At this point, I'm hoping that if I keep bringing up how poorly the Kings' shooting luck has been, eventually it'll go away. So let's try this:
-Goaltenders facing the Kings currently have a .941 save percentage when at even strength.* That's like the Kings are going up against Tim Thomas & Tuuka Rask every single time they play a game. That's the highest in the league by a tenth. If that held (it won't, but if it did), it'd be the worst save percentage since Behind the Net started tracking it by about a tenth.
*Hearty thanks to Gabe Desjardins for not only pointing me in the right direction but also for not calling me and everyone else a moron. He's like Stats Buddha, forsaking True Enlightenment to explain to everyone what CORSI is.
*There you go, Meg.
-The Kings have the worst shooting percentage in the league, at 6.7% Remember when I pointed out the dip in points of the Kings' best players, then noted how low their shooting percentage was compared to previous seasons? Since then, the Kings have gone 6-1-3 and their shooting percentage has actually gone down. Just... what? Why?
-If the Kings shot as poorly as the 29th worst shooting team in the league (the Columbus Blue Jackets at 7.5%), they'd have about 9 more goals this season (~93 to 84). That translates to somewhere between 2 and 3 additional wins.
-Luckily, the Kings bad luck shooting has been counter-balanced by the good luck Jonathan Quick has been having. I'm almost inclined to believe his save percentage jump at even strength this season is legit (.921 last year versus .931 this year), but he's currently saving shots when short-handed at a higher clip than at when even strength (.933 to .931). That's going to fall quite a bit, probably right when the Kings' power play heats up. Jonathan Bernier has been way underperforming, though, so I imagine he and Quick's numbers will start trending towards one another.
-So... shit, I guess. Frequent Jewels From The Crown commenter and
giant nerd stats enthusiast Rick Knickle has just started up a blog pointing out a lot of fancy (and legitimate) reasons the Kings are going to get better: Fenwick, PDO, all that jazz. I look at this stuff after almost every game to remind myself, "The Kings are good, it's bad luck, things will change," because otherwise it's so easy to start blaming people. I want to blame Anze Kopitar for not shooting on that 2-on-1 in overtime or Trevor Lewis for not burying his set-up in the 2nd period or Dustin Penner for being all Penner-y but I know I shouldn't. I want so badly to pin this on someone, especially Jack Johnson, but it's not true or fair. I can only look at the numbers and know that someday, somehow, it'll be OK.
Or maybe it doesn't. ...Fuck.
Thomas Hickey made it to the AHL All-Star Team! Hooray! Good job, Thomas!
(Jeff Zatkoff did too but who gives a shit.)
I was watching the highlights of the Kings-Canucks game the other day and HOLY SHIT THIS PASS:
I mean, I know Kevin Bieksa probably yelled to Henrik Sedin and that's how he knew to drop into that area, but still: holy shit. That's fucking incredible. I wasn't even mad, just impressed. Of course, knowing in advance that the Kings kicked the Canucks' ass the rest of the game helped. Still, well done, Henrik. It's almost like you're good at hockey or something.
Prediction: Kings win, 1,000-1, and move all the way up to 28th in shooting percentage.