Kings can't continue to rely on Quick's game - Sports1
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Kings can’t continue to rely on Quick’s game

Despite starting the season 1-5-1, the Los Angeles Kings are now battling for the final playoff spot in the Pacific Division.The biggest surprise in Los Angeles this season is Brilliant performance by Jonathan Quick.

Jonathan Quick, Los Angeles Kings (Amy Owen /Hockey writer)

While things are going well now, the Kings rely heavily on Fast win. They can’t continue to play this way, and if they do change things, it could push them to the brink of the playoffs. By contrast, if they continue their current game and Quick falls behind, things could go terribly wrong.

Fast game of the season

Coming into the season, the young goalkeeper seemed Calvin Peterson used to be Will be the Kings’ starter. However, so far, he has not lived up to expectations. In 11 games, he has a save percentage (SV%) of 0.893, an average of 3.10 goals (GAA) and a higher than expected -4.09 saves (GSAx).

On the other hand, Quick shows the opposite trend. The past few seasons have been tough for him, but he’s managed to make a comeback even if it seems impossible. The table below outlines his performance this season compared to previous seasons.

2018-19 .888 3.38 -25.47
2019-20 .904 2.79 -6.42
2020-21 .898 2.86 -3.05
2021-22 .923 2.37 12.86

As Quick’s GSAx over the past four seasons has proven, his game has been slowly recovering after his poor 2018-19 season, but I don’t think anyone expected him to play as well as he did to start the season.

The Kings’ defense falls back quickly

The Kings rank fourth in the league in goals per 60 minutes (GA/60) at 2.01. However, this stat doesn’t paint an accurate picture of the team’s defense. They are 23rd in the league in expected goals with a 2.58 goals per 60 (xGA/60). Los Angeles also has the eighth-worst scoring chance at 29.67 per 60 (SCA/60) and the fourth-worst high-hazard chance at 12.31 per 60 (HDCA/60).

related: Kings need to sit down and start Peterson fast

While I by no means want it to happen, it’s unreasonable to think there’s no way to do it fast will go backwards at some point this season. If he does, and the team continues to play like they did before, the Kings’ goal tally will skyrocket and their playoff hopes will be dashed.

The Kings aren’t the only team that relies on a goalie

So far, other teams in the top half of the league have had goalie-dependent seasons. The list includes teams such as the Carolina Hurricanes, New York Rangers and Winnipeg Jets. The table below shows how these teams have played a similar style to the Kings, with a lackluster defense but a great goalie.

GA/60 (Alliance Grade) xGA/60 (League Rank) GSAx (goalkeeper, league standings)
Carolina Hurricane 1.86 (3rd time) 2.47 (18th) 15.73 (Frederick Andersen, 2nd)
new york rangers 2.13 (10th) 2.48 (19th) 16.5 (Igor Shestkin, 1st place)
winnipeg jets 2.12 (9th time) 2.69 (29th) 10.07 (Connor Helleback, 7th)

For example, the Kings rely on their goalie in a different way than a team like the Rangers. The Kings have significantly better offensive numbers than the Rangers, so if Quick loses, they can still score enough goals to remain competitive. So far this season, Los Angeles is eighth in the league in expected goals per 60 minutes (xGF/60) of 2.59, while New York is 27th with an xGF/60 of 2.24.

Still, the Rangers have the advantage in goalkeeper reliability. Shesterkin is 26 years old and has been consistent throughout his young career. Quick is 35 years old and has been consistent over the past few seasons.

Igor Shestkin, New York Rangers
Igor Shesterkin, New York Rangers (Jess Starr/Hockey writer)

If Quick continues to play well, the Kings should be in good shape to stay in the playoffs. If the team can strengthen their defense, they will be in better shape, good position to enter the playoffs. On the other hand, if Quick doesn’t keep posting the numbers he’s been on, the playoffs are likely to be out. That’s unless teams start playing incredible defense to keep up.

Advanced Statistics Per Evolving Hockey and Natural Statistics Skills

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Zackary Weiner is a high school senior from New York City who covers Los Angeles Kings games for the Hockey Writers Association. A lifelong hockey enthusiast and player, his previous experience includes writing about the NHL for various online publications. Covering a variety of topics related to the Kings, his articles take into account a range of viewpoints, making his articles the perfect read for anyone wanting to keep up to date with what’s going on with the team.Zachary is very excited to have a conversation with other Kings fans, so feel free to comment below any of his articles like this Let him know your opinion and what you want to see next.You can also listen to him talk about the team fantasy hockey life and hockey writer scene.

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