smyth.  Smyth is in Edmonton this season.  Williams and Brown have played alright, but have been limited to four and five goals respectively.  Penner and Stoll are no longer scoring and have been offensive disappointments. 

Los Angeles was not a top scoring team last year.  Their offence was sixth worst in the league with 2.55 goals per game.  They are down about a quarter of a goal per game.  Largely this is a dropoff in scoring from their depth players. 

Their defence has been very good.  It has allowed the Kings to be a playoff team despite a lack of scoring.  If the Kings had a stronger offence to go with their defence they would be among the top teams in the NHL.  The lack of offence is holding them back.  A potential problem is Jonathan Quick.  He has no history of maintaining play at his current level over an entire season.  He currently has a .934 saves percentage so far this season.  His career best in a complete season is .918.  If Quick falls to previous levels then the Kings will likely fall from a playoff berth.

The Los Angeles Kings are the lowest scoring team in the league so far this season.  Despite that they currently hold eighth seed in the West Conference.  Should their offence continue to fail to produce, the Kings could fall into trouble if their defence stops performing at its current level.

Filed in: | The Puck Stops Here | Permalink
 

Comments

Avatar

I’ve been surprised with the Kings lack of scoring this year.  You’d think the addition of Richards to the team would have improved in terms of offence.  Especially when you consider the influence that Johnson and Doughty should have pushing the puck up the ice.  At some point they are bound to do better.

Your point that ‘only two players have ten or more goals’ doesn’t add credence to your article though.  If you look at the NHL standings only 47 players have 10 or more goals at this point.  Having two on the team would actually be an indication of better offence than they are currently getting.

Posted by Michael from Canada on 12/09/11 at 01:55 AM ET

PuckStopsHere's avatar

Your point that ‘only two players have ten or more goals’ doesn’t add credence to your article though.  If you look at the NHL standings only 47 players have 10 or more goals at this point.  Having two on the team would actually be an indication of better offence than they are currently getting..

This point is correct although it comes from a poor setting of the parameters.  I could have just as easily said only two players have more than seven goals and had a group of 103 players with only two Kings players on it.  The point I was intending to make is that only two players on the Kings are having any success scoring goals.

That said both of the Kings players with 10 or more goals barely have 10 or more goals.  We could also say that Toronto has only two players with 10 or more goals (and isn’t it weird to use Toronto as an example of a good team?) in Phil Kessel with 17 goals and Joffrey Lupul at 13 (and Clarke MacArthur just missing out with 9 goals) and by the parameters I set, that is exactly the same as the Kings, but clearly Toronto’s offence is doing far better than Los Angeles’s offence is doing.

Posted by PuckStopsHere on 12/09/11 at 02:07 AM ET

Avatar

Their lack of scoring has to do more with depth than their top end players not performing.

Posted by MikeR on 12/09/11 at 02:08 AM ET

Add a Comment

Please limit embedded image or media size to 575 pixels wide.

Add your own avatar by joining Kukla's Korner, or logging in and uploading one in your member control panel.

Captchas bug you? Join KK or log in and you won't have to bother.

Smileys

Notify me of follow-up comments?

Feed

Most Recent Blog Posts

About The Puck Stops Here

imageThe Puck Stops Here was founded during the 2004/05 lockout as a place to rant about hockey. The original site contains over 1000 posts, some of which were also published on FoxSports.com.

Who am I? A diehard hockey fan.

Why am I blogging? I want to.

Why are you reading it? ???

Email: y2kfhl@hotmail.com