March 23 2012 09:57AM
Do something. For teams dwelling outside the playoff bubble, those words tend to accurately reflect the mood of the fan base. Fire the coach. Fire the trainers. Trade someone. Axe the professional scouts. Something.
I thought that ex-Leafs coach/G.M. and ex-Oilers coach Pat Quinn had an interesting take on “doing something” in the recent book Behind the Moves.
March 22 2012 09:08AM
The Edmonton Oilers have been much better on the penalty kill this season than they have been in virtually forever. After years of being a punch line while down a man, they currently sit 19th in the NHL in terms of killing penalties. While 19th out of 30 is hardly the stuff people typically put on resumes, it does represent a step up.
Unfortunately, of late the penalty kill has started sliding. Just before Christmas, the Oilers were killing off 83.5% of penalties they took. Today, that number sits at just 81.6%. Is the magic gone?
March 21 2012 09:41AM
When it comes to scoring on the power play, two teams in the NHL are doing it like no others. Those two teams met last night in Nashville – both the Predators and the Oilers make the most of the shots they take on the power play, with Nashville scoring on 16.4% of its power play shots, and the Oilers scoring on 16.2% of theirs. No other team in the league is over 15%. With such lethal shooting, it shouldn’t be a surprise that the Predators ranks first in the NHL with 21.6% power play efficiency, or that the Oilers are third overall at 21.4%.
Is shooting percentage a reliable foundation for a successful power play? Can teams, through strategic choices and superior talent, consistently take higher percentage shots? The answer to that question is important, since it will tell us whether Nashville and Edmonton should be able to sustain their excellent power plays, or if instead they’ll come crashing down.
March 20 2012 10:04AM
Another week, another leader in the Nation Network Hockey Pool.
March 19 2012 10:07AM
Nikolai Khabibulin started the year on fire. He went 7-0-2, posting a 0.964 SV% and two shutouts over his first nine games.
Over the same span, Devan Dubnyk played in six games, winning two and losing four to go along with his 0.909 SV%.
With those sort of starts, Khabibulin should have had an insurmountable lead on Dubnyk. Last night, however, Dubnyk’s save percentage on the season eclipsed Khabibulin’s, 0.912 to 0.911.