The Kings built a reputation on solid defense and good goaltending while winning a pair of Stanley Cups. While these Kings still play a defense-first game, a few offensive weapons and an improved power play make Los Angeles a more dangerous team in the offensive zone than in previous years.
Past goals don't predict future goals quite as well as things like scoring chance percentage does; so let's take a look at the Kings' scoring chance numbers over the past few seasons.
That chart sorts the Kings' last five seasons by even strength scoring-chances for per 60 minutes while adjusting for score. In this mini dynasty Los Angeles posted its best scoring chance numbers this past season while also allowing the most, per 60 minutes, in the past five seasons.
This means good things for the Kings' watchability rating and since the Kings increased their scoring chances for more than they saw an uptick in scoring chances against, LA posted its second-best SCF% of the past half decade.
So the Kings generated more offense this year than in year's past — but how does it compare to what the Sharks did this year? Here's that table again, this time with both the Sharks and Kings on it from the past five years.
The last time these teams met in the playoffs coincided with the Sharks' best offensive output of the past five years. This year's iteration of the Kings ranks second in scoring-chances for while the 2015-16 Sharks sit at fourth. So the Kings' offense holds a slight edge in the scoring chance department and in the scoring chance percentage category.
Despite great chance creation, this year's Kings team struggled to score. L.A. averages 2.1 goals per 60 minutes at even strength, a slight down-tick from San Jose's 2.2. That difference is negligible, but interesting to note that San Jose has been a bit better at converting on the opportunities its been given.
The Sharks' shooting percentage backs this up, as the 7.7 percent mark San Jose is shooting at ranks as the best by either team in the past five years. The Kings' 6.8 sits in the middle of the pack and is just about in line with their five-year average of 6.9 percent. San Jose converted at a 7.2 percent clip over the same time frame.
San Jose's power play gives the Sharks a slight edge over the Kings offensively, but only just. If they play the series primarily 5-on-5 the Kings hold the upper hand in possession, but the Sharks' finishing just might bail them out. I'm giving San Jose the edge, but it's close.