Wednesday, September 2, 2009

Survey Results: PK Stinks

The third N.O.H.S. sidebar survey results are in.

The question: Which issue hasn't been properly addressed this off-season?

Loss of our right-handed point on 2nd PP: 4 votes (9%)
Losing a reliable back-up netminder: 10 votes (23%)
Our terrible penalty killing last season: 25 votes (58%)
All of the offensive production lost to free-agency: 4 votes (9%)

Total votes: 43…hey, did you guys do that on purpose?

So despite all of our complaining about Williams and Bertuzzi, it would seem that Bert’s dwindling numbers and Williams’ shaky play on the point, are not the biggest fear of the majority who voted. That’s good. I don’t think we’re going to miss Hossa, Samuelsson, and Hudler’s goals as much if 1.) The new guys chip in on a fairly regular basis and 2.) We play better defensively this year.

What scares me is this…

84.03% in 2007-2008 reg. season
85.71% in 2007-2008 playoffs

78.29% in 2008-2009 reg. season
73.24% in 2008-2009 playoffs

That is an astounding (and baffling) drop off. Sure you can chalk up the shaky PK in the regular season last year to Ozzie’s inconsistent play, but it got WORSE in the playoffs when Ozzie was playing great, not to mention Helm being on the team to help out. Seriously…almost a 12.5% decline in our PK success rate from post-season to post-season? Not many teams would be able to endure such a meltdown and still be one goal short of OT in game 7 of the Stanley Cup Finals.

I can’t say for sure, but I believe that defensive coach Brad McCrimmon is in charge of the PK. And collectively, it would appear that he is costing us 18.23% on the PK in the regular season and playoffs when compared to Todd McLellan’s numbers with the Wings as PK coach. I just don’t understand how a PK can be so terrible with two Selke-worthy forwards in Zetterberg and Datsyuk, Mr. Norris Nik Lidstrom along with Brian Rafalski, a face-off specialist in Kris Draper and Darren Helm, the little Tasmanian Devil out there…

Well, McCrimmon still has his job, so unless he underwent some MAJOR penalty-killing training, I would say that this issue has still not been resolved.

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