Thursday, October 15, 2009

Sizing up the Kings

Los Angeles is first in the Pacific Division right now at 4-2-0. They're going to have trouble staying there, especially if Dany Heatley nets 70 goals this season. But we'll see what happens when Kings roll into Joe Louis Arena today after playing the Rangers at MSG last night (a 4-2 win for NYR).

LA's offense has come out swinging thus far this season. They have an impressive 3.50 G/G average...good enough to be tied for 8th best in the league. Detroit's offense has struggled to a 2.80 G/G which is has them sitting at 18th in the NHL. Advantage: Los Angeles

Niether team is doing all that well in terms of defense this season. LA has a 3.17 GA/G average putting them at 20th in the NHL. Detroit is damn near last (28th) with a whopping 4.80. Although, Osgood's GA/G at the Joe is an impressive 2.00 against Chicago and Washington. Advantage: Los Angeles

LA's powerplay has been strong thus far, and a lot of that can be attributed to their new addition, Ryan Smyth. The Kings are currently ranked 6th in the league, boasting a 28.6% conversion rate. BUT...Detroit is a perennial powerplay powerhouse, and thus far, they have not disappointed (too much). The Red Wings currently have a 31.8% conversion rate on the PP, ranking them 4th overall in the NHL. Advantage: Detroit

The penalty killing stats are pretty grim for both teams. LA has a dismal 59.1% kill rate...just above Burkie's Leafs for dead last in the NHL. Detroit isn't much better, the PK struggled mightily against Buffalo and overall is ranked 26th with a 66.7% success rate. Advantage: Whoever is playing either of these teams...but since they're playing each other...Detroit.

So if we pull ranks and take the average for GA/G and G/G...

Los Angeles: 14th
Detroit: 23rd (ouch)

If you combine PK and PP percentages to get an overall effectiveness rating:

Los Angeles: 87.7%
Detroit: 98.5%

Still not going to post any Corsi or Fenwick numbers...just not going to do it.

So it's looking like this game is going to come down to who takes the most penalties. The team that does, loses. Hopefully, the Detroit defense learned from their mistakes on Tuesday and decide to clear the front of their net. If not...we'll all be cursing Ryan Smyth's name before the night is over. I might do it regardless.
The good news is that since Feb. 24, 2003, the Red Wings are 20-2-0 against Los Angeles and 10-1-0 at home. The Wings also won all four match ups with the Kings last season. Ozzie has played strong over those last 5 seasons, brandishing a sparkling 9-2-0 record with a 1.72 GAA.
Jon Quick, the young American netminder who sat out last night's loss to prepare for Detroit, comes in with a 0-3-0 record against the Wings with a 3.70 GA. Thanks to CBS for some of the stats listed above.

I will be attending tonight's game and trying to get above .500 (o-2 in Sweden, 2-0 at the Joe). Let's hope the real Detroit Red Wings show up tonight and not the impostors that stood in for them in Buffalo on Tuesday.


  1. Fixed. Now shut up and finish your Dave Lewis-less post.