Jan 22, 2013, 6:02 PM EDT
One of Ralph Krueger’s key initiatives as Edmonton’s bench boss this season is improving the Oilers’ success in the shootout.
“We see shootouts as a specialty team,” Krueger told the Edmonton Sun. “We have a power play. We have penalty killing. And we have penalty shots in the shootout.”
It’s a curious decision, given most clubs don’t offer much in terms of shootout prep.
There are usually attempts at the end of practice, occasional chats with the goalie for shooter tips or, in the case of the Pittsburgh Penguins, a “mustache boy” competition.
The Oilers, though, take shootouts far more seriously — especially since Krueger crunched the numbers and realized Edmonton only won 11 of 33 shootouts in two years under Tom Renney.
Here’s more, from the Sun:
“This year we’re taking the penalty shooting part of the game very seriously,” said Krueger.
“We have a group of five or six players. And Freddie Chabot, who has been analyzing goaltenders in the league through and through during the lockout, putting some good information together, will be coaching it primarily.”
Krueger gave Chabot credit for the shootout success.
“Freddie picked them, not me. We have a new specialty team. That’s all Freddie.”
In a compact 48-game schedule, Krueger figures, it’s an area that could make the difference between a team finishing eighth or ninth in the standings.
“A playoff position could be decided by a point.”
“We now have a clear picture of what the goaltender is going to do. They all have a history. The shooters, too. Preparing Devan [Dubnyk] for them is a big part of it, too.”
Krueger first got the idea while coaching Switzerland during the 2010 Olympics in Vancouver.
He put his third goalie in charge of monitoring shooter trends and tendencies, and the move paid off reasonably well — the Swiss lost to Canada in an opening-round shootout (the Canadians only scored once) before beating Belarus via shootout in the qualification round.
It should be noted that Edmonton won its first game of the year via shootout — a 3-2 decision over the Canucks.
- NHL Board of Governors approves Islanders sale 5
- Speedy recovery: Giroux (lower body) to play vs. Rangers tonight 9
- Risk Factors: Boston Bruins edition 12
- Hello Johansen? Boone Jenner out with broken hand 5
- Bruins release Leino; Boychuk staying put? 18
- Babcock doesn’t think this will be his last year with the Wings 9
- Starting tomorrow, PHT’s ‘Risk Factors’ Series 6
- Krug, Smith sign with Bruins 19
- PHT Morning Skate: Grigorenko with highlight-reel shootout goal 7
- Sabres lose Larsson, Kaleta to head injuries, Leafs’ Booth out too (Update: Franson’s hurt) 5
- Jordan Subban has ‘moved on’ after ‘unfortunate’ photo caption by Vancouver papers (52)
- Players pushed for coaching fines because they were ‘encouraged’ to dive (34)
- Sabres’ Nolan, Avalanche don’t believe in analytics (32)
- Ouch: Datsyuk (separated shoulder) out 4-5 weeks (27)
- Spooner scores, but coach Julien’s not happy (23)