Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Saturday, December 02, 2006

BoC Gameday—Teenage Mutant SoCal Rivalry

On a day that also features a local college football game (USC at UCLA) and a local basketball matchup (Lakers at Clippers), the NHL decided to also fit in with the cool kids with its own SoCal home-and-home series.

Today: Anaheim Ducks (19-2-6, 1st in west) at Los Angeles Kings (9-14-4, 11th in west)
Tomorrow: Los Angeles Kings (9-15-4, 11th in west) at Anaheim Ducks (20-2-6, 1st in west)

Previous meetings:
Oct. 6 LA 3 at ANA 4, Kopitar scores 2 goals, Kunitz nets the game winner. Oh yeah, and Selanne drops a bomb.
Oct. 22 ANA 3 at LA 2 (SO), Garon gives up a softie late, Getzlaf wins the shootout in the 5th round.

Despite the fact that Anaheim brings twice as many standings points to these matchups as Los Angeles does, these games have generally been very evenly played, in fact, probably the Kings have had the better of the play.

In the two games, the Kings have outshot the Ducks by at least 10 shots each game (75-53 total), but have been outscored 6-5. That’s particularly impressive since the Ducks generally run the shot count the other way. Anaheim is 2nd in the league in shot differential (6.7/gm); Los Angeles is 4th (4.8/gm).

6 of the top 10 western conference scorers come from the Battle of California. Selanne and Pronger are 1 and 2, if you can believe it, followed by SJ’s Marleau and Thornton, followed by L.A.’s Frolov and Cammaleri, with some other guys sprinkled in for effect.

I noted in the post below that in the month of November, the Kings were 3rd in goals-per-game, 1st in PP efficiency, and 3rd in shot-differential (western conference ranks). During that same month, though, Ducks were 2nd in goals-per-game, 3rd in PP efficiency, and 2nd in shot-differential.

The main difference? The Kings were the only team in the league last month to surrender more than four goals per game. The Ducks instead used reliable goaltending, namely Giguere, who has six more wins than the Kings’ combined netminders do.

Prediction: I’m actually calling a split here. One game the Ducks will beat the Kings, and the other game the Kings will beat themselves.

C’mon, you know the difference.


VeryProudofYa said...

Got a little scary there at the end, but it was a big win for the Ducks, given that the Sabres would later fall to the caps.

With the four goals scored in the afternoon game, the ducks became the second team in the league to score 100.

Earl Sleek said...

Aw, I'm not so concerned about the Sabres, but both the Sharks and Stars turned in wins tonight. This top Pacific is pretty frickin' good.

Oh, and that Sharks win? Six seconds left? That was an awesome dagger in Detroit's heart.

Earl Sleek said...

Damn. Kings won one, eh?

Say this for the Kings, they outshot the Ducks 41 - 29 each game this weekend; they seem to be in the way of every pass, and make good quick passes out of their own zone.

Poor Bryzgalov; don't know what's wrong with him, but he was playing really well before his injury.

Dennis-IOF said...

Earl...what are your feelings on Brian Hayward?

Earl Sleek said...

Earl...what are your feelings on Brian Hayward?

That has to be handled with a separate post, for sure.

I'll say this for now: I don't hate him as much as I used to, but maybe I'm just ignoring better? Mostly I'm watching games DVR-delayed so I'm not caught in awkward Hazyspeak.

He is often useless in his analysis, except sometimes when explaining some parts of goaltending (his ex-position), where he suddenly becomes quite good, but then wanders back to general intro-to-hockey stuff, which as I gather, isn't to popular with either of us.

All that said, I'm not sure if there's that many play-by-play or color guys I really like, and there's certainly ones I like less than Hayward. If there were a speeding bus headed towards him, I'd yell a warning, but I wouldn't go jump in harm's way.

Limey said...

One thing I actually like about Hayward is that he's not much of a homer. He will call it if the Ducks make a mistake or should get a penalty and get away with one.

That said, he does wander quite a bit and gets things completely wrong from time to time.

Dennis-IOF said...

He's not a homer?????

I should get my hearing checked then;)