As promised, I tracked closely each of the Kings’ zone entries in last night’s 5-2 victory over the Edmonton Oilers. The parameters were as follows:

  • Each of L.A.’s offensive zone entries that resulted in a shot on goal or a scoring opportunity (a deflected or blocked shot that had a chance) were given a Y mark.
  • Each of the Kings’ entries that failed to result in the above was given a X mark
  • Goals that resulted from Murray’s system of cycling the puck were circled.

The first period up to the 10 minute mark looked like this: X, X, X, X, Y, X, X, Y, Y, X. That is 10 zone entries, only 3 of which resulted in a shot or scoring opportunity. The final 10 minutes of the period produced: X, X, Y (goal), X, X, X, Y, X, X, Y (goal), X, X, X, Y, Y, X, X, X, X. 19 zone entries, 5 of which productive. That resulted in a first period of 29 zone entries and only 8 that brought offensive chances. Both of the Kings’ goals were outside of Terry Murray’s system. By that I mean the goals were not from “stopping” the puck along the boards, down low, cycling it behind the net or to the point and getting a shot on net with traffic in front. The Kings played Murray’s system throughout most of the period and, as you can see from the statistics, not much came out of it. As with other opponents in the past 30 + days, the Oilers’ defenders double teamed (although not as well) the predictable puck recipient along the boards and were able to break up the play.

Here are the second period statistics: First 10 minutes – X, X, Doughty’s hit on Hall, Y, Y, Y (the last three on the ensuing powerplay), X, Y, X, Y (goal), X. The final 10 minutes of this period resulted in: Y, X, Y, Y, Y, Y, X X, Y, Y, Y, X, Y. That is 22 zone entries, 14 of which were productive. Much better. Also far more noticeable was the Kings getting away from the cycle and carrying the puck more into the zone and getting the play to the middle of the ice. This period, in many respects, was the anti-Murray period. Once again, the goal was not the result of any cycle. By this point, creative offense 3, Murray’s offense 0.

Third periods statistics were: X, Y, Y (goal), X, X, X, Y, X, Y (the first effective scoring opportunity produced by a sustained cycle), X, Y, Y in the first 10 minutes and X, Y (Lewis’ missed breakaway), X, Y, X, X, Y, Y (empty net), X, Y. So, 22 zone entries, 11 of which produced shots or chances.

Overall, that is:

First period: 29 total, 8 Y

Second period: 22 total, 14 Y

Third period: 22 total, 11 Y

Combined: 73 total, 33 Y.

Terry Murray’s system produced zero goals and minimal offensive chances.

Educational? Quite. But, like any statistic, it should not be taken in a vacuum. I will run this same statistic for the next 3 games to give us a larger case study and give us more perspective on the Kings’ offense.