LOS ANGELES, CA - APRIL 19: Ryane Clowe #29 of the San Jose Sharks celebrates a goal against the Los Angeles Kings in the second period of game three of the Western Conference Quarterfinals during the 2011 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs at Staples Center on April 19, 2011 in Los Angeles, California. (Photo by Harry How/Getty Images)
With three games between San Jose Sharks and Los Angeles Kings out of the way, now might be a good time to take a look at how the two teams are doing statistically. We did this for the Sharks on a monthly basis, and as playoffs continue, we'll do it on a more regular basis, while also contrasting the stats with those of the Sharks opponents.
With that, here are some initial numeric observations about the series so far.
- The two best players for the two teams so far are, no surprise, Ryane Clowe and Drew Doughty. Clowe leads the Sharks in points (5) and is tied for the lead in goals with 2. He also leads the team in +/- (+2), and leads all forwards in hits, with 13. He's giving it his all out there, as he did all season. On the other side of the ice is Drew Doughty. While he leads the team in points (4), all these points came in Game 2 of the series. He's -1, and also has just three hits in the series. But that's how Doughty plays - more with his brain and his stick. If we take a look at other stats, Brad Richardson probably has been more important for the Kings. He has 3 points, leads the team in shots, and has 6 blocks.
- Sharks have been dominating the faceoff circle and are first in the league with 56.8%, which means the Kings are dead last at 43.2% (how does that work out?). The only Shark struggling is Logan Couture who so far won only 46% of his faceoffs. Everyone else is in the positive category, with Torrey Mitchell at 100%. Joe Thornton leads the team among faceoffs regulars at 64% and is 4th in the league in faceoffs percentage among those who took at least 50 faceoffs. Michal Handzus is the one who's struggling the most in this series. You'll remember he only won 1 faceoff out of 14 taken in Game 3. Overall, he's 39% in the series.
- Devin Setoguchi is having great playoffs so far. None of the stats is more important than his GWG in Game 3. But he also leads the team in shots on goal and has 11 hits. Dustin Brown for the Kings doesn't shoot quite as often, but he leads the Kings in hits at 23, which is just one hit shy of the league's leader in hits Shane Doan, who played in one extra game than Brown.
Dan Boyle is frequently criticized in the comments section around here, and at times on the broadcast. Yet he's 0 in +/- and leads the team in blocked shots (9). He also averages 4:28 on the PP in each game (he just doesn't come off and stays there for two minutes), while logging 29:48 minutes a night of playing time (highest in the league). Drew Doughty has similar stats - 8 blocks (team lead), leads the Kings in PP time (4:43) and playing time (27:49 - 6th in the league).
- Ryane Clowe also leads the Sharks in shooting percentage (22.2%). Kyle Clifford is the unlikely hero for the Kings, and the rookie has 50% accuracy.
- Hard to believe, but Sharks don't have the worst special units in the league. The power play is 11th out of 16 teams still playing, with Boston Bruins at the bottom with zero PP goals. Kings have 7th PP unit. Vancouver is 1st at a scary 40% PP realization. PK is 10th for the Sharks and 6th for the Kings.
- And in case you forget, San Jose leads the series, 2-1, which is the only stat that matters this time of the year.