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.
Oct 1, 2014, 11:20 PM EDT
He may begin 2014-15 banged up.
Oct 1, 2014, 11:00 PM EDT
“The next few days will be the turning point,” GM Jim Rutherford said.
Oct 1, 2014, 10:12 PM EDT
The early word is that he’s OK, though.
Oct 1, 2014, 10:00 PM EDT
It’s not as foolish as it sounds … maybe.
Oct 1, 2014, 8:45 PM EDT
Worth a try.
Oct 1, 2014, 8:02 PM EDT
According to fellow Swede and Red Wings forward Henrik Zetterberg.
Oct 1, 2014, 6:38 PM EDT
One last chance for a tune-up.
Oct 1, 2014, 5:00 PM EDT
Where he’ll resume coaching duties for KHL Lokomotiv.
Oct 1, 2014, 4:01 PM EDT
Didn’t take advantage of their opportunities.
Oct 1, 2014, 2:46 PM EDT
Sounds like both will start the season at center.
Oct 1, 2014, 2:24 PM EDT
Off to AHL Lake Erie they go.
Oct 1, 2014, 2:10 PM EDT
“We have not been in contact with the IOC and they have not been in touch with us.”
Oct 1, 2014, 2:09 PM EDT
Meaning all of Columbus’ No. 1 line — Jenner, Ryan Johansen and Nathan Horton — is now out of action.
Oct 1, 2014, 1:47 PM EDT
He won’t be ready for the season opener.
Oct 1, 2014, 1:33 PM EDT
Both have one-year, two-way contracts.
Oct 1, 2014, 1:26 PM EDT
And Zack Stortini has been placed on waivers.
Oct 1, 2014, 1:12 PM EDT
“You can tell a guy ‘don’t dive’, but even on our team we’ve seen a few of them.”
Oct 1, 2014, 1:04 PM EDT
Another veteran d-man, Nolan Yonkman, was also released.
Oct 1, 2014, 12:45 PM EDT
“But we’ve talked and we’ll continue to talk about it.”
Oct 1, 2014, 12:35 PM EDT
A rookie head coach, some significant roster turnover and the annual questions in goal.
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