Frozen Royalty: Slumbering Offense Awakens: Anze Kopitar, Justin Williams Leading The Way
I find this funny that I post this today when the offense last night against Calgary was slumbering. That said, the Kings have found a way to score more than a goal or two in the last few games. Here’s the latest from Gann Matsuda on the offense that is starting to generate goals. Lots of good quotes and tidbits (as usual).
LOS ANGELES AND EL SEGUNDO, CA — Since taking over the reins as head coach of the Los Angeles Kings on December 20, 2011, head coach Darryl Sutter has already juggled his line combinations a few times, trying anything to get his team’s struggling offense going.
The first, most notable change was to move center Mike Richards to left wing on the first line, with center Anze Kopitar and right wing Dustin Brown.
Despite the move, the Kings’ offense remained locked in its deep freeze. But Sutter shuffled the deck again when the Kings hosted the Alexander Ovechkin-led Washington Capitals on January 9, at Staples Center in Los Angeles.
For that game, Sutter moved right wing Justin Williams up to the first line with Kopitar, while Brown skated across the blue line to left wing, where he prefers to be while on the attack.
The result: The Kings dominated the high-powered Capitals in a 5-2 victory, and have not looked back.
Indeed, since that game, the Kings have scored 17 goals in those five games, averaging 3.40 goals-per game (GPG), with the line of Brown, Kopitar and Williams combining for eight goals and ten assists for 18 points.
Although the Kings still rank dead last in the league in scoring with an average of 2.15 GPG, that 3.40 GPG clip would place them second in goals per game in the National Hockey League, behind the league-leading Boston Bruins (3.54 GPG).
Indeed, after struggling mightily for much of the season, the offense is finally coming around. But how?
“Maybe we’re more aggressive, which is causing turnovers,” said Richards. “But we knew that if we stuck with the system, we would, eventually, get some opportunities.”
Read the rest on Frozen Royalty.