March 21 2012 09:58AM
Remember the sales pitch about how a new collective bargaining agreement was going to alter the fundamental economic structure of the NHL, level the competitive playing field and, at long last, give the small-market Edmonton Oilers a fair chance to run with the big boys? How's that working for you?
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 10:11PM
Andrej Sekera is not a big man by NHL standards--6.00, 201--but he does a lot of useful things for an NHL team. In our ongoing look at possible blueline additions, we head to the "city of no illusions" for a possible solution.
March 20 2012 11:46AM
Can the outcome of the final ten games make a difference in the long-term growth of the Oilers? Unless they shock us and win 7 or 8 of 10 I don't see it altering much. The Oilers are six points back of 28th Minnesota, so unless the Oilers pick up 15 or 16 of a possible 20 points, I don't see them losing 29th place. Dropping a spot in the lottery is the only way the outcome of these final ten games will alter their future, barring a major injury of course.
What needs to be altered is the culture of this organization.
March 20 2012 10:04AM
Another week, another leader in the Nation Network Hockey Pool.