Scoring Benchmarks After Game 19

Before the season started, I offered up the hypothesis that, if the Kings were to make the playoffs, they needed to increase their scoring to 246 goals and decrease their goals against to 230. Subsequently, I offered up a template for how I thought the Kings could get to the 250 goal mark. (I rounded up.) I assigned each player what I thought to be a reasonable benchmark. Here is the chart I came up with, back in the pre-season (right):

Now, here’s how the team and the players are doing nineteen games in (below):

The Kings have scored five more goals than they need to to be on track for 250. At this rate, they will score 276 goals, 10% over the target. What’s remarkable is who is doing the scoring and who’s not. The chart is sorted by number of goals over or under the target for the season. The five players at the top (dark green) are scoring much more than I thought it was reasonable to expect (obviously Parse was not even on anyone’s radar, but as the chart is sorted by the over/under, he jumps way up into the elite group). I budgeted Kopitar for 35 goals. He’s on pace for 60. I budgeted Smyth for 25 goals. He’s on pace for 39. Handzus and Simmonds are also exceeding my expectations by a long shot. Doughty’s surplus, combined with goals from Jones and Drewiske, essentially washes out the underages from Johnson and Greene — however, Doughty is doing marginally better than I thought he would, while Johnson is doing much worse than I hoped. Lewis and Moller are both in Manchester, of course, so their projected numbers suck. The numbers for the “kids” who are playing now (Parse, Simmonds and Purcell) don’t quite off-set the goals not being scored by Lewis and Moller, but it’s close. And then there’s Frolov, who I pegged for 35 goals and who is on pace for 17. Luckily, Kopitar, Smyth, Handzus, and Simmonds have scored 14 goals more than budgeted, which more than makes up for Frolov’s lack of production (-4).

 

  3 comments for “Scoring Benchmarks After Game 19

  1. DougS
    November 12, 2009 at 2:29 PM

    I remember when you made those projections, and I remember turning them over in my mind for a while and realizing, “Y’know, he’s right — it’s not a huge reach to get to 250.” The most interesting part (to me) was your projection for Simmons, because I honestly had no idea what his offensive upside is. I’m still not sure, but a 20+ goal pace for a kid who is still working on the offensive side of the game is pretty impressive.

    The most interesting parts (to me) of this chart:

    A lot of folks are down on Purcell right now. But it looks like he’s more or less doing his bit, at least in terms of what the Kings need him to contribute to team scoring.

    Williams is running slightly behind your projections, and yet he is part of an astoundingly successful line. If this keeps up, with Kopi and Smyth scoring ahead of projections but Williams scores only 20 goals, is he a disappointment? Or will it be obvious that he contributed to the line’s (and the team’s) success in ways that didn’t show up in points scored?

  2. quisp
    November 12, 2009 at 10:24 PM

    I agree re Purcell. He’s also been playing against some tough opposition. He hasn’t been consistent, but hopefully he’ll hit his stride soon.

    Re Williams –

    It depends on how many assists he gets. He’s got 15 points in 14 games. If he stays healthy and keeps up this pace (two big ifs), he’ll end up with about 80 points, which would be his best season ever.

    Also, one can’t discount the line chemistry thing. Even if he never scores another goal, it won’t matter at all if Kopitar scores 60.

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