Wild at Kings: All the Possession, Almost No Goals
The Kings are doing everything they can to completely dismantle the usefulness of advanced stats.
Let me set the scene: The Minnesota Wild visit Staples Center with injuries keeping key players out of their lineup. The Kings are healthy. The Wild start their third-string goaltender. The Kings have their starter back. The Kings outshoot the Wild 40 to 17.
How do you think this game looks after 60 minutes?
Tied at 1, duh.
Let me show you a really sad picture:
The fact that the Kings had more than double the shots on goal the Wild did tells it well enough already. Still, just to really dig that knife in — the Kings’ Fenwick for percentage was at 70 percent at even strength (73 percent, score close). This game is now among the Kings’ top five best possession games during the 2013-14 season. Of those five games, four have been decided by shootouts. The Kings have lost two of those four.
Still using Fenwick for when close here, to be clear.
For some reason, whenever the Kings have a crazy great, dominant night, some team’s goaltender manages to stand on his head. Tonight, that was Darcy Kuemper. As soon as Bob Miller said Kuemper was a back-up backup who had allowed three goals on 11 shots or less in his previous two games, I knew he was going to let in almost nothing on a barrage of shots versus the Kings. Those are the ways of the Kings’ world this season. First there was rookie Richard Bachman, then there was struggling (at the time) Jonas Hiller, and now there’s Kuemper.
The game stayed scoreless through the first and second periods. Olympian Jeff Carter was able to set up Jarret Stoll for a goal in the third, finally, allowing the Kings to lead 1-0.
Unfortunately, Nino Niederreiter decided to show up for the Wild not too long after. He tied the game 1-1. The scoreboard looked exactly like that through the end of regulation.
The good new is that the Kings only took two penalties this game! Of course, they were both really dumb offensive zone penalties, but they killed them off, and staying out of the penalty box allowed them to make it to overtime. A point! Hurray!
The bad news is that no one scored during OT. Then, during the shootout, both Carter and Anze Kopitar failed to convert. Mike Richards gave it shot, too, but he doesn’t score 1-on-1 versus goaltenders anymore or, like, at all, so that didn’t work. Justin Williams couldn’t make it happen either.
Quick stopped the Wild’s first three shooters, too, but then Niederreiter deked and got one past him during the extra inning. Kings fell 2-1. Fans weren’t really surprised with the way the night had gone.
So, after a couple days away, the Kings return to a place they’d thought they’d left.
Anyway, whatever, we’ve all heard this story before. On Thursday, they play the Boston Bruins, the second best defensive team in the league with a much better shooting percentage.
Hey, did you catch Ben Scrivens’ awesome video bomb during Patrick O’Neal’s interview with Stoll?
Ben Scrivens knows what you're up to. pic.twitter.com/jMbfsNIHKp
— Jewels f/ the Crown (@JFTC_Kings) January 8, 2014
Bench game on a hundred thousand trillion.