TylerToffoliJeffCarter 

A Closer Look at the Kings and "That 70s Line"

 

It has been a dominant display this postseason by the Los Angeles Kings. Their top forwards are on pace to emulate an accomplishment that has not happened since the Detroit Red Wings won the Stanley Cup in 1998. That accomplishment would be the same team with the top four scorers over the course of the playoffs. In 1998 it was Yzerman, Fedorov, Holmstrom and Lidstrom that accomplished the feat. This year it is Kopitar, Carter, Williams and Gaborik who are currently on pace. Meanwhile Drew Doughty is tied with Jonathan Toews for sixth in scoring and needs just three more points to jump ahead of Patrick Kane into fifth spot.

The possibility of having the top five scoring players all from one team is very real, considering that the highest scoring Rangers are McDonaugh (16 points) and St Louis (14 points).  it could happen. Needless to say, these Kings are impressive.

 

That 70s Line

If there was a trophy presented to the players with the best line combination nickname, one would think that Jeff Carter (#77), Tyler Toffoli (#73) and Tanner Pearson (#70) would win the award by a landslide this postseason. The nickname is clever and has helped establish Toffoli as a household name while putting Pearson on the radar of most poolies as a nice farm addition in dynasty leagues. Somewhere out there Donna and Eric are beaming with pride.

To get a better picture of how great That 70s Line has been during the playoffs, let’s have a look at the top lines this postseason courtesy of Frozen Pool’s Report Generator.

 

 

Rank

Line

Points

1

L.A-BROWN,DUSTIN - L.A-GABORIK,MARIAN - L.A-KOPITAR,ANZE

26

2

L.A-CARTER,JEFF - L.A-PEARSON,TANNER - L.A-TOFFOLI,TYLER

24

3

NYR-BRASSARD,DERICK - NYR-POULIOT,BENOIT - NYR-ZUCCARELLO,MATS

22

4

L.A-KING,DWIGHT - L.A-STOLL,JARRET - L.A-WILLIAMS,JUSTIN

18

5

CHI-BICKELL,BRYAN - CHI-HOSSA,MARIAN - CHI-TOEWS,JONATHAN

17

 

As we can see, That 70s Line is more than just a flashy name - they are the second best producing line over the past two months, and have been a key component to Los Angeles’ success. The list of Conn Smythe nominees will show that Anze Kopitar and Justin Williams are the frontrunners, but their success would not exist without the complementary play of That 70s Line. Carter has been dominant and is currently TylerToffolisecond in goals scored and overall points this postseason. Meanwhile Toffoli has been consistent with 13 points in 23 games. Pearson’s most impressive statistic is the plus-10 he has posted, good enough for second overall during the playoffs. It has been a very impressive playoff debut for Pearson, who has almost played as many postseason games (21), as regular season games (25).

Here is a look at Pearson’s most frequent line combinations during the playoffs, showing that he has lined up with either Carter or Toffoli over 70% of the time.

 

 

Frequency

Strength

Line Combination

55.9%

EV

77 CARTER,JEFF - 70 PEARSON,TANNER - 73 TOFFOLI,TYLER

8.62%

EV

77 CARTER,JEFF - 70 PEARSON,TANNER - 10 RICHARDS,MIKE

6.44%

EV

70 PEARSON,TANNER - 28 STOLL,JARRET - 73 TOFFOLI,TYLER

5.19%

EV

23 BROWN,DUSTIN - 70 PEARSON,TANNER - 28 STOLL,JARRET

 

Pearson is a few years away from being a 50 point player but his numbers from last year in Manchester (47 points in 64 games)  and his final season of junior in Barrie (91 points in 60 games) suggest that he has top six potential going forward.

 

Despite Quick

Another impressive aspect of their playoff run is how the Kings have put themselves in a position to win another Stanley Cup despite the average play of Jonathan Quick. The comment that has been following Quick around during the playoffs is that he has underperformed, but has made key saves at key times to help his team. Overall though, his performance has been a far cry from his deserved Conn Smythe in 2012 and this year he is not even in running as the Most Valuable Player in the playoffs. The only statistic Quick is leading in is wins. Here is a breakdown of where Quick ranks among the 16 goalies that have played a minimum of 240 minutes this postseason.

Save Percentage:  .906 (11th)

Goals Against Average:  2.80 (12th)

To put this in perspective, during the 2012 playoffs, out of all goalies that played a minimum of 240 minutes, Quick finished first in both categories with a stellar .946 save percentage and 1.41 GAA.

The Kings appear to be a team of destiny, likely on the verge of winning a second Cup in a completely different fashion.

 

 

UFA Round Up - Western Conference 
Wild West: Back to Reality
Wild West: Top Five Sneaky Bounce Backs 

You need to login to post comments. Registration takes 5 seconds. See link at top left under "home"