LMHF#2 here and after reading HF and the discussion about Andrew Cogliano and the Penalty Kill, it made me start thinking. I believe that Cogliano playing the PK would be a start to mimic what the Philadelphia Flyers are doing.
Using skilled players on the penalty kill has become a trend seen more and more often in today’s NHL. The Flyers have an astonishing 11 shorthanded goals already this season. That is almost double any other team in the entire league. Only the Sharks, and Islanders have 6 shorthanded goals and Nashville being the only team with 5. 19 teams in league have 2 shorthanded goals or less including our Edmonton Oilers.
Now what are the Flyers doing differently than the rest of the league? Sure Mike Richards (4 SHG’s) is one of the best 2-way players in the league and Simon Gagne (4 SHG’s) has wheels, but how can they have 2 players with as many shorthanded goals or more than 90% of the league has on their entire team? Jeff Carter’s 2 SHG’s is nothing to sneeze at and Scott Hartnell also has chipped in with 1 tally while a man down.
You would seem to think that using skilled players ok the PK would hurt the killing percentage. They are currently 5th in the NHL in penalty kill percentage clipping along at an 85.4 percent rate. The Flyers have only allowed 20 Power Play goals which leaves only 9 more goals scored on than scored against so far this season while with the man-advantage.
I think the Oilers should try and similar approach with Cogliano paired with Horcoff. They both are quite good at batting pucks out of the air and have speed which would send them in all alone. We know Horcoff isn’t scared of blocking a shot and even though Cogliano has not played too much in a PK role he seemed to be quite good at it in the limited time he has seen on the PK.
Will this make our PK better and have us scoring goals at the rate of the Flyers? Most certainly not. But with an abysmal PK (even though it has been better over the past few games) change is usually for the best and why not try something that is working wonders for a Flyers team that would be doing much better if they could score more goals at 5 on 5.