Remember the Diamond Penalty Kill? Remember how bad it was when executed by the 2010-2011 Edmonton Oilers? Remember how it looked like the Oilers were purposefully moving out of position when shorthanded? It was so bad that Tom Renney and Ralph Kreuger finally gave up on it and went back to the traditional box. Before they did however, the Oilers in the DPK posted one of the worst 75 days of penalty killing ever.
We'd all like to forget the Oilers' special teams in 2010-2011, but before we do, it's worth checking out the scoring chances numbers behind one of the worst penalty kills since expansion.
PKTOI = total penalty kill time on ice; TCA = season total penalty kill chances against; CA/15 = player on-ice scoring chances against per 15 minutes of power play time; PKGA = total penalty kill goals against on ice; TCF/PKGA = penalty kill chances for divided by penalty kill goals against, or opponent's conversion ratio; %CONA = opponent's
*Tables are sortable by column, simply click the header row, the initial sort is CA/15
There is an underlying theme to the numbers throughout this article. Anyone involved in the DPK, even if they got to play the box for four months, have numbers that are far worse than those players not heavily exposed to the DPK.
Andrew Cogliano and Ryan Jones were both third options on the PK for most of the DPK stretch. When injuries set in to Shawn Horcoff and Jordan Eberle was pulled from the PK, both Cogliano and Jones stepped into much larger roles. Buffered by limited exposure to the DPK, the two came out on top in the CA/15 department.
Now, sort by %CONA. I'll give you a second to compose yourself after seeing Horcoff and Eberle's conversion against numbers.
Whitney's season was cut short in the midst of the transition away from the DPK in December. That's reflected in his TSCA. As long as the Oilers don't go back to the DPK, Whitney's PK numbers are bound to improve in 2011-12. Theo Peckham and Tom Gilbert were primary penalty killers for the entire course of the DPK, reflected in their numbers.
Jeff Petry had no exposure to the DPK and was a second-pairing player through the back half of the season, usually facing lesser competition.
|Chris Vande Velde||17.12||9||7.887||2||4.500||0.222|
There isn't much to look at with the leftovers except for some fun and curious numbers. Taylor Chorney had 2 PK chances for and 3 against in only 8 minutes of PK time, but gave up a goal on one of the chances against. Chris Vande Velde showed extremely well in a very limited role and sample size against second-tier competition. With his faceoff prowess and seemingly decent instincts short-handed, he could challenge for the 4th line center role in 2011-12.
Finally, Steve MacIntyre's lone chance in a couple of seconds on the power play makes for some fun ratios.
The effects of the DPK are most evident amongst the goaltenders. The bulk of Devan Dubnyk's work came after the switch back to the box and it shows. Nikolai Khabibulin's numbers are mind-blowing. Opponents scored on every fourth scoring chance against Khabibulin. His chances against were bad, but not much worse than Dubnyk's numbers. It's the conversion rate that doomed Khabibulin. Go back to the linked articles in the introduction and look how often the DPK left one or two guys alone in front. The frames captured in those articles translate directly to Khabibulin's %CONA.
The DPK was such a terribly implemented and executed strategy that I don't believe we can draw any conclusions from any of this data other than the Oilers should never play the DPK again.