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the Underlying Numbers: Penguins vs. Kings

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Coming off a 5-1 win against the Sharks, the Pens were looking to keep it going against the Kings at the Staples Center. If they had decided to show up for more than 30 minutes, they might've had a better chance, but they didn't, so the Kings won 5 to 3.

Gary A. Vasquez-USA TODAY Sports

Lines and Pairings

Highlights

Positives

The resolve coming from behind. After spotting the Kings a 3-0 lead, the Penguins decided to start playing, making it 3-1 (before immediately giving up a 4th goal, but that's neither here nor there), and then making it 4-2 and 4-3. For a team who has shown issues coming back in games in the 3rd period, this a welcomed positive, but they should not have put themselves in that position in the first place.

Olli Maatta back in the lineup and his backhand shot.

David Warsofsky. He looks like a pleasant surprise. I didn't know much at all about him, but he looks fine. I like his shooting mentality on the power play, but I don't expect to see him in that spot when Letang is back, and probably not in the lineup at all when Letang is back, for that matter. He's a solid option to be your #7 in case of injury if needed, though.

Chris Kunitz. What in the hell were you doing in the first period?

Net-front Crosby. This redirect tip-in goal is vintage Sidney Crosby. Reminds me 10000% of a goal he scored against the Capitals in December of 2010 when he was on his torrid pace before his concussion.

Negatives

No Kris Letang. Hopefully whatever is ailing him will be short term.

The first 25 or so minutes. In the current day and age of the NHL, with scoring and obstruction in the state that it is in, you cannot spot a team a 3 goal lead halfway into the game. You just can't. It's too easy for teams to chip and trap their way through the rest of the game, even when they're not a gigantic physical team like the LA Kings, who can obstruct their way through the final 20 minutes.

Chris Kunitz. You suddenly realized what the hell you were doing after the first period and ended up with 3 points.

Pascal Dupuis. He didn't take a shift for the final 7 minutes of the game, I believe. Not sure what the circumstances are there, whether injury or illness related, or performance related. It's been a disaster for him so far.

Stats

Kings Penguins
Goals 5 (Doughty, Ehrhoff, Lucic, Muzzin, Lucic) 3 (Kunitz, Maatta, Crosby)
Shots on Goal 37 20
5v5 Corsi For Percentage 63.3% 36.7%

Analytics

Yeah, this isn't gonna turn out very well too often. You can't have a start and 2nd period like that. Even if you play great and your chances start to go in, you can't give the Kings 25 minutes to hold on to a 4-1 lead.

Even Strength Shot Attempts

The Penguins made good on their shot attempts and scoring chances they actually got. The issue here is how few they had in comparison to the essential blitzkrieg they dealt with from the Kings.

Power Play Shot Attempts

Uh. This is bad....and not good. That's about all that can be said. How is this possible?

Shot attempt charts provided by War on Ice.

Expected Goals

Ugh. Barely any real quality chances of the Pens. Completely outclassed in that regard by the Kings.

Expected Goals map provided by Don't Tell Me About Heart.

A refresher of the key for these charts (except the diamonds are now circles)

More information and description/analysis of Expected Goals can be found here on Hockey Graphs.

In the previous post here using these charts for the first time, I mentioned how it factors in things like shot quality. A more detailed list of what factors into that shot quality is below:

Head-to-Head Shot Attempts

Yikes. The line of Brown-Andreoff-Shore and the pairing of Doughty and McNabb just shelled every Penguins player, just about.

The few Penguins players with positive differentials were no more than a handful of 2 or 3 shot attempts.

A basic description on how to read these charts: Cross reference a player from each team, and that box shows how many shot attempts each team had while those two players shared ice time. The + and - are from the home team's perspective.

For a refresher on how to read these charts, a write-up with descriptions of what colors mean, which lines to read, and more: H2H Corsi Chart Primer

H2H Chart via Muneeb Alam from Japers' Rink

Individual Shot Attempts

Sigh.

Individual Shot Attempts Charts via War on Ice

Line-by-Line Shot Attempts

Individual Player Corsi Data via Hockey Stats

Onto the next one. An ugly performance from the Penguins, but they don't have time to dwell on it, as they head across Southern California to face off against the Anaheim Ducks tonight.