(This article was originally published by me as a guest author at the site called “Surly and Scribe”)
JOINT REPORT, AS AUTHORIZED BY SURLY AND SCRIBE, FOR THE EYES OF NEW TASK FORCE MEMBERS ONLY
Subject: Missing Goals
Case Group I.D.: Working Embedded Goal Oriented Task Force Using Combined Knowledge Involving Names Given Regarding Interpol’s Potential Perpetrators, Explaining Directly Our Fault Finding About Goals’ Absences In Nets. (W.E.G.O.T.F.U.C.K.I.N.G.R.I.P.P.E.D.O.F.F.A.G.A.I.N.)
Authors: Captain Scot Landyard, Inspector F.B. Iverson and Interpol Supervisor Israel Mossad, with help from various undercover agents including; Jay Wells Fargo, Pinkertony Granato, Mark Hardy of the Hardy Boys, Hercule Poirogy Vachon, Kevin Westecgarth, Charlie Chanson Carter, Mikko Makela Magnum and of course, Nancy Drew Doughty. It should also be noted that Bailey has so far been able to avoid detection as the Pink Panther, so we recommend to the investigators no saxophone music and certainly no Henry Mancini on the Ipods. We also acknowledge the assistance from outside sources, Corey Perry Mason and Thomas Sherlock Holmstrom.
We wish to welcome all of you new members to the task force. As investigators, you will be asked to observe and comment on the behaviors and results of all L.A. Kings team participants in the next 18 games, and hopefully beyond that, before the summer sequestration makes observation impossible. We will now attempt to summarize the work to date and define the current situation.
The Task Force believes that a crime has indeed been committed. Goals are missing, people, many goals, and somebody is responsible. These things don’t just fall through the marsh-peg holes, somebody did something to take them, or scare them away, and we aim to find out just what went on. We wish to determine if there has been an outright theft, or a conspiracy to commit fraud, or even worse.
We have determined that the underproduction of goals amounts to 47 goals lost or unaccounted for. This was determined by subtracting the actual goal total from the expected goal total. If the opening night roster had performed at each individual player’s career average of goal production, at 64 games the Kings should have 181 goals. The Kings have only scored 134 goals in those 64 games for the league-worst per game average, which yields the difference of 47 goals.
The Task Force has been able to eliminate all defensemen as suspects. A projected total of 25 goals has been exceeded by 6, totaling 31 so far. Overachievers included Jack Johnson, with an actual 8 being better than the projected 5, Matt Greene with 3 instead of 1.5 and Willie Mitchell with 4 instead of 2.5. These excesses in large part account for the overage, while also compensating for the slight offensive under-achievement of Drew Doughty with 7 actual goals instead of the 8.59 expected by this point. Slava Voynov, interestingly, with just this year as a sample size actually increases the expected point total for next year by replacing Jack Johnson. We hope the small sample size of 4 goals in just 36 games is not proven anomalous.
The Task Force also feels it correct to eliminate General Manager Lombardi as the direct culprit for the goal disappearance. Lombardi’s indirect involvement remains an open question; he may later be charged as a criminal accomplice for his role in the hiring of Terry Murray and Darryl Sutter.
Lombardi’s projected lineup would place the Kings at 9th in the league standings, between Nashville and Toronto, and 2 spots ahead of San Jose. This is surprising to many of the investigator’s. Perception has often been that the team is comprised of too many 4th liners, and not enough top 6 players, yet in reality the line-up shows good scoring and a well-balanced distribution among at least 7 and arguably 8 actual candidates for the top 6 positions. (Brown, Gagne, Kopitar, Parse, Penner, Richards, Williams and arguably Stoll)
It would appear, therefore, that a controversy remains as to whether the guilty party or parties are among the coaching staff or among the players themselves. There seems to be an untoward influence by an ethereal force known as “system,” which force may have physically manifested itself in defiance of the laws of nature. It cannot be known whether this mysterious being has overtaken the minds of the coaches or the souls of the players, but like a quasar it can be seen by the pulsations of energy alternately emanating and ceasing to emanate from its center.
Both coaches have spoken of the need for goals. Both have instituted methodologies ostensibly designed to yield custody of these elusive wonders, yet the goals remain un-captured. Catch–phrases such as “shot mentality” from Terry Murray and “gosh-darn” from Darryl Sutter have not been productive to the degree required.
Meanwhile, both Murray and Sutter have frequently abdicated duty toward enhanced offensive production, as evidenced by video sessions witnessed being run by one Kompon, J, as well as on-ice late-game whiteboard strategy sessions being led by this same person. Further investigation will be required to ascertain the exact level of involvement by this person, and also whether this “Kompon” fellow is acting independently or under the aegis of Sutter and Murray. We do note that Kompon, alias “shut up” (as the players often refer to him) has been one significant constant through both regimes, Murray’s and Sutter’s. If it is a conspiracy among the coaches, it almost certainly must involve person-of-interest Kompon in a meaningful way.
A detailed look at the players individually shows persons performing at their projected output being Dustin Brown, and, ummmm that’s it.
Among the 8 candidates for a top 6 role, this year’s under-performers are Anze Kopitar, with 18 of a projected 22, Mike Richards with 14 of 18.5, Justin Williams with 13 of 16, Jarret Stoll with 5 of 13, and Dustin Penner with only 5 of a projected 18.
Due to injury: Simon Gagne has 7 of a projected 24 but was on pace to score only 13 by now, and Scott Parse has 2 of 12.77 but was on pace (2 goals in 9 games) to now have 14.
Bottom 6 under-performers include Brad Richardson with 3 instead of 7, Fraser with 1 and not 4, and a slight lack from Kyle Clifford at 4 of 5 and Trevor Lewis at 2 of a projected 3.
Hunter and Moreau combined for only 3, well off their career averages of a combined 23 by the 64 game mark, but we doubt it fair to have expected them to be at career average this year. Still, 10 would have not been an unreasonable projection for the season, perhaps, and 3 would definitely be below any expected output by the 64 game mark.
It would appear that a large fraction of the missing goals seem attributable to 3 players, yet the team-wide production drop bespeaks of a deeper problem. Gagne and Parse are injured, and their replacements have not filled in their production. Penner has been injured, erratic, benched, unlucky, and relegated to a non-scoring role. Further work would be required to determine the greater causes of the goal-scoring drop for Penner, but funds may well be exhausted in relation to that endeavor.
Players have been assigned roles with which they are unfamiliar. Linemates have been shuffled extensively. Secret instructions have been given behind closed doors. Coaches and players have implemented plans and refined strategies extensively, and yet the goals are still not here, the goals are still missing. Even strong performances with 4 goals in one game are followed by a return to the norm. We must define this problem if we are going to solve this problem.
That is the total of the work to this point. Your work begins now, ladies and gentlemen, it is now up to you to confer amongst yourselves and design a discourse of action. We await your findings. Oh, and study up on the secret handshake.