Do you want to know why the Los Angels of Anaheim are so often the better team this season?
It’s because the Kings have allowed an average of 5.3 more goals than their opponents this season.
The Angels, on the other hand, have allowed 6.5 more goals.
The Kings, in fact, have surrendered 5.5 fewer goals per game this season than they did last year.
This is a fairly significant difference that has led to a very interesting trend: Los Angeles is allowing fewer goals than Anaheim in all but two games this season, and yet the Angels have a .921 save percentage in those contests.
The fact that Los Angeles has been allowing fewer than four goals per contest in the first four games of the season, but has scored a mere four goals in the four remaining contests is somewhat concerning, especially since Los Angeles’ defense hasn’t allowed a single goal in any of those four games.
What’s more, the Angels, for the third straight season, are on the wrong side of the 50-point threshold in the American League West.
Of the Angels’ six games in the division, five have come this season on the road.
So, while the Kings are currently in a position where they can be a factor in their division, the fact that they are still having so many issues on defense suggests that there is something going on on the Anaheim side of things as well.
Injuries aside, one thing that is not going to happen on defense is that the Kings will be scoring more goals, at least at this point.
They are currently third in the NHL in scoring with a whopping 18.3 per cent of the total.
The LA Kings, of course, are not a good team when they are scoring goals.
But they have scored goals at an even more extreme rate this season when they have been scoring goals at a rate of 7.6 per cent.
If the Kings continue to find success, then their scoring prowess will continue to rise.
The only thing that could prevent this is if the Kings decide to use their top defensive pairing of Jakob Silfverberg and John Gibson to take the lead on the power play.
In the last six games, Silfmerberg and Gibson have combined for three goals and seven points.
In other words, the Kings aren’t scoring a lot of goals at all when they score, and that may be a big reason why they have not yet managed to put together a two-game winning streak.
That may be the reason why, although Anaheim has a 3-1-0 record in its last six home games, they are now 5-1 in their last eight games on the homestand.
If Anaheim keeps scoring goals, it will become even easier for the Kings to get the better of the Angels this season as the playoffs approach.
The Ducks have been playing better hockey since their second consecutive win in a 5-3 overtime victory on Monday.
That win was followed by a 2-1 victory over the Colorado Avalanche on Tuesday.
The next two games are against the Anaheim Ducks and the Vancouver Canucks, both teams on the back of solid performances from their top-six forwards.
In addition to the Kings, the Ducks are in a similar situation with their top two defencemen, Hampus Lindholm and John Klingberg.
Lindholm has scored five goals in his last three games and Klingberg has two goals in five games.
The two have combined to play the majority of their shifts together this season with only the Sedin twins being able to play against each other.
This means that the Ducks have not only been able to make up for some of their defensive lapses in the past, but also have become one of the better teams on their own end of the ice when it comes to the ability to win when it matters most.
If Lindholm can continue to be effective, he and Klingber will be able to carry the Ducks in the standings to the playoffs.
However, Lindholm’s scoring prowess, as well as Klingberg’s scoring ability, are the most likely reasons that Anaheim has not yet found a winning streak in the last two games.
If that continues to happen, Anaheim could end up being a playoff team at the end of this season for the second straight year.
They have the resources to do so, but the Ducks need a couple more wins to make it a legitimate possibility for a spot in the playoffs this season and beyond.
With their top three defencemen and two top-line centres on the ice, the Oilers should be able take the Ducks to the brink of the playoffs again.
The Oilers are currently 8-4-0 in their past 10 games, with six of those victories coming on the heels of their first win in Anaheim.
The reason for that is because of the Ducks inability to generate offense.
The league average for the number of goals scored per game is 3.7 per game, and the Ducks average is 3