NHL.com is providing in-depth analysis for each of its 31 teams from Nov. 16-Dec. 16. Today, three key statistics for the Los Angeles Kings.
1. 5-on-5 shooting percentage
The Kings were 30th in 5-on-5 shooting percentage (6.4 percent) last season. Defenseman Drew Doughty was last on the team (1.7 percent) in 67 games and scored one goal at 5-on-5. Doughty’s on-ice shooting percentage (6.8 percent) was higher, suggesting it was an individual anomaly even though he scored no goals at 5-on-5 in 2018-19. Prior to the past two seasons, Doughty scored five goals at 5-on-5 in 2016-17 and 2017-18. Los Angeles could improve their 5-on-5 shooting percentage if Doughty produces at a higher rate.
2. Goals per game
Los Angeles was 30th in goals per game last season (2.53), ahead of only the Detroit Red Wings (2.00). Center Anze Kopitar led the Kings with 21 goals in 70 games, and right wing Tyler Toffoli was second with 18. The Kings will need to replace the production of Toffoli, who was traded to the Vancouver Canucks on Feb. 17 and signed a four-year contract with the Montreal Canadiens on Oct. 12. One encouraging sign for the Kings was forward Alex Iafallo, who scored an NHL career-high 17 goals last season in 70 games. Among skaters to play in at least 20 games, Iafallo was third on the Kings in points per 60 minutes (1.64), behind Toffoli (1.96) and Kopitar (1.70), suggesting that he could be a major source of production this season.
3. Shots per game
The Kings averaged 33.2 shots per game, fourth in the NHL behind the Vegas Golden Knights (34.5), Canadiens (34.1) and Carolina Hurricanes (33.3), but they were the only team ranked within the top 21 of the statistic that did not qualify for the postseason. Their high shot volume led to positive puck-possession metrics; they ranked fourth in SAT (plus-401) behind the Golden Knights (plus-621), Canadiens (plus-595) and Hurricanes (plus-513). The Kings were first in the NHL with a plus-360 SAT when trailing, suggesting they could convert those situations to wins with additional goal support this season.