As can likely be expected, the Los Angeles Kings’ success from when they scored first as opposed to when they were scored against first were on fairly opposite sides of the spectrum this past season.
In 2010-11, when the Kings scored first, they boasted a record of 36-12-2, which translated into a winning-percentage of .720, good enough for 11th in the National Hockey League.
In games where Los Angeles surrendered the first goal, it was a much different story. When allowing a goal first, the Kings went 10-18-4 in 2010-11, which left them with a .131 percentage, which was good enough for 17th in the league. If it’s any consolation, the Washington Capitals, who boasted this season’s best record for teams scored against first, finished with a lacklustre .489 winning-percentage.
As good as their record was in 2010-11 for scoring first, their record wasn’t nearly as good as it was in 2009-10 when the Kings went 34-7-5 with a .739 winning-percentage, which ranked them 7th in the league.
When scoring against first in 2009-10, the Kings finished 12-20-4 with a slightly better .333 percentage, which was just mildly better than their total this past season.
All in all, it’s clear, like it’s been with every other team in the league, that the Los Angeles Kings are in a much better position when they score first. Whether that’s due to a structured discipline, a focused defensive system or whatever, the bottom line is that a strong start is arguably the most crucial part of the Kings game as they need to do whatever the can to put the puck in the opposing net and, in the process, do what they can to keep it out of their own net.
I know all of this sounds redundant and cliché but it’s the truth. This is one of the ingredients need to continue and improve on their success with. There should be reason in the world not to be expect this from the Los Angeles Kings in 2011-12.