A SUCCESSFUL POWERPLAY....

Jason Gregor
February 12 2014 12:44PM

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The Oilers powerplay started the season at almost the exact same success rate as last season -- 17 of 82 (20.7%) in the first 25 games -- but they've struggled mightily during the last 35 games, scoring 18 goals on 123 chances (14.6%.)

What has changed? Is it coaching or is it the players?

I'd say it is a combination of both, but I caught up with former NHLer Garry Gallery to get his thoughts on what makes a powerplay successful. Galley played on six different teams, but he was always a regular fixture on the PP -- some very good, some that struggled.

Galley shared some excellent insight about being too predictable, the need for players to ad-lib and the role of the two players who act as D-men on the PP.

Gregor: How much success of the powerplay is coaching and how much is it up to the players to ad-lib or just execute plays?  

Garry Galley: It sounds like a bit of a cop out, but it’s a bit of a mixture due to the fact that penalty killing is reliant on systems and hard work.

There’s a system to penalty killing, where to be because you’ve got to cover larger portion of the ice, you try to over block the shooting lanes, keep the pucks to poor shooting angles. So there is a bit of a method to the madness of penalty killing and you’ve got to have guys that are willing to be stops and starts guys, guys who like to block shots, guys that are dogged types of players that will fight for loose pucks at a split second and understand how to do that. And those guys are really important to a team.

Powerplay guys have to be able to ad-lib. They have to be able to take what the penalty killers give them, especially if they give them a bit on the run where the seams can open up, where you can look for certain seams.

If a team habitually looks for the same seams all of the time, and I think that's what eventually caught up to the Montreal Canadiens because their power play was so good at the start of the year. In December, I think it was ranked third, but it has been dreadful in the New Year and lately I think that that is one of the reasons why they are not scoring a lot of goals is because they started to get predictable. That is the one thing that a power play can’t do.

So yes it needs some coaching, it needs to get a systematic start to things, a base product and then you’ve got to get the right players on it that can ad-lib and pick the available plays that are open to give you best chance to get a good quality scoring chance and hopefully you can accumulate enough points on it to help you win hockey games, because a power play can do that for you.

Gregor: You talked about the systematic stuff from a coach as the base, is zone entry the base of that?

Galley: I think that the one area where you can have a systematic approach is coming up the ice. Your breakout so to speak, how you enter the zone and what basically that will look like. I coach a minor bantam team and I give the kids the same kind of philosophy; we are going to break the puck out in these situations. These five guys are going to go through this systematic pattern, scheme, schematic and this is what we are going to do. The centreman is going to swing; I want the defenceman to post for our blue line, I want my right winger to start at the red line backup, cuddle along the far blue line, I want my left winger to slash through. Here’s my five guys, here’s the design of my schematic breakout, here are the options that will be available to you as the defenceman who steps out from behind the net. OK, hit the post guy, hit the centre. Post guy to the slashing left winger. All of the players have to understand the options that are available to them.

When you know your options from where you are, then you have to act like a quarterback when he drops back in the pocket. He doesn’t just have one play, he has four plays and he has to systematically go through them quickly and then pick the right one. And that’s what the breakout is all about, pick the right one.

A lot of teams right now are going to drive hard to the line because teams line up and then drop it back and that late guy, that guy who comes in and that’s usually a guy who’s good at cutting through traffic and whatever with the puck. So that’s an option too, but it’s a little more schematic.

Once you get into the zone there’s a starting place to start up in, and you call them quiet zones to get the penalty killers to stop, which allows you to get some control of the puck and then the rotations come off of that.

There’s still a matter of making the choices, the right choices, and picking the open plays and that comes to patience, it comes to players who are able to hang onto the puck a bit longer, good puck handling skills, and guys who have the ability to get open and understand that they can’t stand still.

The powerplay has to be a moving product.

Maybe one guy in front of the net for screening because goaltenders are so good now. They are usually the best penalty killers on the ice. So you have to get into his vision, and the other four guys have got to find a way to move around and find open seams and it’s hard to do because the penalty killers watch extensive video sessions on how to counter your power play.

Gregor: Garry, you were on the backend on a lot of successful powerplays. What’s the key ingredient a successful defenceman has to have to be able to run a powerplay?

Galley: You know, I started out in college, I was on a powerplay with Dave Ellett and it was a real successful PP at Bowling Green.

I moved on and I’ve been on powerplays with Rob Blake and Ray Bourque and guys along that nature, and I really think that it’s imperative that both of your defencemen can shoot the puck. They need to have fairly good shots because what the shot does, or if you are using a forward and a defenceman, whatever the combination of the guys at your back end is, is they have to be feared from the blue line.

If the shooter is not feared from the blue line, often times penalty killers will leave them alone, they won’t acknowledge them, or if he’s wired to pass too often, then they know that he’s not going to shoot. So it’s important that you have a guy back there who is wired to shoot puck. You look at Ray Bourque and Rob Blake and Dave Ellett and all of those guys that I played with; they were wired to shoot the puck. So my job as their partner was to have a decent enough shot that if it was there I had to take it because you’ve got to make sure that the opponent knows that you will shoot. And then once you have that established try to get as many shots into their pinwheel as you can and let them hammer away.

You’ve got to get traffic in front and the other key for a D-man is the selection process.

Are you playing an umbrella where you have one straight shooter in the middle of the ice and four guys operating off to the sides and down low? Are you playing an overload with your centremen on the half-wall, two D on the backside, down low winger, guy in front, or are you playing a 1-3-1 where you have one guy in front, one guy in the middle at the blue line and three guys lined through the slot where you are looking for those tick- tack-toe one timers all over the ice and into those shooting areas?

So it depends on the system, but one D-man has to be a wired shooter and that’s the guy that everyone focuses on, but if they take him away, the other guys have got to have the ability to understand that that plays gone, they are leaning towards taking the shot away. Let’s go down low now, let’s hit a guy down low, let’s attack the net but there has to be an attack the net.

This is where the player’s adlib skills come in. You can’t really coach it.

Too many power plays get into trouble when they start to become happy on the perimeter and their end zone time looks extremely sexy; they spent the whole two minutes in the zone. Well that’s great. If I’m a penalty killer you can spend five minutes in the zone. If you don’t get any good quality scoring chances, it’s not really a good looking power play. So it’s not the sexiness of the puck movement and the perimeter play, it’s when the power player makes his decision it goes from a perimeter to an attack mode, and when they attack do they get it into the quality areas? You’re looking to get good quality chances. It’s not necessarily goals, you want to get good quality chances and feel good about the power play when you finish it so that your team feels something positive about it.

***The biggest weakness on the Oilers PP is that they don't have one guy who teams fear. J.Schultz will never possess that type of shot, but he can be like Galley and be an excellent secondary option. The Oilers need to find a D-man who has a heavy shot standing still, not just a one-timer. They are hard to find, but until they find one I think PK guys will be able to cheat down low because they aren't afraid of Schultz's point shot.***

Gregor: If you go to the 1-3-1, which the Oilers have done recently, what is the best way to attack the PK?

Galley: The high slot guy would be best. When you took at the 1-3-1 it’s like you’re looking at a plus sign right? So you’ve got your guy in front, your guy in the slot, your guy at the point all in a straight line and then from the top of the circle, right through the middle you’re going to re-use that guy in the slot with your two half-wall guys. So you’re creating a plus sign, and that is creating minor triangles all over the ice. You’ve got a triangle from your point man to your half-wall to your slot shot. You’ve got a triangle between your point man to your half-wall to your front net guy and all of these triangles hopefully set up opportunity to make a quick passes and catch the penalty killers not able to cover all of those guys in a shooting position. If they stay too low, to cover the guys in front, then you have that high slot guy. If they cover the front net slot guy, now you have your point guy.

So it’s about the forcing the penalty killers to make choices. Where do they want to lean, where do they want their stick positions in, and then choosing the appropriate one.

And again, you can go back to the most basic of powerplays, the Calgary days with Gary Suter and Al MacInnis where they just had two great shooters. They worked the puck to one of them and they were so talented, and it is a talent getting the puck from the blue line through to the net. It is even more of a talent now because back when those guys were shooting there was only a handful of guys who blocked shots in the whole league. Now it has to be a part of your repertoire, you have to be in the shooting lanes all of the time, everybody blocks shots.

So it’s a real talent to be able to take the puck from the point and move it that six inches, that foot, that foot and a half, two feet, whatever distance you need to laterally move the puck until a lane opens where you can get the puck into a good shooting area. Again, they’re all good strategies to use, but boy those penalty killers have really improved and the coaching now is so good that it really makes powerplays tough to get to that 20% mark.. If you can get a powerplay to 20-22%, that’s absolutely excellent.

The anomaly is when you see Washington at almost 30% or whatever, that’s just crazy stuff where they have some guys with unbelievable chemistry. Look at guys like [Mike] Ribeiro last year and [Niklas] Backstrom this year, who are great passers. They have a shooter in [Alex] Ovechkin, they have a shooter [Mike] Green, they have a lot of nice little pieces in the one-timer positions and when it all clicks together it can do some damage.

Gregor:  You talked about the one timer and Ovechkin is obviously the best in the league right now. Oiler fans look at Nail Yakupov and see his one timer and wonder why it isn't used more. Is it up to the player to learn how to find the holes, or should the powerplay focus on getting him the puck more?

Galley: They player needs to learn to find the quiet spots on the ice…players like Brett Hull were great at losing himself. He would come into a zone and then he would back out and then come into another spot. When you got guys like Adam Oates and Craig Janney, those guys are wired passers. They have great peripheral vision; they have great senses of where their players are and especially a particular player. [Cam] Neely and Janney in Boston, and now Backstrom and Ovechkin are very, very good at it.

When you look at those kinds of things, those are special attributes between two players, and they can find each other, they know where to go and the passer has to have another option to be able to use and be willing to use that other option if need be.

But getting set up for a one timer and then being able to score with it, is solely on the player. I was told this a long time ago, that these guys that score like this -- and of course I wasn’t one of the them -- was that when I was going to receive a pass or I was going to one time a puck, I had to take a look at where I’m putting it.

These guys with the great one-timers, they don’t have to look.

They have a sense of the net in their minds. They know where it is on the ice, they know where the puck is going. So when they onetime it, when they shoot it, they know where that 4x6 place is and they know where their puck is going so there is no need to look. They position themselves like a field goal kicker. He backs up, he takes four steps back, he takes two steps sideways and when that ball gets snapped, he’s taking the same pattern in and he’s kicking it. That is very similar to the one timer. Body chemistry, everything, but when they shoot it, they know where it’s going. They may overshoot the net the odd time, I mean it’s (one-timer) an extremely difficult thing to do, especially if the pass is firm. But guys like [Steven] Stamkos and Ovechkin, man, they are good at it.

Any young player like Yakupov will need to master the art of finding the open space, but it also isn’t just about having a good one-timer, the best scorers have an accurate one-timer.

WRAP UP

I thought Galley did a great job of explaining how the PP should work, but also recognizing that the PKs are better today than ever. I'll be watching how the Oilers attack on the 1-3-1 once they are set up. Using small triangles and quick passes to get the box to open up is likely the best strategy for the Oilers because they don't possess a threat from the point.

QUICK HITS...

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  • For the past few weeks I wrote the Eskimos and Patrick Watkins would be a good match, and today the Eskimos signed the best free agent cornerback in the league. It was a natural fit, with him playing Jones' defence in Toronto the past two seasons. Watkins will allow the Esks to play more man-to-man coverage.

  • I highly doubt the four lines that Mike Babcock starts with against Norway tomorrow will be the ones he uses in the playoff rounds. I think we will see many changes, including John Tavares working his way up the lineup. I also think Jamie Benn will have an excellent tournament.

RECENTLY BY JASON GREGOR 

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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
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#1 Cynic
February 12 2014, 12:52PM
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Good insight.

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#2 derrickhands
February 12 2014, 01:02PM
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Biggest problem the Oilers have is they do not have that big respectable shot from the point. The one that scares the crap out off opposing goalies and shot blockers.

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#3 Will
February 12 2014, 01:02PM
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Nice to know following a successful system on the PP can lead to an eventual unsuccessful one. It sounds like everyone in the league has to constantly be trying to keep the PP fresh in order to keep other teams off guard. Otherwise I suppose someone would have come up with one system that worked all the time.

On another note, did anyone watch the Sweden Czech game today. That second period was crazy! Even without Hendrick that Swedish team is insane, anyone on their team can score.

I think for Canada to win, they'll have to do so by using their depth to light up the third and fourth lines of other squads. Maybe that's why Tavaras is on our fourth line. "Okay kid, this is as easy as it gets in this tournament, go out there and score."

At any rate Olympic hockey is tremendous. I'm actually a little sad the NHL doesn't play on the big ice as it's so open and the transition game is so fast.

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#4 Will
February 12 2014, 01:07PM
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derrickhands wrote:

Biggest problem the Oilers have is they do not have that big respectable shot from the point. The one that scares the crap out off opposing goalies and shot blockers.

I actually think they do have a few guys that can really wire it from the point. Petry and Belov namely, but that doesn't seem to be the main tactic used, maybe because our pp doesn't have a big net presence.

Having said that I cringe back to the days when our entire PP was pass it to Souray for the bomb. It took teams like 8 games to realize that before they started to just wait for the Souray pass.

Gregor - perhaps this is a question for Willis - do you notice or have any stats that might back up the theory that our power play is worse against bigger teams? My thought is that Western teams, especially those in the Pacific division are able to break up our cycle simply because they can push our team off the puck easier. Any merit to this or am I just spinning my wheels?

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#5 fasteddy
February 12 2014, 01:43PM
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I can't pretend to be some expert, but ive played enough hockey to make this comment; powerplays are most successful when you work as hard or harder than the penalty killers. I feel like our guys stand around and try for pretty plays, rather than fighting hard to retrieve rebounds and pucks that go into the corners.

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#7 loweblows
February 12 2014, 01:58PM
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Hey Jason. I did some investigative sports reporting on tsn.ca too. Cary Koch went to the Ticats. I can do your job :)

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#8 derrickhands
February 12 2014, 02:12PM
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@Will

Petry rarely uses it and Belov cannot hit the broadside of a barn, let alone play defense. Marincin doesn't have a bad one, but not the hard heavy one like Klefbom's. OKC Barons PP isn't the best either and they play the same scheme of PP as the Oilers.

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#9 Wade Graham
February 12 2014, 02:47PM
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loweblows wrote:

Hey Jason. I did some investigative sports reporting on tsn.ca too. Cary Koch went to the Ticats. I can do your job :)

Your attempts to look smart only make you look stupid. If you paid attention you'd know Gregor has talked about Watkins for the past two weeks coming to Edmonton, before anyone else reported it.

Also, we all notice how gutless you are to take cheap shots by remaining nameless. People like you are a joke. It would be great if the Nation just banned you from commenting. You never add anything productive to the conversation.

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#10 Oil Kings 'n' Pretty Things
February 12 2014, 02:48PM
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How sweet was the NES Power Glove?

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#11 Will
February 12 2014, 02:49PM
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@Jason Gregor

Solid, thanks.

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#12 Will
February 12 2014, 02:52PM
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derrickhands wrote:

Petry rarely uses it and Belov cannot hit the broadside of a barn, let alone play defense. Marincin doesn't have a bad one, but not the hard heavy one like Klefbom's. OKC Barons PP isn't the best either and they play the same scheme of PP as the Oilers.

Clapper or not, at least we have J Schultz and his deadly wrister. I am happy he's picked up his play of late and I hope he can finish the season with some good offensive totals to build on for next year. It would be great to have a 15 - 20 goals a year defenseman on our roster and I think Schultz could get there someday. It's a shame he doesn't have the luxury of playing with a top pairing vet.

On a somewhat similar note, did you see Karlsons two goals today? Wow.

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#13 Rama Lama
February 12 2014, 02:59PM
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We should hire this Galley.......and do it quickly.

I remember the days when we had Eric Brewer on the PP........the guy had no slap shot but would wrist the puck to the net. He always seemed to find the lane and there were always chances as a result, usually from the slot.

We now have a PP unit ( usually four or five forwards) that is obsessed with trying to pass the puck into the net. All we need to do to fix this is find a defenceman with a shoot first mentality.

In defense of Belov......I believe that he was instructed to not fire the puck but to move it to the half boards. When you look at the PP is fairly obvious that whom ever came up with the current strategy is in love with our forwards.

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#14 MessyEH
February 12 2014, 03:10PM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

Belov refused to shoot the puck. Petry also hesitant to use his shot, and takes too long to get it away. Having a shot is one thing, using it properly is more important.

Oilers were 20% against west-only teams last year.

They are 17 for 91 (18.6) against East this year. And are 18 of 116 (15.5) against the West.

They are 4 for 45 against SJ, Van, Ana, LA and Pho...The first four teams are all in top-14 (8.8%) of PK, but the Oilers have struggled against them, so maybe it is being pushed off the puck, or maybe the system. Worth looking at.

I think we need a real battler in front of the net.

Horcoff battled for puck possession. He got the puck and fed it back to the shooters. We do not have that on the PP now. Horcoffs contract was bad. But he never quit.

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#15 loweblows
February 12 2014, 03:18PM
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Wade Graham wrote:

Your attempts to look smart only make you look stupid. If you paid attention you'd know Gregor has talked about Watkins for the past two weeks coming to Edmonton, before anyone else reported it.

Also, we all notice how gutless you are to take cheap shots by remaining nameless. People like you are a joke. It would be great if the Nation just banned you from commenting. You never add anything productive to the conversation.

yeah. plus, this an oilers blog so he hasnt mentioned much about it on here and if he has this isnt his audience. take a hint and joke. :)

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#16 Will
February 12 2014, 04:06PM
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Rama Lama wrote:

We should hire this Galley.......and do it quickly.

I remember the days when we had Eric Brewer on the PP........the guy had no slap shot but would wrist the puck to the net. He always seemed to find the lane and there were always chances as a result, usually from the slot.

We now have a PP unit ( usually four or five forwards) that is obsessed with trying to pass the puck into the net. All we need to do to fix this is find a defenceman with a shoot first mentality.

In defense of Belov......I believe that he was instructed to not fire the puck but to move it to the half boards. When you look at the PP is fairly obvious that whom ever came up with the current strategy is in love with our forwards.

I agree that something is a bit fishy. His scouting report had him with one of the better shots form the point in the KHL; he then comes here and doesn't use that point shot? Something seems a bit off. Especially considering his only goal this year was a beauty blast from the point.

Maybe after that they'll give him a bit more free reign to clap it. It kind of seems the guys with big point shots (Weber, P.K., Chara, Karlson) are also the guys quaterbacking the power play. I don't think they've given Belov enough leash to do this yet.

I do agree with Derrickhands however that Klefbomb does have a heavy shot. Principe must be dying in anticipation for all the "drop the Klefbomb" puns to be made.

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#17 Tikkanese
February 12 2014, 04:09PM
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Trade with the Habs for that Magnus Nygren kid. He had a 104.6 mph slapshot yesterday in the AHL skills contest. In fact, all three of his shots were over 100 mph. By all reports that I've seen, he sounds very close to being NHL ready now.

I also wouldn't mind getting Tokarski from them as well. He might be ready to push a Scrivens in a 1A, 1B role. He just hasn't had a shot in the NHL yet.

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#18 pelhem grenville
February 12 2014, 04:10PM
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Wade Graham wrote:

Your attempts to look smart only make you look stupid. If you paid attention you'd know Gregor has talked about Watkins for the past two weeks coming to Edmonton, before anyone else reported it.

Also, we all notice how gutless you are to take cheap shots by remaining nameless. People like you are a joke. It would be great if the Nation just banned you from commenting. You never add anything productive to the conversation.

...this is harsh...so much name calling...and you speak for me for some reason...it would be great if you stopped that...

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#19 J.P Michaels
February 12 2014, 04:26PM
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you don't put enough shots on goal and just pass the puck back n forth and then Puck goes beyond the Pkayer on the blue line and you start over again and lose the Puck and be hit short handed. That simple is that. More Shots is the answer and use the rebounds better.

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#20 Cynic
February 12 2014, 04:55PM
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Cynic wrote:

Good insight.

It wasn't good insight?? Or are you reflexively thumbing me down b/c your virginias are sandy from justifiably being called myopians?

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#21 Oiler Al
February 12 2014, 05:21PM
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Long, but interesting interview and overview by Gary Galley. Should forward this write up to Eakins, might learn something.

However, I think Galley summed it up in his first response, pointing out that " systems and hardwork are required... might be the reason the Oilers are struggling.

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#22 @Oilanderp
February 12 2014, 05:53PM
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Luke Gazdic stands ready with his bomb. a PP diamond in the rough no doubt. Just make sure the puck isn't moving and he has 5 or 6 seconds to wind up and skate into it :)

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#23 Zarny
February 12 2014, 06:08PM
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Will wrote:

I agree that something is a bit fishy. His scouting report had him with one of the better shots form the point in the KHL; he then comes here and doesn't use that point shot? Something seems a bit off. Especially considering his only goal this year was a beauty blast from the point.

Maybe after that they'll give him a bit more free reign to clap it. It kind of seems the guys with big point shots (Weber, P.K., Chara, Karlson) are also the guys quaterbacking the power play. I don't think they've given Belov enough leash to do this yet.

I do agree with Derrickhands however that Klefbomb does have a heavy shot. Principe must be dying in anticipation for all the "drop the Klefbomb" puns to be made.

What's fishy?

He's a rookie. Pretty much every rookie is tentative. To top it off, he's in a foreign country, doesn't speak the language and is on the ice with players way better than he is.

Not really surprising he's dishing the puck off and afraid to shoot. When he feels he belongs in the league you'll probably see more of the game he played in the KHL.

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#24 voom04
February 12 2014, 06:18PM
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J.P. do you always prop your own comments?

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#25 Zarny
February 12 2014, 06:18PM
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Good interview. Always great to get the perspective of a player.

Hopefully the Eakins haters note that systems are simply the base framework. Success depends on the player's ability to ad-lib and execute.

None of the systems Eakins uses are unique or special. Quite the opposite. Lots of teams have success using those systems. The Oilers simply don't have the personnel to execute consistently.

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#26 toprightcorner
February 12 2014, 06:19PM
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derrickhands wrote:

Biggest problem the Oilers have is they do not have that big respectable shot from the point. The one that scares the crap out off opposing goalies and shot blockers.

I am less concerned about how hard they shoot and prefer to have someone who can get the shot to the net. Most goals scored from the point are tips not defenseman beating the goalie. Lindstrom was the best at just getting a more accurate wristshot passed the high guy and rack up assists. He never had a rocket, just gave his guys a chance to deflect it.

I hard shot off the defenders shins create the breakaways that go in the back of our own net.

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#27 DSF
February 12 2014, 06:23PM
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Zarny wrote:

What's fishy?

He's a rookie. Pretty much every rookie is tentative. To top it off, he's in a foreign country, doesn't speak the language and is on the ice with players way better than he is.

Not really surprising he's dishing the puck off and afraid to shoot. When he feels he belongs in the league you'll probably see more of the game he played in the KHL.

Yeah, he's a rookie that is almost 28 years old.

How did Erik Karlsson fare when he was "in a foreign country, doesn't speak the language and is on the ice with players way better than he is"?

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#28 Spydyr
February 12 2014, 06:40PM
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You know what makes for a good powerplay? A net presence, not passing it around the perimeter looking for a pretty play. Get traffic in front of the net and hammer away.It is not rocket science.

Without Smyth on the ice and in all honesty at this point in his career he should not be getting powerplay minutes.The Oilers have zero net presence.Hence the powerplay is weak.

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#29 Sliderule
February 12 2014, 06:56PM
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You have to set up the power play for your best shooters.

Washington overloads the right side while having Ovy on the left side. The defense has to cover the overload which allows Ovy to get his shot through .

The oilers have overloaded the right side while still having their best shooters Hall an Yakupov on that side.This allows defenders to get in lanes and intercept passes .

Go figure whether oiler coaches can correct this.

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#30 MattL
February 12 2014, 06:58PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, he's a rookie that is almost 28 years old.

How did Erik Karlsson fare when he was "in a foreign country, doesn't speak the language and is on the ice with players way better than he is"?

Yes, let's compare the freakish and ultra-talented Karlsson to Belov. What's Belov's excuse for not being a world-class skater? Karlsson can do it.

Just saying, you could have compared him to 100 other mature players coming over from Europe, some with comparable skill sets/overall talent.

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#31 David S
February 12 2014, 06:59PM
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Spydyr wrote:

You know what makes for a good powerplay? A net presence, not passing it around the perimeter looking for a pretty play. Get traffic in front of the net and hammer away.It is not rocket science.

Without Smyth on the ice and in all honesty at this point in his career he should not be getting powerplay minutes.The Oilers have zero net presence.Hence the powerplay is weak.

Weird thing is it's basically the same PP units as last year minus Horcoff and we were killing it in 2013. KILLING IT I SAY!

That tells me the difference is in how Eakins is applying his resources. That and the fact a healthy Sam Gagner is far more important to the PP than we might think.

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#32 Zarny
February 12 2014, 07:01PM
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DSF wrote:

Yeah, he's a rookie that is almost 28 years old.

How did Erik Karlsson fare when he was "in a foreign country, doesn't speak the language and is on the ice with players way better than he is"?

ROFLMAO!

Comparing Karlsson to Belov.

Definitely apples to apples lol.

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#33 DSF
February 12 2014, 07:13PM
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Zarny wrote:

ROFLMAO!

Comparing Karlsson to Belov.

Definitely apples to apples lol.

There is no comparison because one is a very good defenseman and the other isn't.

Kind of my point.

And it has nothing to do with Belov being a rookie, being in a foreign country, not speaking the language or playing with players better than him (good grief).

But keep on ladling the excuses.

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#34 DSF
February 12 2014, 07:14PM
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MattL wrote:

Yes, let's compare the freakish and ultra-talented Karlsson to Belov. What's Belov's excuse for not being a world-class skater? Karlsson can do it.

Just saying, you could have compared him to 100 other mature players coming over from Europe, some with comparable skill sets/overall talent.

For example?

I'll settle for 50.

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#35 Wäx Män Riley
February 12 2014, 07:27PM
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@DSF

How is Alexei Emelin doing with his 1 goal?

Stop cherry picking players. Especially Norris trophy winners. Nobody ever compared Belov to Karlsson.

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#36 voom04
February 12 2014, 07:29PM
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Some players adapt easier, some take longer, also at 28 would be harder to make those changes than a 22yr old. I wouldnt be throwing belov under the bus just yet.

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#37 @Oilanderp
February 12 2014, 07:59PM
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I propose that from now on the Oilers buy out any defenseman who doesn't win the Norris trophy by the age of 22. If they can't, obviously they are worthless and deserve to be ridiculed on teh internets by old persnickety arm chair GMs everywhere.

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#38 DSF
February 12 2014, 08:09PM
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Wäx Män Riley wrote:

How is Alexei Emelin doing with his 1 goal?

Stop cherry picking players. Especially Norris trophy winners. Nobody ever compared Belov to Karlsson.

Emelin?

Barely hanging on I would say.

1G 7A 8P -7.

A healthy scratch on numerous occasions.

Sounds just like Belov.

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#39 drunken_Master
February 12 2014, 08:45PM
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too much passing! they need to shoot more..

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#40 Josh Oiler
February 12 2014, 08:47PM
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Your power play starts with your QUARTERBACK!!! The Lead big shot defenseman. PERIOD!!!

2 SKILL GUYS ON THE WINGS!!

1 ROCK'em SOCK'em masher in front of the net causing havoc.

1 Floater across the middle.

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#41 Josh Oiler
February 12 2014, 08:56PM
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drunken_Master wrote:

too much passing! they need to shoot more..

You are probably drunk right now!

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#42 Quicksilver ballet
February 12 2014, 10:49PM
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This is what you get when you hire an AHL caliber coach to run an actual NHL powerplay. Eakins can't blame Yakupov for that when he's seated on the bench, or in the pressbox. There's no excuse for having one of the best shots in this league sitting on the bench.

It's obvious Dallas has no clue as to how to handle players of his skillset. He appears not at all capable of taking that next step to the NHL as a coach. Take your AHL blueprint/powerplay and shove it Dallas.

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#43 Cynic
February 12 2014, 11:13PM
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Cynic wrote:

It wasn't good insight?? Or are you reflexively thumbing me down b/c your virginias are sandy from justifiably being called myopians?

I guess it's sandy virginias.

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#44 john
February 13 2014, 01:43AM
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derrickhands wrote:

Biggest problem the Oilers have is they do not have that big respectable shot from the point. The one that scares the crap out off opposing goalies and shot blockers.

Any players can just shoot the puck to the net, it does not need to be hard. The problem is all Oilers players don't shoot the puck. The point to score is shoot at the net, weird bounces, deflections, rebounds. That's how you score goals passing around and looking for a perfect shot is not the answer. I play goalie for fun, goalies can't stop all the shots. The problem Dubnyk was bad this year is he's not mentally prepared and allowed too many easy goals, also because the team allowed too many shots against.

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#45 Spydyr
February 13 2014, 06:31AM
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David S wrote:

Weird thing is it's basically the same PP units as last year minus Horcoff and we were killing it in 2013. KILLING IT I SAY!

That tells me the difference is in how Eakins is applying his resources. That and the fact a healthy Sam Gagner is far more important to the PP than we might think.

IMO it is not so much a personal issue, although Horcoff did plant himself in front of the net on the last years power play as it is a tactical issue. Using the umbrella approach with only on defenceman at the point cuts down on the number of point shots. Having no net presence allows the goalie to see the shots. Most NHL goalies, will stop a high percentage of shots they see clearly.

Put a big guy in front of the net, tell him to engage a defencman if possible. That creates traffic in front of the net and opens space for the other players.Shoot from the point and have the other forwards collapse to the net for tips and rebounds.

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#46 J.P Michaels
February 13 2014, 07:37AM
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voom04 wrote:

J.P. do you always prop your own comments?

typically not, was scrolling down on the Tablet didn't notice it

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#47 Rama Lama
February 13 2014, 09:30AM
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You all just have me wondering...........if Karlsson was playing for Edmonton, just how good would he be?

Would Eakins get out of him what he is currently delivering? Could he chop water?

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#48 Will
February 13 2014, 03:39PM
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Zarny wrote:

What's fishy?

He's a rookie. Pretty much every rookie is tentative. To top it off, he's in a foreign country, doesn't speak the language and is on the ice with players way better than he is.

Not really surprising he's dishing the puck off and afraid to shoot. When he feels he belongs in the league you'll probably see more of the game he played in the KHL.

Do you think he's afraid to shoot or he's being told not to shoot?

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