The Achilles Heel of the 2008-09 Edmonton Oilers

Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009 10:38AM

Goal against

The penalty-kill is the biggest reason that this team has underachieved to date. Consider the last ten games as an example – here are the goals for and against on special teams and at even-strength:

  • Even Strength: 27 goals for, 19 goals against (+8)
  • Special Teams: 4 goals for, 9 goals against (-5)
  • Oilers Record: 3-2-5

Despite the lousy record, this team has been very good at even strength; they score three goals for every two they give up. It’s been a very good run in that respect. Unfortunately, the Oilers can also expect to have a powerplay goal against almost every game. That’s even worse than their season average, an average that places them 28th in the league in penalty-kill efficiency. The powerplay isn’t helping much either, having scored just four goals in the last ten games. Here are the numbers on the season (discounting empty-net goals):

  • Even Strength: 129 goals for, 125 goals against (+4)
  • Special Teams: 52 goals for, 76 goals against (-24)
  • Oilers Record: 32-27-9

The powerplay is league-average. The even-strength record is slightly better than that. Where the team falls down is on the penalty kill, where they’ve averaged more than 1 powerplay goal against per game this season. This is an obvious weak spot. It has been since the start of the year.

On January 27th, I did a team review that imitated one that Doug Risebrough, G.M. of the Minnesota Wild, did for his team. Here’s an excerpt from that article:

I would suggest that the Oilers would be well-advised to make improving the penalty-kill their chief priority. The trade of Garon would seem to imply that they felt he was a big part of the problem, but even if they’re right about that, they can’t afford to stand pat.

I suggested four changes that might help turn around the penalty-kill:

  1. Trade for an elite penalty-killing forward
  2. Reduce Steve Staios’ role on the PK
  3. Make Erik Cole an integral part of the unit
  4. Re-emphasize shot-blocking

Both the second and third point were used, although not to the extent I would like. Unfortunately, the first point went unaddressed (O’Sullivan kills penalties, but if you send out Erik Cole to get him you aren’t improving the unit as a whole). The fourth point is rather difficult to measure, but most of the players on the penalty-kill are recording fewer blocks than they did back in January, so it seems to have gone by the wayside as well.

In fact, I think the greatest criticism I have of Steve Tambellini’s trade deadline is that he didn’t address the penalty-kill. He added a great young player in O’Sullivan for an unrestricted free agent, and he overpaid to try and shore up a league-average powerplay, but he did nothing to fix the thing that has cost this team games all season: the penalty-kill.

Conclusion

I was just a little baffled by the idea that the Oilers big, gaping hole going into the deadline was a top-six left-winger. All season I’ve complained, Brownlee’s complained, and Gregor’s complained about the horrible penalty-killing numbers. It is what has cost the Edmonton Oilers wins this season.

Ultimately, I’ve been very critical of Craig MacTavish this season, but I think this one rests squarely on the shoulders of Kevin Lowe (for his work over the summer) and Steve Tambellini (for his work this season). Last year, Craig MacTavish had six forwards who he regularly ran out and trusted to kill penalties. This season he has four – and the two guys who departed were not only elite penalty-killers, but two of the best faceoff men in the NHL.

Failing to address that hole, more than anything else, has led to poor results this season.

And as a side point, it would be nice if the print media (at least some of who recognized earlier in the year that the penalty-killing was the biggest issue) had spent a little more time recognizing the holes in the unit, rather than staring at the giant (~soft, lazy, unmotivated, etc.~) red herring who often plays with Horcoff and Hemsky. Unfortunately, they seem to have spent most of the last month ignoring it (by the way, if you’ve seen a trade deadline article I missed respecting this moribund PK, please point it out – I’d like to thank whoever wrote it).

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#1 Reggie
March 15 2009, 10:52AM
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This is an interesting year for the PK. They upgraded the PP with Visnovsky in the off season, but did nothing to improve the PK. In fact, with the rule change having to start every penalty kill in their own end, they are getting killed on the dot. If we had a dollar for every time MacT complained about this in an interview, we could ...ummm ... afford two beers at Rexall ... lol

Anyways, the PK is hurting the team, but I think that may be largely as a result of not having a go to faceoff guy.

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#2 Dennis
March 15 2009, 10:53AM
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10-18-34 are PK incumbents. 51's been used there all year because he's the right-handed draw guy. 19's done a decent job killing penalties in the past. 78 did a good job there in '07 but it's forgotten about. And, yes, I like 78 but look up his PK stats at behindthenet.ca if you don't believe me:)

Also, I complained about it at the time but 89 was actually effective on the PK earlier this year.

So, there you go, we have seven guys who can or have killed penalties. So, why don't we go old school Oilers and use three sets of forwards and then we'll have the manpower to be able to press the issue and pressure down-ice? That was the way we used to do it. And we also use to block shots.

But now we sit back and allow a shooting gallery and get killed every mucking game. The only time we ever looked decent was when Cole was on the case and was actually piling up shorthanded chances.

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#3 Dennis
March 15 2009, 10:58AM
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Oh, and just to bring this post up to code.

Missing relatives and bus stations!

/fixed

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#4 volfman
March 15 2009, 11:06AM
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Just a few thought’s about our beloved superstar aleee….sh Hamski. Tsn ranks him 30th among winger’s. winger’s not forwards. names above him on that list include. Louie Eriksson, D Sedin, Jason Blake, Bobby Ryan “yes kevin BOBBY RYAN”, David Booth, Mike Ryder, Devin Setoguchi, and Ryan Clowe. Ya I guess he’s our best player but I think he’s way overrated by oiler fans for two reasons. #1 Two or three times over the course of the season it comes to the point where he’s faded away enough for other teams to stop keying in on him. And when that happens he goes on a 4 or 5 game tear, and everybody suddenly thinks he’s a star. Teams key in on him and he’s back to his usual soft self. And #2 despite that he’s still our best player. I want to see macktish fired as much as the next guy. (due to his inability to coach any kind of system other than givver bullet’s boy’s) But if your best player is your most inconsistant player, and one your softer players, can we really expect better? FMTY, “Fire Mac T Yesterday” FPTB, “Fire Pathetic team builder”

Football season now only 75 days away, whew.

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#5 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 11:12AM
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@ volfman:

A question: Do you honestly believe TSN when they tell you that Michael Ryder and Jason Blake are better players than Ales Hemsky?

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#6 Robin Brownlee
March 15 2009, 11:13AM
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The failure to address address a PK that's been awful since pre-season is stunning. No matter how you assess the game, be it by crunching numbers, looking on from the press box or a bit of both, it's been as glaring as a big red zit between the eyes at the junior prom.

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#7 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 11:20AM
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volfman wrote:

Just a few thought’s about our beloved superstar aleee….sh Hamski. Tsn ranks him 30th among winger’s. winger’s not forwards. names above him on that list include. Louie Eriksson, D Sedin, Jason Blake, Bobby Ryan “yes kevin BOBBY RYAN”, David Booth, Mike Ryder, Devin Setoguchi, and Ryan Clowe. Ya I guess he’s our best player but I think he’s way overrated by oiler fans for two reasons. #1 Two or three times over the course of the season it comes to the point where he’s faded away enough for other teams to stop keying in on him. And when that happens he goes on a 4 or 5 game tear, and everybody suddenly thinks he’s a star. Teams key in on him and he’s back to his usual soft self. And #2 despite that he’s still our best player. I want to see macktish fired as much as the next guy. (due to his inability to coach any kind of system other than givver bullet’s boy’s) But if your best player is your most inconsistant player, and one your softer players, can we really expect better? FMTY, “Fire Mac T Yesterday” FPTB, “Fire Pathetic team builder” Football season now only 75 days away, whew.

Sure he's only tied for 3rd in PPG amoungst RW, sure he's only tied for 3rd for PPG amoungst all wingers in the Western confernce.... but ya, 30th in the league makes sense.

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#8 oilersseasonticketholdersince99
March 15 2009, 11:24AM
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It is time this organization re evaluates itself,top to bottom at seasons end,changes need to be made in management,coaching,scouting and some players need new addresses,beieng on the outside looking in and finishing 8,9,10 the past 9 years is not good enough when will someone get some balls and do something or are we destined to watch these reruns season after season?

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#9 Dennis
March 15 2009, 11:26AM
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I know we won't go back to the days of Gator and Ulanov and their legendary pain thresholds but somewhere along the way, the Oilers lost their way when it comes to blocking shots.

I wonder if it's the org deciding internally that the risk of having guys injured in the act isn't worth the reward of them cutting down on shots against for the netminders?

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#10 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 11:26AM
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@ volfman:

Also listed under Jason Blake, Michael Ryder and Bobby Ryan: Thomas Vanek. Which tells me that list really doesn't reflect the realities of the NHL, which isn't surprising because:

A) Scott Cullen made that list using only statistics. B) Scott Cullen has no clue about how to use statistics competently (case in point - apparently Sam Gagner is the softest player in the entire NHL, the list you reference)

Read some of Scott Cullen's work and compare it to what you find in the blogosphere. He has no clue how to use the numbers - he doesn't even recognize which ones are important.

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#11 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 11:28AM
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Robin Brownlee wrote:

The failure to address address a PK that’s been awful since pre-season is stunning. No matter how you assess the game, be it by crunching numbers, looking on from the press box or a bit of both, it’s been as glaring as a big red zit between the eyes at the junior prom.

Which is why the three of us have been complaining about it all season. I really don't understand why it wasn't addressed at the deadline - to bring in some help probably wouldn't have cost any more than Ales Kotalik did.

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#12 buffalo farmer
March 15 2009, 11:28AM
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PKs are succesful when the players on the ice outwork the pp. You have to have more heart and desire for the puck, and when you have tuned the coach out the pk is going to stink.

Toronto sports network rankings are a joke, they would have to stay up to late to properly rate western con. players!

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#13 Archaeologuy
March 15 2009, 11:31AM
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@ Dennis:

I'm still convinced s few more hugs in your formative years could have gone a long way.

As for the PK, this problem will undoubtedly be what the Print media focuses on when the Oil fail to make the playoffs or get ripped to shreds in the first round. Bang on Willis.

Robin, Do you think some of these issues arent talked about ad-nauseum, like Penner has been, because the Print medium is all but collapsing and at the mercy of the sports clubs? I mean the Oilers are breaking their own news on their websites and they control the information and the focus of their reports. Are the MSM guys afraid of being taken further out of the loop because they pointed out that embarassing zit on the forehead?

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#14 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 11:32AM
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buffalo farmer wrote:

PKs are succesful when the players on the ice outwork the pp. You have to have more heart and desire for the puck, and when you have tuned the coach out the pk is going to stink.

But our top PK guys (in order: Staios, Souray, Horcoff, Brodziak, Moreau) are the guys on this team who seem to have the highest compete level and the best work ethic.

That's one of the big problems I have with people who say that work ethic/intensity are the problems with this team: the PK's been the biggest problem, and all of the really key guys on it excel in those areas.

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#15 Rick
March 15 2009, 11:33AM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ volfman: A question: Do you honestly believe TSN when they tell you that Michael Ryder and Jason Blake are better players than Ales Hemsky?

You're right that those lists tend to be dubious at best, TSN for whatever the reason tends to miss the boat more than you would like to expect. Their Power Rankings formula being the worstof teh examples.

That said, Hemsky was expected to take the next step this year and beyond that he was poised to do that after his nice run around the all-star break and yet he once again settled back to what he has shown in past years.

Looking at his age you have to think the book hasn't been written on him yet but at the same time when you look at the number of years he has in the league you have to consider that he simply will never be the star we all expected he would be.

I hope the Oilers aren't making a mistake in pegging him as the catalyst in their formula in an attempt to make a winning team.

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#16 volfman
March 15 2009, 11:40AM
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@ Ogden Brother: Sorry but 30 even strength points (tied for 80th), just not good enough for me. And he's still soft and inconsistant. @ Jonathan Willis: No I think their's obviously a few names that should not be on that list ahead of Hemmer. But it makes you wonder how they got put their though hey?

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#17 volfman
March 15 2009, 11:42AM
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@ Rick: My point exactly. Thank you

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#18 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 11:43AM
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volfman wrote:

And he’s still soft and inconsistant.

I'll never understand how people who watch Hemsky go to the corners to take punishment still think he's soft. It's bizarre.

But it makes you wonder how they got put their though hey?

Not really. Scott Cullen's work with statistics continues to speak for itself.

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#19 AlBundy
March 15 2009, 11:44AM
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Mr Robin, what do you think is the problem with Hemsky? Do you think he is hurt, he is mad with the talent on the team, is not on the same page as coach?

Mr Robin, would you be kind enough to do a report on what kind of job you think Kevin Lowe is doing?

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#20 volfman
March 15 2009, 11:50AM
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@ Jonathan Willis: He goes into the corner's, takes punishment, and gives away the puck. How is that not soft.

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#21 Adam Dyck
March 15 2009, 11:54AM
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Ales Hemsky is this team. As goes Hemsky, so goes the Oilers. Sure he needs to step up, but you honestly can't be talking about replacing him.

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#22 Rick
March 15 2009, 11:57AM
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@ Adam Dyck:

I don't think anyone is talking about replacing him, it's just that he is seasoned enough that you can legitimately question if the team could ever be good enough if he is their best forward or worst yet player in general.

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#23 roughneck
March 15 2009, 11:59AM
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Hey Jonathan.. got a stat for how many of those goals against were scored with a ""penalty killer" in the box.

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#24 volfman
March 15 2009, 12:01PM
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@ Adam Dyck: No not trade him, I think he'd be great if he was our 2nd best forward. He's just got to many weaknesses in his game and style of play to be our best player.

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#25 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 12:05PM
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Fun comments section here. The penalty-kill ranks 28th in the league and people seem to think the problem is Hemsky. It's stupid.

@Volfman: Do me a favour. Over the next five games, just watch Hemsky. Count how many times he wins and loses puck battles. I've done it half a dozen times over the past two seasons, and I've never seen Hemsky lose more puck battles than he wins. In short, I think you're wrong.

@Al Bundy: Here's the problem with Ales Hemsky - he has only 2.20 PTS/60 - I expect production levels like that of Henrik Zetterberg (2.03) or Anze Kopitar (2.10). Damn him for only being a little bit better at scoring than those two. Damn him to hell.

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#26 AlBundy
March 15 2009, 12:11PM
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That is why I think there must be something wrong with Hemsky. He is our best player but what has our record been in the last 10games. Something appears wrong

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#27 Smokin' Ray
March 15 2009, 12:15PM
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I wrote an article about this (Ales Hemsky) a few weeks ago.

He is NOT a #1 guy. He is a wingman. Or a sidekick. Or whatever you want to call him. If he had a for real #1 guy to play with, someone that has the will and heart to carry a team. (ie: Lecavalier) Hemsky would easily be a 80-90 point guy if he had a proper player to play with. I used to believe that Hemmer was going to be one of the best in the league. Now I believe he can be the Wingman in the league. No more than that.

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#28 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 12:15PM
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AlBundy wrote:

That is why I think there must be something wrong with Hemsky. He is our best player but what has our record been in the last 10games. Something appears wrong

4-5-1 vs 3-2-5. 9 points in the first case, 11 points in the second.

If you're wondering, the first case is what the Pittsburgh Penguins' record was over Michel Therrien's final ten games as coach. What was wrong with Malkin and Crosby?

Deciding that something must be wrong with your best forward based on a ten game snapshot makes absolutely no sense.

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#29 Rick
March 15 2009, 12:16PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Fun comments section here. The penalty-kill ranks 28th in the league and people seem to think the problem is Hemsky. It’s stupid.

No offence but if you wrote your article to incite comment, as I assume is the general idea, you probably picked the worst possible topic.

There isn't a fan out there that would argue that the PK hasn't been horrible, hasn't been sufficiently addressed and has cost this teams games.

It was a good post, but there really isn't much more to discuss about it.

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#30 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 12:17PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

someone that has the will and heart to carry a team. (ie: Lecavalier)

How's that working for Tampa Bay?

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#31 volfman
March 15 2009, 12:20PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

@ volfman: Also listed under Jason Blake, Michael Ryder and Bobby Ryan: Thomas Vanek. Which tells me that list really doesn’t reflect the realities of the NHL, which isn’t surprising because: A) Scott Cullen made that list using only statistics. B) Scott Cullen has no clue about how to use statistics competently (case in point - apparently Sam Gagner is the softest player in the entire NHL, the list you reference) Read some of Scott Cullen’s work and compare it to what you find in the blogosphere. He has no clue how to use the numbers - he doesn’t even recognize which ones are important.

I agree that list sounds pretty stupid. And by reading your work on oiler nation I'm convinced you could do better. I guess it just caught me a bit off guard. Is it just me or are there a lot of opptional practices this year. And if so could that be why our P.K. is so bad. Or maybe P.K.'s arn't something you practice, I don't. Maybe i'm just frusterated, and not seeing clearly.

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#32 dw
March 15 2009, 12:21PM
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I think the lack of a centerman that can win draws (that isn't named Horcoff) hurts our PK immensely. Especially with the new rule that automatically puts the first faceoff in our own end. The unfortunate thing is that there are a number of guys out there (Reasoner, Bonk, etc.) that probably could have been obtained for the 2nd rounder we gave up for Kotalik.

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#33 volfman
March 15 2009, 12:21PM
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volfman wrote:

Or maybe P.K.’s arn’t something you practice, I don’t. Maybe i’m just frusterated, and not seeing clearly.

Supposed to read "I don't know."

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#34 Smokin' Ray
March 15 2009, 12:27PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Smokin’ Ray wrote: someone that has the will and heart to carry a team. (ie: Lecavalier) How’s that working for Tampa Bay?

lol. I was waiting for that.

TBL C 69 28 36 64 ~Yeah your right Willis. That would be pretty crappy numbers on the Oilers.~

Imagine if he had a wingman like Hemmer?

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#35 Smokin' Ray
March 15 2009, 12:31PM
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BTW. I was using Vinny as an example. I don't care who they get. Horcoff and Penner is not the answer.

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#36 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 12:34PM
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@ Smokin' Ray:

I know, I'm just feeling snarky this morning ;) Btw, St. Louis isn't exactly chopped liver as a RW.

I really do understand a desire to upgrade theforward corps, but if you look at the amount of ink (and worse effort by the GM) devoted to that, and compare it to the amount devoted to the PK, I think it's pretty lopsided given where the problems really lie.

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#37 Mike
March 15 2009, 12:36PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

Imagine if he had a wingman like Hemmer?

Well they have this St. Louis kid. He's pretty new, so you might not have heard of him. I hear he's ok.

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#38 Traktor
March 15 2009, 12:44PM
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1. Proven penalty killers who have been successful in the past are no longer having that same success. As Dennis mentioned we don't even block shots anymore. Seems pretty obvious that it's the system or direction holding the PK back. If you ask me it's justice for hiring a proven loser in Bucky to help with special teams.

2. How can you put any stock into the idea that we don't have the guys to have a successful PK when we have all the pieces to make a living on the PP yet it's mediocre as always?

Is it possible that the problems could be the system related? Erik Cole and his 8 points in 6 games sure thinks so.

3. Sorry, but when 5 of your top 6 players are underachieving it seems awfully silly to point to the loss of Reasoner's PKing as the "more than anything else" reason as to we Edmonton sits where they do.

Horcoff is on pace 54 points, Cole was on pace for around 35 points, Gagner is on pace for 33 points Penner is on pace for 35 points Nilsson is on pace for 28 points

But yeah.. Edmonton was so foolish to try and target someone who can produce points.

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#39 David S
March 15 2009, 12:46PM
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Jonathan Willis wrote:

Deciding that something must be wrong with your best forward based on a ten game snapshot makes absolutely no sense.

Waiting for a large enough "sample size" to make the obvious conclusion that something's wrong with Hemsky (or more likely the first line as a whole) is the stats guys' achilles heel Jonathan.

The fact of the matter is that our first line flat out sucks right now. THAT'S what's costing us games as much as that dam PK.

Our top line needs to be at least as good (preferably better) as "their" top line. They have not been since Viznovsky went down. We've had our butts handed to us by the other guys' top line pretty regularly lately.

The second, third and fourth lines are doing their part. We're not walking away from teams we should be because we're not getting the production from our primary unit.

One more thing. Since we got to watch the Calgary game last night, it was nice to see what a #1 guy actually looks like. I've always been a Hemsky fan, but Jarome makes Ales look like a school-girl most nights. And that's something I rather hate saying.

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#40 Mike
March 15 2009, 12:48PM
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Traktor wrote:

Is it possible that the problems could be the system related? Erik Cole and his 8 points in 6 games sure thinks so.

Well, I'm sure it helps that he's sliding right back into his comfortable old spot playing with Staal.

I'm not sure who's fault it was that Cole never seemed to find much chemistry this year (Cole's or MacT's), but we don't exactly have a Staal to offer him either.

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#41 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 12:49PM
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Traktor wrote:

But yeah.. Edmonton was so foolish to try and target someone who can produce points.

I loved the O'Sullivan/Cole trade.

But while we're at it, where does Ales Kotalik fit on your list of guys putting up points? And since I know it's a favorite stat of yours Traktor, how about even-strength points (hint: right behind Liam Reddox)?

Traktor wrote:

Sorry, but when 5 of your top 6 players are underachieving it seems awfully silly to point to the loss of Reasoner’s PKing as the “more than anything else” reason as to we Edmonton sits where they do.

Just to clarify: I didn't say that. I said the Oilers PK woes are the "more than anything else" reason (because they are). I did say that the loss of Reasoner/Stoll was at least partially to blame for those woes, however.

If you look back to the two PK articles that I wrote (linked above), I did criticize the coaching - I just don't think it's the whole answer to the question.

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#42 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 12:52PM
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David S wrote:

e fact of the matter is that our first line flat out sucks right now. THAT’S what’s costing us games as much as that dam PK.

The first line is playing badly right now, I agree (hint: I think a big part of the problem is the guy currently slotted at LW).

But even-strength scoring has been good for the past ten games; the 2nd-4th lines are producing enough to help offset the lack of production from the first line (which isn't awful, just bad - both Horcoff and Hemsky have 6 points in their last ten games).

But it's really hard to make up the better than one goal against per game that the PK has bled all season.

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#43 Milli
March 15 2009, 12:55PM
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bang on. It still amazes me that a FMNF team struggles on the PK. This is his stregth, his specialty. AMAZING. And ya, we need some changes in the off season.

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#44 David S
March 15 2009, 01:08PM
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Jonathan - I don't disagree with your position as it's pretty obvious you're right. We've been holding our own at even strength scoring for the last ten games or so, but I believe we could overcome alot our special teams deficit if we had all lines clicking. There have been alot of 1-2 goal defeats lately where a it looked like we were owned by the other teams first line. Our first line guys need to produce offense - it's their primary job.

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#45 AlBundy
March 15 2009, 01:14PM
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Mr Willis, if you took a poll of the players what % do you think would like to see fresh faces behind the bench?

Do they not say the best PK player a team has is the goalie. I think Roli is so tired he can't make that real big save when called upon.

Mr MacT and Mr Bucky and Mr Huddy were all huge PK players. What is wrong then?

Our captain and Mr Horcoff are always on the PK, is that a reflection of them?

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#46 Jonathan Willis
March 15 2009, 01:15PM
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@ David S:

I see what you're saying - and I think it's the old "two ways to skin a cat" scenario. We can either overcome the special teams deficit with outstanding play at evens from lines 1-4 (and 3 of those 4 lines have delivered of late) or eliminate the special teams deficit by having a better (even league-average) PK.

I'm sure we both agree that addressing the PK is the simplest and best solution, but certainly being a better team at evens is another way to get the job done.

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#47 AlBundy
March 15 2009, 01:17PM
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Do you think it would be good therapy for Mr MacT to sit in the press box along side Mr Penner to see the game differently?

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#48 Bruce
March 15 2009, 01:21PM
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Traktor wrote:

If you ask me it’s justice for hiring a proven loser in Bucky to help with special teams.

Traktor: Excuse me? Given those two shiny Stanley Cup rings Buchberger wears, I'd say the onus is on you to provide proof he's a "loser".

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#49 jason
March 15 2009, 01:30PM
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The weak PK is just one of the Oilers multiple weaknesses. Lack of faceoff skill, poor PP, mediocre coaching, lack of toughness, lack of veteran leadership, etc... Basically top to bottom from scouting to management to players and coaching, there are a lot of holes in this sinking ship.

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#50 Ogden Brother
March 15 2009, 01:58PM
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Smokin' Ray wrote:

Jonathan Willis wrote: Smokin’ Ray wrote: someone that has the will and heart to carry a team. (ie: Lecavalier) How’s that working for Tampa Bay? lol. I was waiting for that. TBL C 69 28 36 64 ~Yeah your right Willis. That would be pretty crappy numbers on the Oilers.~ Imagine if he had a wingman like Hemmer?

Like former Heart winner St Louis?

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