The Edmonton Oilers On The Penalty Kill: Good News

Jonathan Willis
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?

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Ales Hemsky Turns Things Around

Jason Strudwick
March 21 2012 06:56PM

Where have you been Jake Taylor?

A favorite movie character of mine is Jake Taylor from the Major League movies. He is a backcatcher in the twilight of his career and he gets a call to play for the Cleveland Indians. He becomes a mentor for many of the players on the team throughout the movies.

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March 21 2012 12:40PM

We missed the Oilers game last night. Not because we had some pressing prior engagement or something more important to do but because something else best described as "moderately fun" came up and we picked that over watching a meaningless game at the end of the season against a superior opponent who never loses at home.

At times like these we can turn only to German Techno for guidance.

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Robin Brownlee
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?

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The Magic Power Play

Jonathan Willis
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.

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