Break it Down! – PP/PK (2010/11 Edition)

By , September 8, 2010 8:41 am

Maybe he finally has someone to finish for him

Continuing on with my series of Break it Down posts. The others can be found in the following location.

Next up, special teams. Last year I had these in separate posts, but this year I decided to combine them.

The Oilers last year had a average powerplay (18th) but got just hammered on the penalty kill (26th).

I wish I could see what the splits were for the PP – with Hemsky and without Hemsky (* – we can, see footnote – Racki). I think that Hemsky will again be the player that sets up the powerplay, and hopefully Foster can replace the shot of Souray (from what I’ve heard Foster has a killer shot). I’m also hoping for more down-low work (other teams focused on blocking Souray and it worked too well against us). I also like to think that we got a whole lot more finishing ability with the kids this year.

As for the PK, holy crap did they suck last year. I’m not sure which part played a bigger role however. Could have been the goaltending. Could have been the lack of PK talent. Could have been the league worst at faceoffs (30th @ 46.4%). Regardless, what was an usual strength of the Oilers turned into an absolute shit show.

Now lets see what we are working with:

PP
L/C/R/LD/RD
Penner/Gagner/Hemsky/Gilbert/Foster
MPS/Hall/Eberle/Whitney/Smid
Omark/Brule/Cogliano
Horcoff

PK
L/R/LD/RD
Jones/Fraser/Gilbert/Whitney
Horcoff/Gagner(?)/Smid/Foster
Penner(?)/Vandermeer(?)

First a quick note. If I put a question mark (?) behind the name its because I’m not sure they can perform the role, but can’t think of anyone else that could possibly play that position. Another note is that I have the two PP and two PK lines, but also have a bunch of extra players listed. These to me I feel could replace any of the players currently listed on the top two lines.

As for what I see, looks as though we could have a pretty good PP with lots of talent available (although we will probably replace Smid with a forward). Big concern here would be faceoff wins as its important to get the entire two minutes on the PP and not just 1:30.

For the PK, looks like we may be screwed again. I am assuming Jones can PK however I am not sure he has done that at any point in his career to date (to lazy to look too). But other than that we don’t have enough penalty killers. I guess they are hoping some of the kids turn out to have that skill.

Strengths

Strengths on the PP would be lots of kids who have some skill putting the puck into the net in their other leagues. And Hemsky.

Weaknesses

On the PK, we don’t have enough forwards that have that skill set, or enough defensive defensemen.

Could Use

See weaknesses above. That is exactly what the team is missing (and mentioned in the other two Break it Downs, and in the comments). We need a good 3rd line forward who can win faceoffs and kill penalties, and a solid d-man who knows his position and can eat up the tough minutes.

Finally

This might be a tough year on the kill. If we can’t shore up that weak area, and can’t stop taking penalties then the year might turn ugly. Last year I think we knocked ourselves out of a lot of games with the horrid penalty kill and taking lots of stupid penalties. This year could be more of the same if we are not careful. That said, some of the kids might come in and show us that they can kill the penalties. Solved from within. I predict 20th in the league unless they get help or a kid steps up.

Last year the PP was average, and I have a feeling that this year we might move up a few spots on that list. We may have just found (drafted) that player to work with Hemsky and convert on all of those beauty passes. I’m predicting 12th in the league.

* – PP Stats with and without Hemmer – Racki:
With Hemmer in lineup:
22 / 104 for 21.2% (14th in NHL at the time, but if they maintained that pace, that would be 4th overall at season’s end)

Without Hemsky in lineup:
30 / 197 for 15.2% (this would be good for 28th overall, if they finished 15.2% on the season)

2 Responses to “Break it Down! – PP/PK (2010/11 Edition)”

  1. Racki says:

    Interestingly enough, and related…

    Cogliano told Tencer last night in a less direct way that he now wants to be that player that the Oilers hoped him to be (i.e. Marchant 2.0). So he is expecting more ice time on the PK and such. He wants to be a 2-way guy now. So perhaps that is our new two-way guy we’ve been missing? Faceoff ability sucks, but he could play wing. And I think Penner might be OK to play PK.. just hard to say if he can do it for the full year. He would be good when our faceoff men get booted out of the draw too.

  2. chucker says:

    Yeah, I think Cogs has the ability to really excel at the PK role. It’s also nice to hear that he’s going to work hard on his faceoff skills. If he could be the Todd Marchant type player that he was projected to be, then we’ve got a real gem. His ability to finish would be a nice asset to have on the short handed break aways he’d likely get if he’s as tenacious as Todd was. His speed alone, when focussed on retrieving and defending, is tremendous.

    I’m also hoping that the D corp has a rejuvination and that Foster and Whitney bring some stability there. Smid will be key. Absolutely crucial.

    The other thing that will help is Renney being in charge of everything. He’s a systems guy and a line matcher, so that right there is going to help a tonne. I’m not really happy about the way Quinn would handle the matching/lack thereof.

    Fraser gives us another guy who will basically fill in the missing Pisani that we didn’t see the last few years. I’m feeling optomistic abou our PK improving.

    Goaltending is really my biggest worry, but we’ll see what happens there.

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