EDMONTON, AB - The Oilers have taken 10 penalties in their last two games, and while they did manage a shorthanded goal in last night's loss to Philadelphia, they still allowed a power-play tally at the other end.
Overall, the team's penalty kill has struggled this season, ranking last in the League at 72.34% and they've killed just 59.52% of their home penalties.
"It's hampered us immensely," said Oilers Head Coach Todd McLellan. "We very seldom come out of a home game clean, which puts you down 1-0 to begin with. That puts a strain on the mental part of the team. Unfortunately for us, we're taking more penalties than we're drawing as well. The taking of the penalty and lack of a penalty kill, that doesn't marry well. You can take the penalties if you're killing at 85-90%. We have to fix the taking of and killing of the penalty."
The Oilers have worked on special teams relentlessly this season, but the goals against have remained an issue despite some improvements to the structure.
"There have probably been meetings and conversations ad nauseam in here," said Oilers forward Mark Letestu. "We're searching for answers. To be honest, we've liked our kill recently and the structure, the pressure, but we're giving up a goal. We've limited shots, probably better than we did last year, but when we give up the opportunities and the shots on goal, they're tap-ins, they're layups, and they're big breakdowns. The group in here, we've got to figure it out. But there's been a lot of discussion in the room and meeting time. The coaches have done everything they can to prepare us, it's the players that have to start performing."