THINGS THAT MUST IMPROVE: POWERPLAY

Jason Gregor
October 04 2011 03:02PM

Dave Andreychuk played 1,597 games before winning the Stanley Cup - the longest streak in NHL history. Keep in mind only eight other players have ever played that many games, so it likely will never be broken. Roman Hamrlik is the active leader, 1,311 games without hosting the Cup, but he'd have to play almost three and a half more years to surpass Andreychuk.

Andreychuk wasn't a great skater, but he had soft hands and was especially good on the powerplay. He holds the NHL record for most career PP goals with 274. There are many areas the Oilers need to improve on next year, but the PP must be near the top of the list.


Goaltending and defensive zone coverage are huge as well, but the PP might be the most easy to improve. Telling Devan Dubnyk or Nikolai Khabibulin to "play better" seems simple, but it isn't that easy, just like it won't be a quick learning curve for this team to play better defensively, but the most glaring weakness on the PP can be rectified.

SHOOT THE PUCK

The Oilers had the 7th most PP opportunities in the NHL last year, 304, but they only took 362 shots. Not surprisingly the Oilers ranked 27th on the PP with 44 goals in 304 chances. Their most glaring weakness on the PP was when they were on the 5-on-3. The Oilers spent 19:23 (2nd most in the NHL) with a two-man advantage and scored ONE measly goal. Carolina had 21:25, but scored six times. Half the league scored at least five goals 5-on-3, and only Carolina had more time to work with. One goal in almost an entire period of 5-on-3 is flat out ugly.

I remember last year everyone suggesting that Vancouver was just as bad 5-on-3, because they only scored once, but they only had 7:07 of PP time. The Canucks led the league in PP goals with 72, so their 5-on-3  struggles weren't much of a factor. Unfortunately they don't track shots on 5-on-3, but close your eyes and remember how many times you tossed a pillow or remote while watching the Oilers move the puck around the perimeter without shooting, and I'm guessing they shot less on 5-on-3 than they did 5-on-4.

Shooting more won't equate to instant success, but the Oilers averaged 1.19 shots per PP, the worst in the league. Toronto was next at 1.28 with Carolina and Nashville at 1.29. Toronto was 22nd, Carolina 24th and Nashville 26th on the PP. There are exceptions of course. The Devils averaged 1.46 shots/PP, but they finished 28th.

Here is a quick look at the teams who were 19% or better and their shots/PP.

TEAM                       SHOTS/PP          PP%
Vancouver                  1.53                  24.3
San Jose                    1.99                  23.5
Anaheim                     1.62                  23.5
Chicago                      1.40                  23.1 (Their team S% on PP was 16.5, very hard to duplicate)
Detroit                         1.57                  22.3
Tampa                        1.41                  20.5
Montreal                     1.47                   19.7
Calgary                       1.36                  19.5
Buffalo                        1.57                   19.4

Calgary was very unique on the PP last year. They had the second-best PP at home, 25.6%, but were 29th on the road at 13.3%. They scored 41 goals at home and 21 on the road. In 2010, the Flames tallied 21 at home and 22 on the road, so last year was an anomaly for them. Dallas and San Jose were the only other teams to score 10+ more goals at home than on the road. On the opposite side Vancouver tallied 12 more on the road.

If the Oilers scored ten more PP goals last year they would have ranked 15th, they would have needed to score 15 more to be 10th. That isn't as easy as it seems, especially with the amount of PP chances dropping.

In 2009, eleven teams scored 70+ PP goals, and 14 teams had at least 350 chances while 14 teams were 19% or better.

In 2010, only one team had 70+ goals, while eight tallied 60+. Only five teams had 325+ chances and 10 teams were over 19%.

Last year one team had 70+ goals and seven teams tallied 60+. Ten teams had 300+ chances, with only two having more than 325, and 9 teams were 19% or better.

Powerplay opportunities have dipped the past three years, and so have PP goals. This year might be different with the new head shot enforcement, and if PP chances increase like I suspect they will, it becomes imperative that the Oilers' PP improve if they have any hope of being in the playoff hunt come March.

THE MULLET

This is where Ryan Smyth comes in. Smyth is currently tied for 39th all-time in PP goals with the likes of Jari Kurri, Darryl Sittler and Tim Kerr. The reason he is sits with such lofty company is because he has the 4th highest ratio of PP goals per total goals scored amongst players with at least 100 PP goals.

Smyth has 355 career goals and 150 have come on the PP. 42.2% of his goals have come on the man advantage.

Dave Andreychuk tallied 42.8% (274) of his 640 goals on the man advantage.

Dan Quinn had 266 career goals, and scored 46.2% (123) on the PP.

Lowetide and a few others might remember Paul Gardner. Gardner had five 30-goal seasons playing on average teams in Colorado, Toronto and Pittsburgh. He wasn't a great player, but he could score on the PP. He tallied 201 goals in 447 career games, but a whopping 105 (52.2%) came on the powerplay.

Smyth will never be considered amongst the great goal scorers, but he's one of the best PP snipers.

There is no secret to Smyth's PP success. He hunkers down in front of the net and scores the ugly goals. He is great at deflecting pucks, battles hard for every rebound, and he never backs down from an altercation in front of the goalie.

FIRING BLANKS

The Oilers' PP woes for the past five years can be traced to one stat: Shots per PP chance.

It hasn't mattered who has been on the PP or who has been on the point. This team doesn't shoot the puck enough with the man advantage.

YEAR         PP Chances          Shots               Shots per PP          PP Ranking
2007          373 (26th)            407 (28th)             1.09 (29th)              27th
2008          344 (18th)            369 (30th)             1.07 (30th)              21st
2009          354 (11th)            428 (25th)             1.20 (30th)              22nd
2010          301 (21st)            375 (30th)             1.24 (30th)              18th
2011          304 (7th)              362 (27th)             1.19 (30th)               25th

It doesn't seem to matter if they are near the top in PP opportunities or in the middle, they flat out don't shoot the puck enough. Or they don't get enough pucks through to the net.

You might be wondering if the reason they aren't shooting is because they can't win a draw. I thought of that, but there were many teams that were good in one and bad in the other.

In 2007, the Oilers were 8th in FO%, but still 29th on shots/PP. In 2008 they were 12th in the dot, but they were still last in shots/PP. Also in 2007, Atlanta was the 2nd best faceoff team, but they were 29th in shots/PP.

It doesn't hurt if you win draws of course. Detroit, Vancouver and San Jose were the three best teams in the dot last year, and they were all top-ten in shots/PP, but Florida, Boston and Phoenix were 4th, 5th and 7th in FO%, but were in the bottom ten in shots/PP.

The reality is that even when they were above average in the dot the Oilers didn't shoot the puck often enough with the man advantage.

WHAT DOES IT MEAN

It will be much easier to instruct the players to shoot the puck, rather than asking ten sophomores or rookies to play smart defensively. The Oilers will make bad decisions with the puck, they will miss assignments in the defensive zone, and they will make numerous bad reads as they learn the NHL game. However, I'd like to think that Tom Renney and his staff can at least instruct the players to shoot the puck more, or teach them to find better shooting lanes.

Most important they need to move the puck. Standing still doesn't work. Get some motion on the PP and the shooting lanes should open up.

They have a guy who excels on the PP, and they need to use that to their advantage.

Ryan Smyth has 150 PP goals, while the rest of the forwards have 133 combined.

Horcoff (33), Hemsky (32), Belanger (27), Gagner (19), Hall (8), Jones (6), Eberle (4), Paajarvi (3) and Omark (1) have lit the lamp, while Nugent-Hopkins, Lander, Petrell, Hordichuk and Eager have none. Use Smyth on the PP and get shots through from the point or any other place on the ice.

This team needs to learn how to get garbage goals, and with Smyth's return they have one of the best garbagemen in the league.

Not all shots have to be hard, or from a perfect location. Get them on net, because it might lead to a lucky bounce, deflection or rebound.

HOME OPENER AUCTION

You can watch Smyth and the boys take on the Penguins on Sunday and help out the MS Society at the same time. Tomorrow on the Jason Gregor Show between 2 and 6 p.m. we will be auctioning off a great package.

If you are from out of town, or just want to get out of the house for a few nights, this is a great package.

You will receive: TWO NIGHTS at the Courtyard Marriott Edmonton West.

Two night's lodging in a KING SUITE
1 Dinner for 2 at our AQUA Restaurant - Saturday Evening;
1 Bottle of Wine - choice of white or red included with dinner
Breakfast for 2 at our AQUA Restaurant - Sunday Morning - a la carte menu.

TWO GOLD SEATS FOR OILERS/PENS courtesy of Sunny P Tickets. You also get $40 in Oilers bucks to spend on a bevy or two.

We don't want anyone drinking and driving so Budget Car and Truck Rental will pick you up in a Ford Explorer and take you to Rexall and back to the Marriott after the game.

I want to thank The Marriott West, Sunny P Tickets and Budget for donating the prizes and helping out the MS Society.

We will start the bidding tomorrow at 2 p.m. You can call 1.780.426.8326 or email your bids to gregor@theteam1260.com If you send an email include your name and phone number.
 

Ddf3e2ba09069c465299f3c416e43eae
One of Canada's most versatile sports personalities. Jason hosts The Jason Gregor Show, weekdays from 2 to 6 p.m., on TSN 1260, and he writes a column every Monday in the Edmonton Journal. You can follow him on Twitter at twitter.com/JasonGregor
Avatar
#1 Archaeologuy
October 04 2011, 03:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
3
cheers

@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

Mercy

Avatar
#3 friday the FISTeenth
October 04 2011, 03:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

I find it to be an unparalleled contrast...Master Wanye's article making mention of that fateful day in June of 2006, and the giddy joy I experienced as Dave Andreychuk hoisted the cup in June of 2004. (as pictured above)

Three hours ago I was depressed as the bad memories came flooding back. The photo at the top of this article has lifted my Flame hating spirits.

Avatar
#4 Archaeologuy
October 04 2011, 03:45PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
2
cheers

@friday the FISTeenth

You know, I dont know how much it would hurt the cause to hammer a slapshot into the feet of a penalty killer.

1) It might actually make through

2) It might hurt an opposing player. Probably not terribly, but enough to sting and possibly create more opportunities out there.

3) Worst case scenario is the shot is blocked and sent back. You still outman the other team 5 to 4 and given the track record of this team on the PP have you really derailed such a good thing?

Either way, now the penalty killers cant cheat away from the point. They have to assume that a shot could come from there. Now the penalty killers are more spread out and some different opportunities open up.*

*So easy, even I can understand it

Avatar
#6 Archaeologuy
October 04 2011, 03:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

So help me gawd, I better not hear 1 person complain when the crowd yells "SHOOOOOOT" during a PP.

Constantly you see guys calling the fans mouthbreathers when that happens, but they arent. They're just reacting to seeing the statistical analysis from this article unfold in front of their eyes on the ice.

Sometimes the mob is right. When 16,000 people see a group of professionals fail to do their job it's only natural to say something.

Avatar
#7 dawgbone
October 04 2011, 03:34PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Nice article Willis...

Er Gregor...

Shooting more will help, but being in a position to be able to get a quality shot off is what's going to make this PP better.

The Oilers, for several years now, have just been horrendous at setting up in the zone and breaking down the box. Too much standing around with the puck and not enough movement. Hemsky can take 3 shots every PP from the wall and it's not going to help out the PP% very much.

With all of the big shots gone from the point, maybe the focus will shift from trying to feed it to the point at all costs, to something less predictable.

I've really like how Omark handles the PP. He attacks from the wall, works the puck high and low, supports well. It's like it's a different philosophy when he's on the ice (which seems to pass the sniff test in the numbers... the Oilers took more shots with him on the ice during the PP than they did with anyone else who saw regular PP time). If we could get that same type of style from Hemsky on the other side (either together or on seperate units), it has the potential to cause other team fits.

Avatar
#8 Next up, is Connor McJesus.
October 04 2011, 04:43PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

Even while on the PP, the Oilers are still responding to what the opposition is giving them. They are more than happy to take the bad ice and hang in the perimeter the whole 2 minutes if you let them. If the goal was to keep posession of the puck in the oppositions zone then we'd be world champions. The opponent has no reason to fear whomever the Oilers throw out there on the ice. Maybe 4,91 and 93 will change things up somewhat over the next couple yrs. The powerplay is just too slow and methodical, looks way over coached. It's like they're trying to compensate for the lack of talent on it.

Till the Oilers have players who can force the opposition out of their comfort zone, not much will change. They best blast away if they have a clear view of the net. High,hard, off the goalies mask and in still counts in todays game, doesn't it? A killers instinct isn't always bad.

Avatar
#9 David S
October 04 2011, 05:22PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
1
cheers

I used to think Hemsky was one helluva player. Maybe he still is. But from what I've seen lately it appears something isn't quite there with him. I mean, how many times have we watched him carry the puck into the O-Zone and lose it juuuuust past the blueline as he attempts to deke 3 or 4 opposing players? That doesn't work one time in twenty, and yet he does it EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Not sure what to make of it. But the amount of times he fails is rapidly outpacing the times he succeeds. One or two highlight-reel plays a game and a dozen or so human facepalm moments.

One thing is clear. He does NOT make our PP dangerous. Quite the opposite in fact. Omark running the show on the other hand = DY-NO-MITE!

Avatar
#10 Max Powers - Team HME Evans
October 04 2011, 03:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The PP is going to look better with Nugekins getting fist line powerplay duty.

Avatar
#11 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 04 2011, 03:28PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

The team looks for the perfect play. Just put the puck towards the net and go from there.

Avatar
#12 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 04 2011, 03:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

How did we end up with so many powerplays last year?

Avatar
#13 freeze
October 04 2011, 03:35PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

PP must be better!! It is just painful to watch. Even my untrained eye picks up that they don't move the puck quick enough and all the shooting lanes close before they can get a shot off.

Avatar
#14 friday the FISTeenth
October 04 2011, 03:36PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Archaeologuy wrote:

So help me gawd, I better not hear 1 person complain when the crowd yells "SHOOOOOOT" during a PP.

Constantly you see guys calling the fans mouthbreathers when that happens, but they arent. They're just reacting to seeing the statistical analysis from this article unfold in front of their eyes on the ice.

Sometimes the mob is right. When 16,000 people see a group of professionals fail to do their job it's only natural to say something.

The challenge is finding a shooting lane. They need to put more pucks on net, but I think we would agree that Tom Gilbert shouldn't just fire the puck because some fans are yelling at him. In MHO they need to work on finding ways to get shots on net, rather than just saying "shoot the F@% puck"

Avatar
#15 dawgbone
October 04 2011, 03:37PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Archaeologuy wrote:

So help me gawd, I better not hear 1 person complain when the crowd yells "SHOOOOOOT" during a PP.

Constantly you see guys calling the fans mouthbreathers when that happens, but they arent. They're just reacting to seeing the statistical analysis from this article unfold in front of their eyes on the ice.

Sometimes the mob is right. When 16,000 people see a group of professionals fail to do their job it's only natural to say something.

The fact that the Oilers need to shoot more on the PP doesn't mean the shoot crowd is right.

Telling a player to shoot at that moment doesn't mean the shot is there at that time. If there are 4 people in the lane there is no sense in wasting one in there on the chance that they are just going to put it back down the ice.

Instead of yelling "Shoooooot", the more appropriate statement is "Mooooooooooooove the damn puck faster".

Avatar
#16 friday the FISTeenth
October 04 2011, 03:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
freeze wrote:

PP must be better!! It is just painful to watch. Even my untrained eye picks up that they don't move the puck quick enough and all the shooting lanes close before they can get a shot off.

This is what I am trying to say

Avatar
#17 Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach
October 04 2011, 03:48PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Ask yourself how many times you've been pissed watching the Oilers give up an "unlucky" goal. A bad bounce type of goal.

I never said shoot from anywhere, I said shoot more. Of course you want to hold onto the puck and set up a play, but it is obvious the Oilers don't shoot enough, and with Smyth returning you get puck to the net. He'll deflect them, or battle hard for rebounds.

Simple can be more effective than pretty.

I'm pissed at those stupid shots that the other team misses on purpose just to get a bank. Not sure why we rarely use them.

Avatar
#18 David S
October 04 2011, 03:49PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

From the games I saw at RX1, it seemed that shooting wasn't the issue as much as taking shots that actually got through. My guess is we were shinpad denting champions of the world last year.

Also, for the love of god please take Ales Hemsky off the PP. Every team knows he likes to hang out at the wall and execute finesse passes onto opposing players' sticks (after spinning around a few times to "fake them out").

Give PP quarterbacking duties to Gagner and Omark and let Ales catch his breath on the bench. We'll all be better and live longer lives for it.

Avatar
#19 Archaeologuy
October 04 2011, 03:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach

If I recall correctly, Detroit's boards are really lively and they practice those plays.*

*Could have just made that up, but I dont think so.

Avatar
#20 David S
October 04 2011, 03:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Ogden Brother Jr. - Team Strudwick for coach wrote:

I'm pissed at those stupid shots that the other team misses on purpose just to get a bank. Not sure why we rarely use them.

I can't count the number of re-directed goals teams like Vancouver scored on us last year. Freakin' bruuuuutal!

Avatar
#21 French Toast Mafia
October 04 2011, 04:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Hey Gregor what do you think of getting hemsky off the halfboards on the PP? I can't handle watching him try to create something. He stands still a lot of the time and doesn't open up any lanes for himself so he is always trying to feather passes through guys. I think Hemsky is a good offensive player but on the PP it seems like everything runs through him which is just a lot of standing around. He also takes a long time to get his shot off so he needs a lot of space to walk out and shoot. What do you think of having an Eberle or the Nuge in that position instead?

Avatar
#22 Tyler
October 04 2011, 04:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Unfortunately they don't track shots on 5-on-3, but close your eyes and remember how many times you tossed a pillow or remote while watching the Oilers move the puck around the perimeter without shooting, and I'm guessing they shot less on 5-on-3 than they did 5-on-4.

BTN has this data. You're right about how bad the Oilers are at shooting the puck on a 5v3 - they're like 26th in the NHL - but their crush their miserable 5v4 rate, 68.1 S/60 to 41.8 S/60.

I otherwise endorse everything Dawgbone says. My question mark about whether Hemsky is that valuable a player is that I can't figure out whether the PP is so turgid because he holds things up or whether he's never got anywhere to pass it to other than to the point.

Avatar
#23 French Toast Mafia
October 04 2011, 04:05PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
David S wrote:

From the games I saw at RX1, it seemed that shooting wasn't the issue as much as taking shots that actually got through. My guess is we were shinpad denting champions of the world last year.

Also, for the love of god please take Ales Hemsky off the PP. Every team knows he likes to hang out at the wall and execute finesse passes onto opposing players' sticks (after spinning around a few times to "fake them out").

Give PP quarterbacking duties to Gagner and Omark and let Ales catch his breath on the bench. We'll all be better and live longer lives for it.

Well said David, well said.

Avatar
#24 dawgbone
October 04 2011, 04:07PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Ask yourself how many times you've been pissed watching the Oilers give up an "unlucky" goal. A bad bounce type of goal.

I never said shoot from anywhere, I said shoot more. Of course you want to hold onto the puck and set up a play, but it is obvious the Oilers don't shoot enough, and with Smyth returning you get puck to the net. He'll deflect them, or battle hard for rebounds.

Simple can be more effective than pretty.

I don't disagree, but I think if they just start focus on shooting more with their current philosophy they'll start taking bad shots at the expense of good shots.

As you work the puck around more, you'll create more and more lanes. Maybe you can take that shot from the half-wall because they have one person back in the lane instead of 2 with one being high. And that shot goes in off a defenceman or off Smyth's elbow or whatever.

We aren't disagreeing on much, other than what to do first... shooting more or moving the puck better.

And I certainly don't think pretty is necessary, but quicker is. No more than 2 steamboats and the puck goes to someone else kind of thing.

Avatar
#25 Hemmercules
October 04 2011, 04:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
French Toast Mafia wrote:

Hey Gregor what do you think of getting hemsky off the halfboards on the PP? I can't handle watching him try to create something. He stands still a lot of the time and doesn't open up any lanes for himself so he is always trying to feather passes through guys. I think Hemsky is a good offensive player but on the PP it seems like everything runs through him which is just a lot of standing around. He also takes a long time to get his shot off so he needs a lot of space to walk out and shoot. What do you think of having an Eberle or the Nuge in that position instead?

I'm all for Nuge or Eberle in that position. I remember when the Hawks won the cup their power play passing was so fast it was almost unreal, always confusing the other team. I love Hemsky, but him standing on the half boards waiting for eveyone else to move is way too frustrating sometimes.

Avatar
#26 Crash
October 04 2011, 04:29PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Ask yourself how many times you've been pissed watching the Oilers give up an "unlucky" goal. A bad bounce type of goal.

I never said shoot from anywhere, I said shoot more. Of course you want to hold onto the puck and set up a play, but it is obvious the Oilers don't shoot enough, and with Smyth returning you get puck to the net. He'll deflect them, or battle hard for rebounds.

Simple can be more effective than pretty.

I totally agree with your statement "with Smyth returning you get the puck to the net".

From what I've seen on the Oilers PP is that for some reason they stand around the perimeter trying to make the perfect play. The reason they don't shoot more often is likely because the shooters realize that taking a shot on net without traffic around the blue paint is pointless because it just results in a simple turnover and out goes the puck. Getting more shots will not help one iota unless they have traffic in front of the bloody net.

I agree Smytty will help big time in this regard and hopefully it will rub off on the rest of them. It's not like they don't know that getting traffic in the blue paint is what is needed because they talk about it after every game....they just rarely if ever do it.

If more of them can buy into the traffic in the blue paint then all that's required after that is getting the puck into that paint area. Pucks can be thrown into the blue paint from anywhere on the ice...it doesn't have to be a shot getting thru from the point or the half boards. The puck can truly be delivered into the scoring area from virtually anywhere in the offensive zone. Sure sometimes it can be a shot from the point or the half boards...but again, just shooting more isn't the answer without more net presence and more of getting the puck into that area with that presence in place.

And this same philosophy needs to be applied 5 on 5 as well

Avatar
#27 Oilers G- Nations Poet Laureate
October 04 2011, 04:38PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

*Cut and pasted from Jason's article...

"... if they have any hope of being in the playoff hunt come March."

Playoff hunt come March???

I hope they're still in the hunt

In January

Avatar
#28 spOILer
October 04 2011, 04:51PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Now that's a post. Excellent work, Mr. Gregor.

One note though... never use # of PPs or PP chances/opportunities. Always use per 60 min to eliminate the powerplays that last a few seconds and are thus not really an opportunity at all.

Avatar
#30 Douche Nietzsche
October 04 2011, 05:00PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@David S

Ales is the Oilers PP. I will assume you're just h8ing a little, no?

Gagner is a one trick pony, what trick that is I am not aware of.

Hall, Hemsky and Hopkins will show characteristics of sick hockey minds on the Oilers 1st unit PP, as we will all soon see.

I believe Smyth and Horcoff will perfectly compliment Eberle on unit #2 and allow him to show how sick he is as well.

Avatar
#31 The Saint
October 04 2011, 05:03PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Great article Jason.

Fitting Gretzky quote to add, whether it applies to business or in sports:

"You miss 100% of the shots you don't take"...

After watching the Oilers frustrating PowerPlay over the past several seasons, and breaking too many TV remotes as I yell "shoot the bloody puck", I've come to the realization that we need to go back to basics.

Less is more. Dirty goals may not make highlights, but they win games.

I for one am looking forward to see the Mullet back in his office, right smack in front of the goalie.

Avatar
#32 Douche Nietzsche
October 04 2011, 05:08PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jason Gregor

How urgent would you be to pass the puck to Horcoff?

Hemsky never had good enough support, since 2006, to make the Oilers PP a threat. Remember when he had the option of Chris? That was a threat.

You're only as strong as your weakest link, and Hemsky was/is not the weakest threat.

Avatar
#33 Wanyes bastard child
October 04 2011, 05:10PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Douche Nietzsche

Ales is the Oilers PP?

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9ur82aS4p1qbs5d3o1_500.jpg

We've had a horrible PP with Ales as the PP... something has to change.

Avatar
#34 Douche Nietzsche
October 04 2011, 05:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Wanyes bastard child

A PP is not a penalty shot. There is usually 3-4 other players on the ice with Hemsky.

Avatar
#35 fiveo
October 04 2011, 05:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Twenty nine other teams and the Oilersnation figured it out. Hemsky on the PP - FAIL. Coaches need to address this issue.Tough to have success when everyone knows what your system is.

Avatar
#36 David S
October 04 2011, 05:16PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Wanyes bastard child wrote:

Ales is the Oilers PP?

http://24.media.tumblr.com/tumblr_l9ur82aS4p1qbs5d3o1_500.jpg

We've had a horrible PP with Ales as the PP... something has to change.

Sweet pic link Wbc!

Avatar
#37 Wanyes bastard child
October 04 2011, 05:19PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
David S wrote:

Sweet pic link Wbc!

I have a few more im holding onto yet as well :)

Avatar
#38 Wanyes bastard child
October 04 2011, 05:26PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@David S

^This!

Avatar
#39 Douche Nietzsche
October 04 2011, 05:27PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@David S

Knowing you and I share a universe, sadness me, only because I see no point in feeling nothing else towards your opinions.

Avatar
#40 I tried it at home
October 04 2011, 05:31PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I seem to remember a rather robust young man named Steve Macintyre who scored on a shot to the net that bobbled, wobbled and generally looked like a no way, no chance waste of a shot. I also seem to remember that goal counted just as much as all the pretty pretty ones the more "gifted" skilled guys got... More probably in a lot of cases cause those guys were too busy lining up the perfect shot to, you know, actually shoot. Shoot the f@*!g puck guys,ok?

Avatar
#41 Travis Dakin
October 04 2011, 05:32PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jason Gregor

@Tyler

The one consistency has been Hemsky in the last five years because there hasn't been any other player on the team that deserved to stay on the 1PP. This team has been at the bottom because of a lack of talent. Hemsky is NOT the problem. Give him some time when he is fully healthy and with a unit full of talent that can convert and I think you'll see a huge improvement on the PP.

Avatar
#42 Travis Dakin
October 04 2011, 05:33PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
David S wrote:

I used to think Hemsky was one helluva player. Maybe he still is. But from what I've seen lately it appears something isn't quite there with him. I mean, how many times have we watched him carry the puck into the O-Zone and lose it juuuuust past the blueline as he attempts to deke 3 or 4 opposing players? That doesn't work one time in twenty, and yet he does it EVERY SINGLE TIME.

Not sure what to make of it. But the amount of times he fails is rapidly outpacing the times he succeeds. One or two highlight-reel plays a game and a dozen or so human facepalm moments.

One thing is clear. He does NOT make our PP dangerous. Quite the opposite in fact. Omark running the show on the other hand = DY-NO-MITE!

You shut your DAMN FILTHY WHORE MOUTH!!!!

Avatar
#43 David S
October 04 2011, 05:39PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Travis Dakin wrote:

You shut your DAMN FILTHY WHORE MOUTH!!!!

Oh hey! Look who finally comes outta the woodwork!

Avatar
#44 Tyler
October 04 2011, 05:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

@Jason Gregor

@Gregor

Agreed re: Hemsky being the one constant and wondering on that basis, if he's part of the problem. On the other hand, when he's been out, the shot numbers get even worse, which makes me wonder if it's the turkeys who surround him who are the problem.

Agreed on Omark too. I really like him a lot; I think he's got a shot at being a really useful player. Hopefully he's not flushed this year for not being part of the vision of the top 6; he may well be better on the PP than a couple of guys who are.

If you've ever got Renney or MacT or Simpson on your show and you've got five minutes, I'd love to see you sort of lay out the data and ask for their thoughts as to why the PP generates so few shots. It's gone on long enough that there has to be some sort of technical explanation for why it is, whether it's an inability to gain the zone or Hemsky dicking around with the puck too much or, less plausibly, the infatuation with point shots resulting in a lower percentage of attempts hitting the net.

Avatar
#45 Wanyes bastard child
October 04 2011, 05:40PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
David S wrote:

Oh hey! Look who finally comes outta the woodwork!

I don't like his tone, think we can get him banned?

Avatar
#46 Travis Dakin
October 04 2011, 05:46PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
David S wrote:

Oh hey! Look who finally comes outta the woodwork!

I've been lurking. Just watching and waiting to clean up your verbal diarrhea.

Avatar
#47 book¡e
October 04 2011, 06:20PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

I really like Hemsky's game 5 on 5 and have no problem calling him a top player, first liner, etc.

However, I do think that his approach on the PP may need some tinkering. He seems to lack the creativity on the PP that he has when playing 5 on 5. His linemates tend to move less (for some reason) and the whole PP seems less dynamic than it should be.

I agree that it may have been the limitations of some of the players he has been with. We will see this year.

Avatar
#48 ubermiguel
October 04 2011, 06:50PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers

Eberle, Hall and RNH seem to understand moving on the PP and how to open things up. Put Smyth in front = instant improvement. I'm looking forward to an improved PP on the front end. The blueline is another story. I can see us using 4 forwards and 1 D a lot unless some young D-man steps up.

Avatar
#49 dawgbone
October 04 2011, 07:13PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
Jason Gregor wrote:

Well then he should adjust and shoot the puck more. Look at teams who don't have great snipers, yet are good on the PP.

Minnesota, Montreal, St.Louis...They were all much better than Oilers on the PP. Fact is Hemsky hasn't been pushed to earn his PP icetime. Healthy competition might jump start his game.

I hope Hemsky can improve PP, but reality the PP can improve even if he doesn't want to alter his game. He needs to move puck quicker and initiate more movement on the PP.

I guess the question is whether that's been Hemsky's choice or if that's the way the PP has been designed to run.

One of the things I've noticed is that since the Oilers have had the big shot on the PP (Souray, Visnovsky, Foster), they've tried to work the PP from the half boards to the point continuously.

I think that might be a good question for Bucky (who has been around for the last 3 coaches), if forcing the puck to the PP was by design or if it was a player decision.

That will go a long way to answer the question.

Avatar
#50 dawgbone
October 04 2011, 07:17PM
Trash it!
0
trashes
Cheers
0
cheers
ubermiguel wrote:

Eberle, Hall and RNH seem to understand moving on the PP and how to open things up. Put Smyth in front = instant improvement. I'm looking forward to an improved PP on the front end. The blueline is another story. I can see us using 4 forwards and 1 D a lot unless some young D-man steps up.

If we're being honest, Eberle and Hall weren't so hot on the PP last year either. Mind you that's to be expected for rookies (which is why I wouldn't count on Hopkins to turn it around much).

The one thing Smyth brings is that he's very good at going from the front of the net as a screen to getting to loose pucks low in the zone. He has a really good ability to box defenders out.

Comments are closed for this article.