No longer in the cellar are we the dweller. With last night’s 4-2 victory, the L.A. Kings are in 29th place in goals per game. That’s right kids. We now average 2.12 in the G/G stat. The Minnesota Wild take the position of shame with 2.11.
The Kings have also scored 4 goals in three out of the last four games (Blackhawks, Wild and Sucks) and the powerplay is 4 for 11 in that time span. If you ask me, the powerplay is the main reason we are winning these games – it gives us the momentum and helps us keep it. Of course, the credit should go to one man who we have talked about around these parts. That’s right. Bernie Nicholls. Our reader JT just cursed under his breath.
I talked to a friend last night about the Kings inability to keep shots low. It’s maddening. The shots fly chest high and above regardless of from where we take it. I counted eight consecutive shots that we sent high and wide against Anaheim. Eight. And half of them were damn good scoring chances. Throughout the season, Kopitar, Doughty, Stoll and Brown have been the biggest culprits, in that order. God bless Slava Voynov, Alec Martinez and, our newly acquired sniper, Jeff Carter.
This isn’t a novel concept. You learn this very early on. If you don’t keep the shot below the goalie’s knees, you don’t get rebounds. If you don’t get rebounds, you don’t get second chances. If you don’t get second chances, you score less goals. I know butterfly goaltenders make it more difficult to score down low but when you look at the best shooters in the league, they “snipe” and pick corners when they have clear openings but they do not do so when the premise is to get the shot on net and create a rebound.
The drill to address this issue is not a difficult one. You take the net and push it over so the top of the net (where the water bottle sits) faces the shooter. That height is about as high as you want the low shots to go. You set up and space out twenty or more pucks from circle to circle. You can place the pucks closer or further away (dot to dot or just below the blue line) depending on whether the defenseman or a forward takes the shots.
You then set up on one end and take wrist or slap shots into the top of the net while you work your way across without stopping.
You miss the top of the net and you start over with 20 pucks.
Until your damn arms fall off or you learn to keep the shots low.
If I ran this drill, a couple of L.A. Kings players wouldn’t be able to lift their arms over their shoulders after practice until they got it. I am looking at you, Anze.
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