Aside from their lack of offense, the power play efficiently of the Los Angeles Kings was arguably the team’s Achilles heel this past regular season. While there were short stretches when the man-advantage worked in their favour, the Kings had an overall difficult time putting the puck in the net when they were up a man.
In terms of percentage on the power play, Los Angeles was tied for 16th overall with 17.0%. However, their 49 total goals on the PP did tie them with four other clubs for eighth overall.
Los Angeles’ work on the power play was slightly better at home than it was away from Staples Center. In 154 opportunities in their own building, the Kings scored 27 times, accumulating a percentage of 17.5, which left them 14th overall. The 27 goals put them in 12th.
In 135 power play opportunities on the road, the Kings scored 22 times (tied for 15th overall) with a percentage of 16.3, good enough for 16th overall.
Defensively, the Kings could not have been much stronger as they allowed just two shorthanded goals. Only Boston’s one shorthanded marker against proved more superior.
In the playoffs, Los Angeles had the most power play opportunities with 94. While their total goals ranked fourth among the 16 clubs, the Kings total of 12 made their power play look anemic. Their percentage of 12.8 ranked them 12th and while they didn’t allow a single shorthanded goal all post-season, the Kings still weren’t able to get much going while they were on the advantage. Of course, because they kept scoring and winning, most fans really didn’t mind the lack of production on the PP.
Of course when it was all said and done, the wait for any signs of life was well worth it as the Kings, early in Game 6 of the Final and with momentum against them, took full advantage of five-minute major, scoring three times in what was the decisive factor in their Stanley Cup clinch.
Jamie Kompon was the assistant coach who ran the power play and while it’s been suggested by many fans through the season, Kings fans finally got their wish. Although Kompon wasn’t technically fired (as many fans wanted), he did leave Los Angeles for Chicago to join the Blackhawks and with that comes hope that Los Angeles’ power play will be better next season. In fact, it has to since there’s nowhere to really go but up.
Photo: Courtesy of Mark J. Terrill/AP