Penalty-Killing, 2007-08

The Edmonton Oilers penalty kill this season went to work at a 84.7% success rate, good for fifth in the league. Penalty-killing is historically a strength on a Craig-Mactavish coached team, going back to the heady days of Marchant, Grier, etc. With that in mind, lets take a look at the composition of the penalty-killing crew, starting with the defence. These statistics are limited to players who played in at least 20 games, and averaged over .5 minutes per game.

Above, we see Andrew Cogliano after scoring short-handed. Statistically, he was the Oilers most offensive penalty killer.

Defence:

TOI/60: Souray: 3.77, Staios: 3.71, Greene: 2.54, Gilbert: 2.40, Smid: 2.30, Pitkanen: 1.93, Grebeshkov: 1.13
GFON/60: Pitkanen: 1.48, Gilbert: 0.92, Grebeshkov: 0.75, Staios: 0.59, Greene: 0.51, all others:0
GAON/60: Souray: 3.68, Pitkanen: 3.94, Staios: 4.15, Gilbert: 4.88, Smid: 6.03, Greene: 7.20, Grebeshkov: 8.96
+/- ON/60: Pitkanen: -2.46, Staios: -3.55, Souray: -3.68, Gilbert: -3.97, Smid: -6.03, Greene: -6.68, Grebeshkov: -8.21

Interesting numbers, and I think we can draw some conclusions from them:
1) The greybeards (Souray, Staios) were extremely effective shorthanded, and this was recognized and rewarded, as they saw the bulk of the ice-time.
2) The end-of-roster guys (Smid, Greene) were atrocious, especially Greene, who ranks right behind the greybeards in ice-time.
3) The finesse guys (Pitkanen, Gilbert) were extremely effective and greatly increased the PK ability to be a scoring threat. Gilbert will probably recieve more ice-time on the PK next year, which will be good, and Pitkanen was underutilized, and if he returns (unlikely) should see more PP time, as he was far and away the best of the group.
4) Denis Grebeshkov probably shouldnt kill penalties, barring massive improvement. Just throwing this out there, but this is probably a result of being a Russian-schooled player. Reading Dave Kings book you get a real sense of how different the game is over there.

Forwards:

TOI/60: Reasoner: 3.10, Moreau: 2.78, Stoll: 2.67, Horcoff: 2.54, Brodziak: 2.49, Pisani:2.45, Cogliano: .80
GFON/60: Cogliano: 3.68, Brodziak: 1.20, Stoll: 1.11, Reasoner: 0.24, All others:0
GAON/60: Reasoner: 4.49, Cogliano: 4.60. Brodziak: 4.82, Moreau: 5.17, Pisani: 5.24, Horcoff: 5.79, Stoll: 6.92
+/- ON/60: Cogliano: -0.92, Brodziak: -3.61, Reasoner: -4.25, Moreau: -5.17, Pisani: -5.24, Horcoff: -5.79, Stoll: -5.82

Conclusions:
1) Though Cogliano is unlikely to sustain those numbers, I would be shocked if his use on the PK does not skyrocket next year. His speed makes him an offensive threat, and in a limited sample he was not getting scored on either.
2) Beyond Brodziak, Stoll, Reasoner and Cogliano, this PK does not generate offence. Now, I know scoring is a secondary item on the kill, but it does speak to the units ability to clear the zone and keep the opposing powerplay from cheating too much.
3) Most of the forwards are in the same ballpark, but of the key guys used this year, Brodziak and Reasoner stand out as most effective. I am now firmly in the camp of bringing Reasoner back, at least as a utility forward, even if these numbers come as a result of playing against mostly second-unit powerplays.
4) Stoll has the worst GA ratio, and this is one area where he probably is not getting worse assignments than the other guys (Horc, Moreau, Pisani, etc.). He had a rough year.

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