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.
- Report: Patrick Roy a candidate for Avalanche head coaching job 1
- Senators’ OT hero Greening had fiberglass pieces removed from face 1
- Discuss: Senators win Game 3 in double overtime 21
- Report: Kings’ Stoll may have head, shoulder injuries 12
- Rangers’ goaltending a concern? ‘We know what Henrik is,’ says Tortorella 23
- Discuss: Bruins find scoring touch in Game 2 win over Rangers 32
- Playoffs tonight: Spezza’s Game 3 return, Bruins-Rangers highlight your Sunday 5
- Penner blasts refs for having ‘gall to guess’ on goalie interference call 64
- Discuss: Sharks win in OT, draw series to 2-1 19
- NHL fines Sharks $100K for Torres suspension critique 45
- Alex ‘they wanted Game 7′ Ovechkin to address media today before heading to Worlds (110)
- Question for commenters: What’s the hardest team to support? (94)
- Video: Crosby scores hat trick, hits playoff milestone against Senators (91)
- Bryzgalov thinks Stalin did a good job, wishes Philadelphia wasn’t so old, and believes poor people don’t want to work (80)
- McPhee says lack of power plays ‘didn’t feel right’; Torts says Washington is ‘whining’ (70)
- PBT: Parker carves up Grizzlies as Spurs roll in Gm. 1
- PHT: Senators sneak past Penguins in two overtimes
- PHT: Bruins crack Lundqvist, hammer Rangers
- HBT: Cabrera rips three homers, passes Greenberg
- MST: No bumping on Bump Day at Indy 500
- PST: Arsenal grabs Champions League spot
- Ferguson's managerial career ends with 5-5 draw