Skip to main content
The Official Site of the Edmonton Oilers

PRINCIPE: You're Simply the Best

by Gene Principe / Edmonton Oilers

You're simply the best, better than all the rest. Tina Turner belted out the line in 'Simply the Best'. A hit tune from the 1980's. Well, it's 2015 and the Edmonton Oilers are the best. Better than all the rest...better than anyone when it comes to penalty killing. I know the hockey season is only two weeks old but in sports, and you can pick any of them, every player, team, organization is shooting to be number one. When the Oilers woke up on Thursday morning they could hop on and there it was. Edmonton number one in the National Hockey League on the penalty kill.

Here's how the numbers look:
  1. Edmonton 92%
  2. Anaheim 91.7 %
  3. Montreal 91.7%
  4. Colorado 90.9%
  5. Nashville 87.5%
That's a look at your top five with Edmonton at the top of the list. A soccer friend of mine once told me to celebrate success. I think the Oilers should do that. No need to have a parade or anything but if Todd McLellan walked into the dressing room today and gave everyone a pat on the back, he could then follow that up with a "job well done". From there straight back to the video room to see how they can get better on the PK or at least stay as great as they have been. The breakdown is 10 penalty kill chances at home with one goal allowed (90%). On the road, the Oilers have been shorthanded 15 times and also only allowed one goal (93.3%). Add it up and two goals allowed in 25 chances gives them the best PK percentage in the league.

The only times they have allowed a goal while down a man came in the opening game of the season at Rexall Place against St. Louis. Mark Fayne was off for holding and 1:11 after the penalty was called, Paul Stastny scored on the power play. That was the first while the second came on Saturday in Calgary. That's it, that's all. Pretty impressive totals seven games into the season. They were a perfect 3/3 vs. St. Louis, 2/2 against Nashville, 4/4 vs. Dallas, 2/2 against Vancouver and 6/6 Thursday night against Detroit.

Well, as every announcer has said at least once in their career, the team's best penalty killer is the goalie. The goalies, both Cam Talbot and Anders Nilsson, have proven to be that for the Oilers. It's guaranteed the chances will be there but the two new Oilers have thwarted almost all that they have faced while the team has been shorthanded. A dynamic pair of puck stoppers who have been sharp 5 on 5 but even more dialed in when the Oilers have one of their own in the penalty box.

Along with the goaltending, the system, the defensive awareness and blocked shots by the players have all added up to a penalty kill the Oilers should be proud of. It is honest, dig down deep, committed crews of forwards, defenceman and goalies who refuse to lose the battles within the game. Right now the Oilers are doing that better than anyone, better than all the rest because they're simply the best.
View More