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For Kings, accent remains on preventing goals

Tuesday, 09.22.2009 / 3:00 AM / 2009-2010 Season Preview

By John Kreiser - NHL.com Columnist

LOS ANGELES KINGS
2008-09 SEASON STATS

Category Rank (Conference)
2008-09 Points 79
(14TH WEst/26TH NHL)
Change from 2007-08 +8
Home Points 44
(12TH WEst/23RD NHL)
Away Points 35
(13TH WEst/25TH NHL)
Advantage Margin         -2
The Kings had 40 more power plays at home than on the road (200-160), but more than gave back that advantage by giving opponents 193 advantages in their 40 road games.

Even-Strength Goals Margin        -27
Despite coach Terry Murray's push for defensive responsibility, the Kings did not have a full-time forward who was a plus player last season. That's largely because were a distant last in the NHL with just 114 goals scored while skating 5-on-5.

Special Teams Goal Margin        +3
The Kings' power play was much better at home (21.5 percent to 16.3 percent), while their penalty-killers were far better on the road (84.5 percent to 81.1). Only four teams allowed fewer power-play goals away from home.

Goals by defensemen           27
The Kings will miss Kyle Quincey, their top scorer on the blue line (4-34-38), who was sent to Colorado in the Ryan Smyth trade, but hope Drew Doughty will build on his rookie-season totals (6-21-27).

Overtime Record
Total: 8-3-8 (OT: 3-3, SO: 5-8)

The Kings found a shootout weapon in defenseman Jack Johnson, who went 3-for-6 and had a game-deciding goal. But the Kings paid a big price for their goaltenders' struggles at home, losing six of eight shootouts at the Staples Center.

Times Scored First
39 (Record: 26-9-4)

The Kings actually scored the game's first goal more often on the road (20) than at home (19), though they won just 12 times on the road as opposed to 14 at home.

Best 08-09 Number       28.1
Average shots allowed by the Kings in their 82 regular-season games. It was the fourth-lowest total in the NHL -- and a big improvement from 2007-08, when they were 28th in the 30-team League at 32.0.

Worst 08-09 Number          18.6   
Percentage of games won by the Kings when the opposition scored the first goal. Only the New York Islanders, last in the overall standings, were worse.

Scheduling

Unlike last season, the Kings aren't overloaded with home games at the start of the season. They play their first three games at the Staples Center, then go away for the first of their three five-game trips. The Kings have a season-long seven-game homestand in early and mid-January.


Quote of the Day

Not only is it a great idea, but if you don't [start using analytics] you're going to fall behind. You have to be on the cutting edge. It was [Arizona Coyotes assistant general manager] Darcy Regier who said, 'If you didn't invent it, you have to be the second- or third-best copier, because if you're fourth or fifth you've got no chance.'

— Detroit Red Wings coach Mike Babcock on his interest in advanced statistical analysis