KORAB Grit Numbers: Kings-Ducks Recap, Blackhawks Games 1 & 2

Here is the belated KORAB stats for Game 7 of the Ducks series, as well as the stats for Games 1 & 2 of the Western Conference Final.

For those of you new to advanced grit stats, below is a refresher on KORAB – the grittiest of grit stats!

KORAB is a stat that hopes to track the intangibles of the sport.  Grit.  Mettle.  Backbone.  Composure.  Effort.  The experts say this cannot be measured, but that’s why the “experts” are wrong.  We attempt to compile all of the grittiest stats in order to measure the toughest, most determined players on each team, overall determining the most team-y TEAM.  As with any advanced stat, KORAB attempts to quantify past numbers in order to predict future toughness and desire to win.  As was the case in the Sharks series, the Kings out-KORABed their competition overall in the series, and specifically through the final four games.  Thus, we could predict how that series would end before it did.  More on this later.

The formula:

Hits + penalties taken + penalties drawn + blocked shots + eliminator (injure the opponent) + own blood (sustain an injury – i.e. give up your body for the TEAM)

÷ divided by ÷ 

Even strength time on ice + shorthanded time + penalty minutes

Now, on to Freeway Series Finale!

Kings Game 7 KORAB:g7 k

Ducks Game 7 KORAB:

g7 d

The Kings were able to out-grit the Ducks in the pivotal Game 7, and blew out their competition as a result.  This is not necessarily always the case, as the first five games of the series will show.

Games 1 & 2 Recap

Games 3 & 4 Recap

Games 5 & 6 Recap

Kings Series KORAB:

g1234567 k

Ducks Series KORAB:

g1234567 d

The Ducks out-toughed the Kings throughout the series, but lost.  But, if you look back to the Kings-Sharks series, the final percentages are fairly close.  As the previous post asserted, the luck had run out for either team when the Kings led Game 6 in KORAB and won – the first team to do so in the series.  The Ducks luck ran out, and despite above average marks from all of the usual suspects, the Ducks just did not do the little things to swing the final two games in their favor.

Theory I – Counter-Hanson Brothers Hypothesis 

In the first five games of this series, the losing team was the one that had the most hits AND won the KORAB battle.  In Game 6 these trends changed, but the Ducks outhit the Kings in Game 7 in a losing effort.  This theory posits that hits are possibly the most important stat measured in KORAB, but does not necessarily determine the grittiest team.  This is is why it is incorrect to say that heavy hitters are tough players who give up their body for the TEAM.  Heavy hitters are like the Corvette of hockey players: Great to watch, but riddled with flaws.  Hitting is not everything when it comes to grit.  Hitting is not everything when it comes to winning.  The truth is, hitting an opponent weakens the opponent, but it does not solely determine the aggressiveness or backbone of a player.  Yes, hits ARE important, and perhaps one of the most important things any and every hockey player can do while on the ice, but it takes more to be a true teammate.  Thus, the need for an all encompassing GRIT advanced stat that includes blocked shots and penalties drawn and taken.  All ways a player throws his weight around while on the ice.

On to the Western Conference Final!

Kings Game 1 KORAB:

g1 k

Blackhawks Game 1 KORAB:

g1 b

Kings Game 2 KORAB:

g2 k

Blackhawks Game 2 KORAB:

g2 b

Game 1 saw high marks for the Kings from some unlikely sources in Dwight King and Trevor Lewis.  Meanwhile, the ‘Hawks load-carriers Seabrook, Bickell, and Bollig all did their part to allow the skill guys to score and take an early series lead.  The KORAB percentages were nearly identical, and literally one lucky bounce turned the tide of the game.

In Game 2, the Kings leaders came to life.  The inclusion of Matt Greene in the lineup made a noticeable difference in comparison to Jeff Schultz’s play in Game 1.  The Kings dominated, and played like it in the last 25 minutes or so.

Kings Series KORAB:

g12 k

Blackhawks Series KORAB:

g12 b

Theory II – The Dustin Brown “Hit Damage” Postulate

If we were to incorporate Theory I, we would include blocked shots, penalties drawn and taken, and hits when thinking about inflicting damage to the opponent.  If you give yourself up for the TEAM, hypothetically, you inflict damage on your body when blocking shots.  Thus, a blocked shot should weaken the theoretical health bar/meter of the player blocking the shot.  A penalty taken should weaken an opponent because the player committing the penalty hooks, slashes, trips, or boards the opponent in a dangerous manner.  If a player absorbs enough hits, they begin to feel the effects of those hits.  Let’s take Game 2, for example.  Chicago’s Ben Smith did not record a hit, but was hit three times.  Likewise, Dustin Brown had six hits and was hit once.  They both had one blocked shot.  Thus, overall, Brown is going to be stronger as the game goes on (as evidenced by the Kings six unanswered goals in the last third of the game).  Smith, on the other hand, would be feeling the effects of four impacts.  For you visual learners, below is what the third period would look like with both of these men on the ice:


By the end of the game, ‘Hawks players like Ben Smith were too weak to outperform, or even keep their composure against the stronger Kings players.  This allowed the Kings to dominate the offensive end of the ice in the final period.

As we saw, Games 1 & 2 predicted the trend that the King would outplay the Blackhawks in Games 3 & 4.  The KORAB for those games will be forthcoming, as well as for the remaining games of the series.  Stay tuned!

Flubber McGee is TRH's resident Kansas City correspondent, and has survived as a Kings fan long before the dawn of Internet streaming sites. He has seen the Kings win exactly zero non-exhibition games in person. Have you ever achieved enlightenment? Flubber has, because he once witnessed Kevin and Brett Westgarth fight in, and get kicked out of, the same game (they didn't fight each other, unfortunately). In addition to being a part of TRH, Flubber runs a Kansas City hockey blog. It's exactly what you think it is. You can follow Flubber McGee on Twitter @FlubberMcGee.