Photo by Lisa McRitchie, all rights reserved.
There is a stark contrast between a good power play and the Edmonton power play just as there is a stark between the Oilers' penalty kill and a good penalty kill. The easiest way to grasp just how terrible the Oilers' special teams have performed is to look at the scoring chances generated by Edmonton's power play and compare them to the scoring chances allowed by Edmonton's penalty kill.
|Scoring Chances For/15 5v4:||7.421|
|Scoring Chances Against/15 4v5:||12.235|
The individual power play chances for come after the jump.
First up the forwards:
- Raise your hand if you saw this coming? No? Didn't think so. It's not just that Ales Hemsky and Taylor Hall are struggling to score on the power play, they're struggling to created anything at all. Think about it this way - Hemsky and Hall, the brightest offensive players on the team are creating half as many power play chances as the Oilers moribund penalty kill gives up.
- Now look at the rest of the list coming in below the average - Penner, Eberle, Horcoff. This is not a case of Toby Petersen and Cory Cross on the power play - these are extremely talented offensive players. Yet here they sit - at the bottom of the list, dying on the vine.
- This cannot be a matter of individual performance. Unless four of the five most talented offensive players on the team have decided to go into the tank all at once, this is a systemic problem that must be righted.
- And if you needed any more evidence that this is a systemic issue, look at Linus Omark - the man who thrives on possession on the boards and behind the net, the man who sneers at the pass to the point is leading the way since his call up. Allow these talented players to do what they do best, rather than constantly forcing pucks to the point and chances happen.
Just for good measure - the recipients of the constant drop passes to the point: