When it comes to special teams in the upcoming series with San Jose, the Kings fourth-ranked penalty kill (85.5% success rate for the season) will be tested by the Sharks second-ranked power play (23.5% conversion rate for the season).
When you go the other way, both the Kings and Sharks units ranked in the bottom third of the league. LA scored 16.1% of the time they were on the power play (ranked 21st) and SJ shut teams down 79.6% of the time (ranked 24th).
How important will any of this be come playoff time on Thursday?
Here’s what coach Terry Murray had to say after practice today…
“I think there will be a lot of five-on-five play. I don’t think we’re going to get into too many special team (situations), in my opinion. Just based on the way the season finished off in the last month or so, it was ‘let the teams decide’ the outcome.”
He noted there were even a few games down the stretch where the Kings didn’t really have any time on the power play and then added…
“I think that’s the way it will go. Obviously, if a game gets out of hand, they’ll watch things very closely and then there will be three or four or five power plays at the end just to keep everything under control – which is normal and the right thing.”
More notes and quotes later this afternoon.
[update – to read Murray’s thoughts on playing Kevin Westgarth click here]