With some help from his friends…

As pointed out yesterday, and in previous posts this season, perhaps the Kings’ biggest improvement has come from limiting opponents’ shots on goal and scoring chances. Erik Ersberg is playing well, but he’s also benefitting from a team defense that is allowing an average of 24.1 shots on goal per game, the lowest average in the NHL. I asked Ersberg if he noticed a big improvement in the Kings’ defense since the end of last season…

ERSBERG: “Absolutely. There’s way less shots in the games. We limit (opponents’) chances and we don’t have to make as many good saves as we had to make last year. Everybody is digging in really well.”

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  • jediknight329

    let me be the first to comment on how well ersberg is playing. the shots against jlb were down as well, he just kept letting in soft goals at a rate of 1 per game. ersberg is better positionally. he is more fluid moving across the crease. he does not waste movement. he seems to always be sqaured to the shooter which allows him to see (and stop) the puck. i don’t expect him to go 4-0-1 for every 5 games, but he has been phenominal the last week and a half. realistically, if he can keep up the stellar play for another few weeks, jlb will be sent down and quick will be brought up as our #2. if our team play continues like it has been the last 5 games (a man can dream can’t he) we have a shot at the playoffs. if you account for games in hand, we are right in the thick of the playoff race.

  • joe the plumber’s-crack

    Jedi – What have you been smoking? Ersberg has given up soft goals in just about every game he’s played while Labs was never guilty of anything so soft. There’s no track record yet, but Ersberg is looking susceptible to the long range gaff. I agree that his movement, positioning and speed completely eclipse Labs abilities, and that he is more effective in net. I think the team may need a little dose of Labs to keep them honest. The shots-against are up over the last 4 games and I’m almost certain that scoring chances are up. I don’t like losses, but the team needs to remember that they need to work on some stuff. If not for Ersberg, they could possibly have lost 3 of those last 4. In addition, the team really needs to work on scoring when they need one. We’ve been in a position where we can sit on some games because we’re up by a goal at the end, but if we get down a goal, the team needs to be confident it can manufacture some goals. Last night in Dallas they really spurned some opportunities to put the Stars to sleep. I love the team but want even more. They’ll need a bigger bag of tricks when they come up against the big-boys (whomever that is in the NHL these days) and if they reach the playoffs it will really come down to individual matchups and whomever blinks last.

    Ersberg is definitely the better goalie for the team, but Labs weaknesses could help build a better team in the end by helping to Keep it Real, if you know what I mean. Then, when Ersberg is the No. 1, he’ll be getting bored back there because the Kings suffocate the adversary.

  • Anonymous

    there’s a reason so many shots are going straight into the crown on ersberg’s jersey, even though he’s so small, and that is because his positioning is superb. how many times did we see shots hit labarbera’s crown, even though he’s twice the size of tiny erik? speaking of crowns, did you all see ersberg’s headbutt save yesterday?

  • jet

    Also, are the Stars a fair comparison? They are giving up 4 goals a game, so they will see their share of offensive opportunities as they are willing to trade shots. Maybe the reason Turco is wilting this year?

  • john

    ersberg gets by with a little help from his friends,

    hopefully he’s not getting high with a little help from his friends,

    but he’s definately trying with a little help form his friends.

  • crownme

    The fact is he controls his rebounds for the most part where as JLB does not.. i think its key to absorb outside shots and not allow rebounds.. also he seems very calm and composed while in net.

  • Baumgartner22

    labs played in front of the same defense and for some reason couldn’t get the job done. i hope he gets one of the games this weekend so ersberg doesn’t collapse in the crease. i thought he looked a little tired last game. anybody else agree?

  • jediknight329

    anth… i mean joe, you call me out and ask me what i’m smoking, then you proceed to agree with nearly every point i made. i should ask you the same question. dude, ersberg is no pat roy or anything, but he’s pretty darn good and he’s consistently getting the job done, something that jlb could not do.

    and regarding the other post about burke… mega props to him for winning the cup as gm. yes its what i want. i just think he rolled over last year and let salami and niederwhatever take advantage. a lot of those guys probably do want to play there past this season, but they will not be able to be afforded and i don’t see them taking a pay cut when they can get full value somewhere else. all that (alleged) talent and maxed out on payroll and they are 9-7-2. woopie.

  • Beavis Deceavis

    yeah that’s it Joe, put JLB in net to teach the boys a lesson, that’s gotta be one of stupidest comments i’ve ever heard.
    Plain and simple is the fact that double E
    doesn’t give up a rebound on every shot he faces ala JLB.

  • Jonny

    Joe…

    Stick to plumming. and try not to inhale while your head is drifting over the bowl… I think it’s messin with your brain activity.

  • mrk

    john said:
    ersberg gets by with a little help from his friends,

    hopefully he’s not getting high with a little help from his friends,

    but he’s definately trying with a little help form his friends

    Good thing he doesn’t sing out of tune.

  • joe the plumber’s-crack

    More stupid than the one that Ersberg hasn’t given up any soft goals? Maybe you haven’t been watching the games.

  • Chris

    Joe, the difference is that the statement about the soft goals was meant to say that his soft goals don’t kill us. Barbie’s soft goals (one or more a game as opposed to Ersberg’s occasional one) often change the momentum in our games, and we suffer for it. The simple fact of the matter is that Ersberg controls rebounds while Barbie serves up big fat ones. Dealing with Barbie’s multitudes of freebies isn’t going to help our players develop; it’ll just make them lose confidence.

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