While it’s no secret that Jonathan Quick was Los Angeles’ MVP throughout the regular season and the playoffs, he would have had to face a plethora more shots if it wasn’t for the guys in front of him. From blocked shots to takeaways, the Kings’ defense deserves much of the credit for being tied for 4th overall in shots against.
At an average of 27.4 shots against per game, the Kings were tied with the Pittsburgh Penguins in that category. Only St. Louis, New Jersey and Detroit allowed fewer shots per game. Their 2011-12 average was just a shade better than the 27.9 shots against per game in 2011-12.
While Jonathan Quick has been solid between the pipes all year long for the Kings, the defensemen are mainly why Los Angeles ranks so high in the shots-against category. Drew Doughty and Jack Johnson may contribute more to the offensive side of things, blueliners like Rob Scuderi, Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene have all contributed the most to keeping the puck away from their own goal. While Johnson is no longer with the club, Doughty is, slowly but surely, picking up his defensive game, thanks in large part to the mentorship of the aforementioned Scuderi.
In the playoffs, the Kings allowed an average of 27.0 shots per game, which, like the regular season, placed them 4th overall. Of course, while they played 20 post-season games, the three teams ahead of them (St. Louis, Detroit and Chicago), played five, nine and six total games respectively.
Having won the Conn Smythe, it’s amazing to figure that Jonathan Quick was as dominant as he was with a sound defensive core in front of who were on top of their games as much as their netminder was. That certainly defines a champion.