Los Angeles Kings crown jewel of fancy stats

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NHL: Stanley Cup Final-New York Rangers at Los Angeles Kings

The Los Angeles Kings are good, lucky (maybe), and fancy stats royalty. No matter the situation, they find a way to come out on top. It’s amazing to watch and frustrating to comprehend.

For two consecutive seasons, the Los Angeles Kings have led the NHL in close-score Fenwick, which measures a team’s share of all unblocked shots put on either net during a game in relation to time of possession. While Fenwick and fancy stat sibling Corsi are by no means a be-all end-all when determining a team’s dominance, they are really good indicators for a sport in its grassroots stage of advanced statistics.

Another way of looking at it is this: The Kings can’t lose if their opponent doesn’t have the puck. When they do have it, L.A. is limiting their chances. Through two games, the first two periods have seen a near split in shots and scoring chances for the Kings and New York Rangers. The third period is another story.

 

 

That is a telling number. It also never hurts to have three players in the top five of Fenwick close and seven in the top fifteen during the regular season. Call it clutch, luck, or talent; the Los Angeles Kings know how to win.

The Kings are making history, as well. They are the first team in NHL to play 21 games and reach the Stanley Cup Final and are the first to win three straight playoff games without leading in regulation time. No stat can quantify how amazing those feats are. The latter stat also puts the New York Rangers in a tough spot.

 

 

Overtime loss or regulation loss, the Rangers put themselves in a 2-0 hole with slim to little hope of crawling out. Expecting them to win four of the next five games against a team that has won the possession play for nearly two years is nearly impossible to imagine. The Los Angeles Kings are scoring more now than they have since becoming a consistent Stanley Cup contender a few years back. Kings forward Justin Williams, who scored the game-winning overtime goal in Game 1. The veteran forward scored in all three of the Kings’ Game 7 wins this postseason, is 7-0 in his career in Game 7s, and has posted an NHL-record 14 points in those seven games. How’s that for clutch. We know Patrick Kane is clutch, but wow! Williams is Mr. Crunch time. 

NBC Analyst Doc Emrick on Kings’ prolific offense this postseason: “Kopitar, Carter and Williams are the top three point-getters in the league, all three are Los Angeles Kings, and all three are on different lines – the definition of scoring balance.”

Emrick on Brassard’s goal to regain two-goal lead: “A quick turn of events in 11 seconds…the quickest two goals in a Stanley Cup Final in 67 years.”

If When the Kings win the Cup this season and are able to bring back Marian Gaborik, we all could be witnesses to one of the best teams over a period of time in recent memory.

Jeff is a production assistant @120Sports and contributor to hockey, football, and baseball for The Sports Bank. Follow him on Twitter @skcih_ffej.

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