Seven games are in the books, and the Kings have managed only a .429 points percentage. That's 23rd in the league. Instead of contending for their division, they're languishing in the cellar. Not where Lombardi wants them to be. In a short season, factors like unsustainably hot power plays (such as Tampa Bay's at 36.6%) and good streaks by goaltenders (such as Craig Anderson's .964 SV% in 8 games) can have a huge impact on a team's chances of making the playoffs. Shooting and save percentages are always volatile in the short term, and usually even out over time. But in a 48 game season, luck can help a team bank points before poor possession numbers catch up with them. Right now, the LA Kings have the opposite problem. Thanks to Robert's terrific work, combined with stats at Behind the Net, we know that the Kings have been getting more shots and scoring chances than their opponents on a regular basis. This bodes well for their chances going forward. However, their goaltending has been inadequate and their special teams abysmal. Despite controlling most of the play, it hasn't yet paid off in regulation wins. Jonathan Quick is well below his career average, sporting a .897 SV%. His even strength save percentage is worse. He will have to get back to his usual self if the Kings have any hope of making the playoffs. That's not to say he has to have another Vezina-caliber season; he simply needs to be average. Hopefully he can shake off the rust and recover from not playing for so many months. LA's power play rank is 27th; though showing signs of improvement, it's still a measly 10.8%. Even their penalty killing, a traditional source of strength, took a hit after a terrible performance in Anaheim. It's now ranked 18th.
How long can Lombardi let this play out?
Jewels From The Crown | Feb 4