Los Angeles Kings Must Improve Puck Possession to Close out 2nd-Round Series

The Los Angeles Kings’ puck-possession game hasn’t been strong enough in the early goings of their second-round series against the Anaheim Ducks.

Luckily for them, Anaheim’s top-rated regular-season offense hasn’t delivered thus far in the conference semifinals, handing L.A. a two-game advantage headed back to Staples Center.

Nevertheless, if Darryl Sutter’s squad hopes to make short work of the Ducks, it will need to rediscover its knack for controlling tempo and zone time. That means smarter decisions, crisper execution and more time spent on offense.

Faced with L.A.’s current team performance, Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and the rest of Anaheim’s potent attack won’t be held quiet for much longer.

The Kings simply must improve their puck management in order to bury the Ducks while they’re down. To that end, here are two keys they should focus on going forward.


Take Care of the Puck

When the Kings have been set on defense, they’ve largely contained the Ducks to low-percentage shots from the periphery.

The real danger has taken place when L.A. has turned pucks over, forcing players to scramble when an easier play was available. Not only are these giveaways nipping any offensive forays in the bud, they’re also granting Anaheim scoring chances it hasn’t earned.

Senseless giveaways of this nature have led to poor showings in puck possession—the team’s usual bread and butter.

The statistics bear out this issue.

During the regular season, the Kings boasted the top five-on-five Corsi percentage in the league at 56.8. In the first round, that figure dropped to 51.7 percent. Against the Ducks, the number has fallen even further to 47.6 percent.

That’s a significant drop suggesting that L.A. is no longer in firm control of its games.

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