Skip to content

The Oilers are taking shootouts very seriously this season

Jan 22, 2013, 6:02 PM EDT

Hemsky Luongo

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.

Sam Gagner and Ales Hemsky both converted their chances while Dubnyk stoned Alex Edler and Alexander Burrows on consecutive attempts.

Latest Posts
  1. Report: Duchene to miss at least first two games of Avalanche-Wild series

    Apr 15, 2014, 9:31 PM EDT

    Boston Bruins v Colorado Avalanche Getty Images

    “It puts a lot more pressure on everybody else,” says Nathan MacKinnon.

  2. Florida wins ’14 NHL draft lottery, will pick first overall

    Apr 15, 2014, 8:25 PM EDT

    NHL2014Draft

    After losing the No. 1 pick to Colorado last year.

  3. Pressing question: Will Philly get the goaltending?

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:55 PM EDT

    Steve Mason, Ray Emery AP

    Heck, will Steve Mason even be available?

  4. NHL hit with third concussion lawsuit

    Apr 15, 2014, 6:43 PM EDT

    bettmangetty Getty Images

    Just days after another group of ex-players filed last Thursday.

  5. PHT Extra: Can the Jackets upset the Penguins?

    Apr 15, 2014, 5:31 PM EDT

    Pittsburgh Penguins v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    What about the Stars over the Ducks?

  6. Boudreau won’t say who’s starting for Ducks, but the money’s on Andersen

    Apr 15, 2014, 4:00 PM EDT

    Frederik Andersen, Jonas Hiller AP

    “I don’t think I can screw it up too bad whoever I choose.”

  7. Calgary’s AHL affiliate parts ways with Abbotsford

    Apr 15, 2014, 3:13 PM EDT

    abbotsford heat logo

    The city has terminated the contract.

  8. Philly mum on Mason’s availability for Game 1 vs. Rangers

    Apr 15, 2014, 2:08 PM EDT

    Philadelphia Flyers v Florida Panthers Getty Images

    “That’s not been determined yet,” said head coach Craig Berube.

  9. Pressing question: Are the Avs for real?

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:50 PM EDT

    Colorado Avalanche v Columbus Blue Jackets Getty Images

    Even if they beat Minnesota, that question won’t be put to bed.

  10. Flyers sign Frozen Four MVP Gostisbehere

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:10 PM EDT

    Shayne Gostisbehere Getty Images

    Union College standout was a third-round pick in ’12.

  11. Coyotes say Smith won’t need MCL surgery

    Apr 15, 2014, 1:01 PM EDT

    Mike Smith Getty Images

    “We have no qualms whatsoever about a long-term problem with it.”

  12. Welcome Jason Spezza to the trade rumor mill

    Apr 15, 2014, 12:38 PM EDT

    PITTSBURGH, PA - FEBRUARY 03: Jason Spezza #19 of the Ottawa Senators skates against the Pittsburgh Penguins during the game at Consol Energy Center on February 3, 2014 in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. (Photo by Justin K. Aller/Getty Images) Getty Images

    “I’m not naive to the talk. I’ve been asked the question lots.”

Featured video

Are Penguins vulnerable vs. Columbus?
Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. E. Malkin (4222)
  2. M. Brodeur (3076)
  3. T. Oshie (3051)
  4. M. Duchene (2845)
  5. D. Backes (2810)