The LA Kings followed up their big win in Edmonton with a major clunker in Vancouver to wrap up the mini-roadtrip.
VAN – Juho Lammikko (1), Unassisted
VAN – J.T. Miller (9) (Power Play), Assists: Bo Horvat (7), Brock Boeser (7)
Shots on Goal:
Faceoff Percentage (%):
Three things that stood out:
1. Seven minutes before first SOG
What a night and day difference from Sunday’s shooting gallery in the first period – and really the entire game – the Kings didn’t register their first shot on goal until the seven-minute mark of the opening frame. In all, the Kings tallied 11 shots on net in the first period to Vancouver’s 12, but only one was considered a high-danger shot, per Natural Stat Trick.
With all the changes in the Canucks’ front office, I think it was fair to expect the team to want to play well for new head coach Bruce Boudreau. But the LA Kings did a complete 180 from Sunday in terms of the energy level brought.
“I think they came out hard, we were expecting them to come out like that, new coach, you want to make a good first impression.” Alex Edler, who made his return to Vancouver, confirmed after the game. “They came out hard, they played hard, they didn’t really give us a lot of room. We were just a step behind today.”
The extended duration before the first shot on goal was really a foreshadowing of how the evening would play out.
2. Learning moment for Kupari
Rasmus Kupari will probably want this moment erased from his memory. Re-watching it several times, I’m not entirely sure what he was trying to do with the puck.
Drew Doughty, with back pressure, cycles the puck to Kupari, who perhaps panicked with Alex Chiasson right on top of him. Still, there must be a better effort than a blind backhand pass to the slot, with no Kings player in sight.
Juho Lammikko buries it past Cal Petersen.
— Eric (@kingsgifs2) December 7, 2021
3. Powerplay needs to be tweaked
How many times do we have to watch the drop pass on the powerplay be taken into the attacking zone only to have the play blown up, leading to an odd-man rush the other way?
In both games against the Jets, Winnipeg figured out pretty quickly to stack the blueline, and the drop pass entry is blown up faster than Team Iceland breaking up Gordon Bombay’s “Flying V.”
This season, the Kings have allowed five shorthanded goals, and they were going up against the league’s worst penalty kill in Vancouver on Monday. Yet, both of their chances on the man advantage were rather lackluster.
Here was the first Kings’ powerplay right after Adrian Kempe carried the puck into the attacking zone. The play was broken up, leading to a scoring opportunity for Vancouver:
Something has to change.
If you noticed, when the LA Kings scored three goals on the five-minute major on Sunday, they carried the odd-man rush into the attacking zone as a group and scored off a rebound on Kempe and Doughty’s goals, and won a puck battle down low on Moore’s goal.
This powerplay is highly ineffective right now, and the Kings coaching staff needs to make the necessary adjustments. Drop the drop pass.
The LA Kings will return home to host the Dallas Stars on Thursday, with puck drop set for 7:30 pm PT.