Break it down! – PP

By , September 4, 2009 8:00 am
Best. Moment. Ever.

Best. Moment. Ever.

This is the fourth among a few recurring posts where I break down and discuss different parts of the Oilers and how I think they are going to perform this coming year, their strengths and weaknesses and where we could use some help. They are here, here and here.

I am not one of those people who blame Mac-T for the power play. He’s not the one on the ice. I realize that Simpson was here to draw up some plays, but still the guys are N.H. fucking L. players and should know how to run a power play.

And yes fans…they do know that they have to shoot to score. Your not telling them anything new.

Here is what I would have on the first PP:
L/C/R
LD/RD

O’Sullivan/Horcoff/Hemsky
Gilbert/Souray

And second PP:
L/C/R
LD/RD

Cogliano/Gagner/Penner
Grebeshkov/Visnovsky

Yeah yeah yeah. I realize that these are just the top two lines. But if it works why not?

Strengths
We have a play maker. Hemsky makes power plays go. He needs to be the straw in this drink.

We also have bombs from the point. Souray and Vish both can hammer the puck.

Weaknesses
Quit forcing it to the point. Just because a hard shot is there don’t always go there. THE OTHER TEAM REALIZES THIS TOO.

Could Use
Scorer. See forward post.

And Finally
I don’t think this group will be bad on PP. It has the ability to be good. I’ll be happy with middle of the road. 15th in NHL.

12 Responses to “Break it down! – PP”

  1. Mr.Majestyk says:

    On one hand it is up to the players on the ice to be quick thinking and react to what the PK’er are giving them, but I also believe that MacT was telling them to get the puck to Souray. Set plays are great, but at some point the players need to use their own creativity and if they are the same unit playing together for a long period of time, they should be able to read off eachother.

    I hope they spend tons of time working on passing drills because last year when they did eventually set up in the offensive zone, the passing was horrible. Guy has the puck and gets pressured so he sends a horrible pass to someone else, and by the time that player is able to gain control he’s got another PK’er on top of him.

  2. Racki says:

    Honestly, I’ll be first to bash the MacTavish-era powerplay. The Oilers were victimized by the back-door play for years by teams, and what.. we started really using it two years ago? Horribly one-dimensional. As Mr. M said, they’re still using the point option far too much. But they’re starting to get a *bit* more creative out there. They do have the talented players to be creative. Hemsky and Gagner alone can do wonders on the PP. I think we see a vastly improved PP under Quinn this year. But yah, I’ll definitely bash MacTavish and the other coaches for parts of the powerplay woes.

    If guys are just out there fanning on pucks or making stupid passes, then ok, it’s the players fault. And well, while people do knock Horcoff for fanning on the one timer, I don’t think that is the problem here. The problem has always been that everyone in attendance has known for years that the Oilers are going to stall as long as they can to get it to Souray. Seriously… one play? It was even worse here before two years ago when Stoll was here. Pass it back to Stoll for the broken-stick one-timer. Honestly this spells coaching issues if there is one set play that the Oilers follow.

    Hemsky is starting to do it, but he needs to be a threat when he has the puck for more than his pass… do your loopdeeloop, sure, but fire that puck on net on occasion and let Penner fight for the rebound.

    I think Quinn is going to salvage our PP like he salvaged Vancouver’s and Toronto’s.

  3. Racki says:

    P.S. Steve-O, I think you acknowledge that MacTavish was a fucktard at instructing the PP if you think it will magically improve to 15th with the same players. :P

  4. Steve-O says:

    I disagree. The powerplay was atrocious under Simpson, and it improved (slightly) while it was under Mac T but at the end of the day the players are the ones on the ice, and they have been doing this since they were fucking 12 years old (thats when my teams started running power plays at least).

    All they have to do is fucking look up and see that the D is covered and bring it down low. I could do that. I just think that the players got as blinded by the Souray point shot as a lot of fans have (although he did pot quite a few).

    Oh well. We shall see this year.

    And to quote Thurgood Jenkins … I’M FREE!!

  5. Racki says:

    Of course you disagree. You have some sort of blood-ties to MacTavish. ;) Anyways, I think someone’s got to dictate how the PP goes. Hey, perhaps it’s Hemsky. But I don’t blame the players individually. Someone running that PP screwed it up and made it almost always about the point shot. And still, that back door play… why the hell did it take so damn long for us to start doing it when other teams were burning us with it for years?

  6. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Steve-O: The problem with your argument that its all in the players hands since they are on the ice is that the Coach is in charge of the team. If MacT says get the puck to Souray on the PP and players do their own thing, when they come back to the bench they get an earful from the coach.

    Our PP woes are part of a larger problem the team has faced. Steve-O’s point that they are NHL’ers and should be able to run a PP(sorry, I don’t mean to single you out)is the type of mentality that I think MacT had with his players. We were a ill-prepared team on most nights, barely able to complete passes. They’ve been doing passing drills since they were kids and they are in the NHL now, so why work on passing? I think they needed more disciplined and structure. I hope that is the type of thing that Renney brings to the team this year.

    There are times throughout the year, especially in a tough year, where the team needs to de-stress a bit and take a step back from the game. The rest of the time I expect for the team and players to realize that they are playing like crap and do something about it. I hate the postgame comments where they “want to put that loss behind us and move on…”. You can put the loss behind you, but don’t forget it and move on. Remember it and remember why you were so terrible and don’t do it again.

    Sorry about ranting.

  7. Greg says:

    Hahah guys,

    This is starting to feel like the old Oilers Message Board… Finally, I can use my old line from that board, “What Racki Said. +1″

    MacT’s had ran a brutal powerplay throughout his career as the coach of the Oilers. Don’t ask me, just look at the stats. Over the past five years we were 22nd (2008), 21st, 27th, 21st, 29th (’03/’04). To some degree, we could also place some blame on our roster as well though.

  8. Racki says:

    We probably never had a superb finisher, but any team that has Souray and Visnovsky on the blueline, as well as Hemsky… hell, even Penner… should not be doing so poorly on the PP, if you ask me. Even the supporting cast is good with Gagner, Grebs and Gilbert, and Cogliano, and now O’Sullivan. I think each of these guys are very good players, and there really is no excuse for such a brutal PP. I never really bought in that we didn’t have the guys to run a powerplay. I might be disillusioned here (is that a word? gee I hope so), but I think our players looked worse than they are because of our one-dimensional, predictable powerplay.

    I’m not sure if the gameplan coming from the bench was just as laid out as “get it to Souray” or what the deal was, but when you’ve got some skilled players, things should go a BIT better.

  9. Greg says:

    Racki,

    I tend to agree with you too much perhaps, but it’s not my fault if you what you say generally makes so much damn sense! Last season, we were somewhere between 13-15th in the league at even strength which to me suggests that we had enough talent on the team to potentially be better than 22nd in the league on the PP. Given that we’re icing a similar roster to last year, we’ll see what impact the new coaching trio has for the power play. I think we’ll definitely see some improvement.

  10. Racki says:

    I’m actually buying into the ideal that the coaching staff change will make a difference. I still think they need to ease things along by fixing some holes though. But I think our biggest improvement will be seen on the powerplay. If it doesn’t improve to at least 20th, I will personally post an apology to MacTavish and Simpson at the end of the year for all the various insults I laid on their horrible powerplay (barring any rash of injuries)

  11. Mr.Majestyk says:

    Racki, why the sudden change of heart? Was it Tambellini’s interviews when he said he wants Pat to see the team first and go from there? I’m of that opinion myself. I really wish MacT had been fired earlier last season. We might not have Renney and Fleming right away, but atleast if they brought in Quinn part way through last year, we’d have a better understanding of what we’ve got. On the flipside, it is nice in a way coming into this season because its fresh start for everyone. If we brought in Quinn last year, there might not be much he could do to turn the sinking ship around and I wouldn’t have the same optimism.

  12. Racki says:

    Well, as you might know, I was on board with firing MacTavish for a while. I wish they would have done that last year when Tambellini came in. But that’s fine, we got a pretty damn good draft pick, I suppose (or potentially).

    But I’ve always felt that Quinn and Renney (et al) will make a big difference here. I just haven’t been certain if it will be enough to turn this team around. And quite frankly, I’ll probably be going back and forth and wondering that until December or later. But I think if they can improve our special teams (which they have potential to do) that will be a huge factor alone.

    This game is all about special teams now. It’s often one goal games now, and if you have a powerplay as crappy as ours, you’re not going to have too easy of a time in winning games, unless you have a penalty kill that’s the exact opposite. Quinn has improved goal scoring (including the powerplay) in both Vancouver and Toronto when he signed on. So I think philosophy changes can have an impact (and frankly, I’ve always thought that). Yes, they’re all NHLers and have been playing hockey for a while, but there is a reason why there is a coach in this game. Believe it or not, they DO do something behind the bench. Without a coach, a team is a group of individuals all wanting to do their own thing. The coach unites them all and gets them on the same page. I would say the Oilers were all on the same page on the powerplay frequently last year, but so were the teams we faced because everyone knew what we were doing! ;)

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