Earlier today we posted the first batch of comments from coach Terry Murray‘s post-practice media scrum. So far, we’ve looked at very specific areas – the play of Kyle Clifford and his system, which hasn’t produced many goals of late. Now, Murray goes a little higher level.
First up, an overall summary of the season as a whole…
“We’re in pretty good shape,” said the Kings coach. “We made a lot of changes over the year. We brought in new players, veteran players. It takes them time. We were hoping that Scott Parse would come in and really contribute to the team. That broke down, he’s out and done, probably for the year. Penner is starting to get going. He’s gone through a lot here, through the summertime and getting himself to the level of play that we want. He had a couple of injuries right from the start, with the groin injuries, then he broke his hand. So, there’s a lot of that happening. Doughty comes in late, after the training camp and misses the early part. So, there’s been a lot of things. Overall, the team has come through with an incredible amount of confidence. We’re in pretty good shape.”
As Murray is prone to do, he went on to back up some of his statements…
“If you take a look at statistics, we’re only a couple points behind last year’s pace at this time. We’re actually better on the goals against, we’re four less than we what we were at this time last year. And we’re fourth in the league in goals against, overall this year. Pretty good.”
For the record, after 27 games played last year, the Kings had 32 points and went on to finish with 98 points. This season, they have 30 points after 27 games played. So, a net difference of two points.
Again, following a Murray trait, he also shared something he’d like to see the team get a little better at…
“The area that we need to be better at is what we’ve been talking about, the offensive part of the game. Statistically, five on five, we want to get that number up higher. We keep pushing it.”
For comparison purposes, last season, the Kings scored an average of 2.55 goals per game. This year, they sit at 2.26 g/game.
Of their 209 total goals scored last season, 148 came five-on-five (71% of the total). This year, they have 61 total goals and 36 have come five-on-five (59%).
The Kings also had a 1.05 ratio for ‘five-on-five goals for/against’ last season. Meaning, they scored 1.05 goals for every one goal they gave up.
So far this season, that ratio has dropped to 0.92.
Thus, with as good as the goaltending has been, it’s like Murray and all the Kings fans have been saying, LA still needs to find more goals – of any kind actually – if they plan on winning enough games to make the playoffs this season.