from Jeff Z. Klein of Slap Shot, Why, then, did the Kings lose so often during the regular season, and why are they winning so often in the playoffs?
The answer, it turns out, is tied in part to their shooting efficiency and simple mathematical probability.
During the regular season, the Kings scored on only 6.4 percent of their shots on goal while skating five on five – the lowest even-strength shooting percentage in the N.H.L.
In comparison, the median teams, Buffalo and Edmonton, struck on 8.3 percent of their five-on-five shots, and the best team in shooting percentage, Tampa Bay, scored on 9.9 percent. (See this chart at behindthenet.ca, which renders the Kings’ shooting percentage at “936” under the heading “5v5 Sh%,” which actually stands for opposition goalies’ save percentage.)
What does 1.9 percentage points below the N.H.L. median mean over the course of an 82-game season? Quite a bit, as it happens – 38 goals.