Kings Gameday: Low Standards

Play better, assholes - Jeff Gross

Have the Kings played down to their opponents this past season?

Over the past few seasons, the Kings have earned a reputation of playing down to lesser teams. On one hand, hey, that's pretty cool. The Kings are good enough to play down to someone else! Quite the welcome change after the dark years of 2004 to 2009. The bad news is that the Kings are screwing up against lesser teams apparently. Or so that's the thought process. So let's take the past season as a sample.

First, let's categorize who's a good team, a bad team, and a middling team. Most of Canada sucks, so they are in the B.A.D. (known as Big Awful Disasters) category excluding only Montreal. Also included are the horrendous train wrecks Buffalo and New York (Islander edition). Non-playoff teams that we saw coming like Carolina, Nashville, New Jersey, and Florida are also in this bunch.

As for good teams, this is also very subjective. However, since I am infallible, don't worry about it. For this group we have Chicago (obviously), Boston (no surprise), San Jose (ignoring collapses), Pittsburgh (cause Crosby), New York (Ranger variety because why not), St Louis (because I needed another team to fill this category out a bit) and Montreal (so Canada can hate Quebec even more). Yes, these teams finished high in the season standings and have performed relatively well in the post-season (again, San Jose being the exception).

Lastly there is the middle teams. Teams on the verge of playoff appearance but not heading to the Finals, and with rosters full of young players that may be decent in the future, but still aren't exactly what you would call  a contender. Groups like Colorado, Minnesota, Detroit, Tampa Bay, Dallas, and Columbus. Then you have the bubble teams like Phoenix, Washington, and Philadelphia. Finally, there are the Ducks who we all know are terrible, yet are successful anyways. It's a cruel jape by God, so they are a mid-tier team.

Anyways, results, with some notes. How exciting.

Main note, shootout goals are removed. Those shouldn't count for squat besides deciding a game, which is also ridiculous. Second, points are added up as one point if the game ends in a shootout (like a tie!), and two points for a win. A loss gets you nothing. Pretty much a winning percentage (or the perfect system for the NHL). So...

The Kings averaged 2.32 goals for, and 1.96 goals against throughout the season. They picked up "points" at 1.10 per game.

Against the bad teams, the goals for were at 2.62, goals against were at 1.53, and points per game were at 1.38.

Against good teams, the splits were 2.26 / 2.11 / 1.11

And the middling teams, 2.28 / 2.62 / 0.76

Obviously, the Kings don't play so far down to their opponents, seeing as their numbers were well over their average when it came to the worst teams in the NHL this year. At the other end, when facing the better teams in the league the Kings numbers were a bit down against them. Except in terms of winning and losing, which were right about even with the average the Kings had for the year. And then there's mid-tier bubble and younger teams. The goals for stayed close, but the goals against were a nightmare. The Kings were also a sub point per game team in this case.

Perhaps they really do play down to their opponents, but can get away with that against bad teams. That the decent teams don't let them waltz through despite the Kings not taking them seriously. Maybe it's just that these teams, which boast a lot of young players, are simply faster squads that can exploit the Kings style of defense. Or maybe it's just these bunch of teams the Kings have lost to for whatever other unexplainable reason are in the midst of slumps and things just are not going L.A.'s way. Like, say, with pucks going in the goal thanks to the protective netting.

Of course though you could also say I just cherry-picked stats in a way to rationalize that the Kings are on the verge of being beaten by the Ducks, the Ducks for fucks sake, and just want to drink myself into oblivion. Yes, there's a chance of that also. A fairly high one because the Ducks aren't a very good team and this makes no sense. They are winning with defensive castoffs from Pittsburgh and Philadelphia, and spare centers from Washington. Anaheim ditched Bobby Ryan and have essentially the same roster from 2012 when they missed the playoffs altogether. Fuck this [cracks bottle of Jameson].

Preview_medium

Prediction: I set a new high/low for drunken hockey behavior.

X
Log In Sign Up

forgot?
Log In Sign Up

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior users will need to choose a permanent username, along with a new password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

I already have a Vox Media account!

Verify Vox Media account

Please login to your Vox Media account. This account will be linked to your previously existing Eater account.

Please choose a new SB Nation username and password

As part of the new SB Nation launch, prior MT authors will need to choose a new username and password.

Your username will be used to login to SB Nation going forward.

Forgot password?

We'll email you a reset link.

If you signed up using a 3rd party account like Facebook or Twitter, please login with it instead.

Forgot password?

Try another email?

Almost done,

By becoming a registered user, you are also agreeing to our Terms and confirming that you have read our Privacy Policy.

Join Battle of California

You must be a member of Battle of California to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Battle of California. You should read them.

Join Battle of California

You must be a member of Battle of California to participate.

We have our own Community Guidelines at Battle of California. You should read them.

Spinner.vc97ec6e

Authenticating

Great!

Choose an available username to complete sign up.

In order to provide our users with a better overall experience, we ask for more information from Facebook when using it to login so that we can learn more about our audience and provide you with the best possible experience. We do not store specific user data and the sharing of it is not required to login with Facebook.

tracking_pixel_9355_tracker