Shorthanded Time on Ice
I noticed something while watching the last Penguins game on Versus. When the Penguins were on a penalty kill, Edzo announced that Pittsburgh’s star players were going to be well rested after that kill to make a charge at a comeback.
That led me to think about if the Kings were in the same scenario, it wouldn’t be possible to say that, because the Kings star players also kill penalties.
Here are the Kings forward penalty kill ice time leaders:
Who do you see at the top? Who also leads the team in goals? This should not be.
Do you really want to keep seeing Anze Kopitar blocking shots? I sure as hell do not.
The only logical answer is that the rest of the lineup cannot be relied on to kill penalties. There’s no other explanation. Can Sidney Crosby kill penalties? There would probably be none better. But why should he?
How hard is it to find players that are competent at killing penalties? All it requires is effort and a little know-how in the defensive end.
Don’t get me wrong, I like the fact that the Kings’ top two centers are fantastic defensively. It’s how the team currently wins games. But it does cost them ice time. They would be more productive if there were other players that could effectively kill penalties so that the offensive talent could focus on just that.
Although, Richards and Gagne on the penalty kill are probably more effective offensively than the Kings 3rd and 4th lines combined, so maybe this entire theory is faulty for that reason alone.