The Edmonton Oilers played well enough to win, or at the very least, get a point out of today’s hockey game with the Rangers. Unfortunately, the Oilers are having a real problem with their penalty kill and it’s costing them hockey games.
Earlier today, Brownlee wrote about Jesse Puljujarvi’s impressive debut (he was great btw) but in that same article, he also dropped some hot truth about the penalty kill and I think it could use even more attention. He wrote:
With the Rangers scoring twice on the power play (Pavel Buchnevich and Nash) in three attempts, the Oilers close out the road trip against the Washington Capitals Sunday with their penalty killing operating at 69.8 per cent, dead-last in the league. The Capitals are ranked 15th on the power play at 19.6 per cent.
Last year, the Oilers killed off 80.7% of the penalties they took and it doesn’t take a rocket surgeon to figure out that 80.7% > 69.8%. As far as stats go, this could be one of those punch-you-in-the-face doozies that ends up sinking the ship entirely. I mean, dead last? Are they really dead last? In this afternoon’s loss, the Oilers were punching and counter punching quite nicely at even strength, but they allowed goals on two of three Ranger power plays and it ultimately contributed to their demise.
When your opponents have a (more or less) 1/3 chance of scoring on the power play then you’ve really only got three options: 1) forfeit the games and pick up badminton, 2) find a way to stop the madness or 3) stay out of the Gord damned box. Since the Oilers are having a really tough time with the latter then the first two options are starting to look like a sweet release that none of us could have planned on hoping for this season.
FIGURE IT OUT
So how do they fix it? How can they stop the madness? When will this PK plan get stuffed into a rocket and blasted into the sun? Now, I won’t pretend to have the answers for you, McLellan and friends get paid a lofty sum to think of those, but someone had better figure out some solutions sooner than later. What I do know is that having the worst penalty kill in the NHL is going to ruin a lot of nights unless something changes. Not to mention, golf season comes fast, you know.