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Oilers coach Knoblauch has developed cheat code to playoff success


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Liam McCormick
April 30, 2024  (4:01 PM)
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Oilers coach Knoblauch at practice.
Photo credit: NHL.com

Coaching can be the difference between a win and a loss in the playoffs, and Oilers head coach Knoblauch is putting on a clinic. Under his watch, the Oilers special teams are so good, it's nearly a cheat code.

On the Spittin' Chiclets Podcast today, former Oiler Ryan Whitney spoke at length about the actual greatness of the Oilers' special teams. Their combined percentage of penalty kill and power play is a whopping 153%, one of the most effective the NHL has ever seen in a postseason.
»L.A.'s one of the top penalty killing teams in the league. Look at this. Back when I played, I remember coaches would talk about the combined percentage of PK and PP. If you can get to 105, it's really good. If you can get to 110, it's amazing. 153%? So chirp me all you want, and try to say I'm ridiculous, I'm calling this one of the greatest powerplays of man kind.»

The Oilers powerplay has always been incredibly lethal simply due to the talent that the team has, but under Knoblauch, the penalty kill has taken a huge step. After being a glaring weakness for the team in recent years, the Oilers had the 7th best penalty kill in the NHL since Knoblauch took over. With their penalty kill that much better, the power play goals can become total back breakers for the other team, and directly result in winning games.
The increased penalty kill efficiency is part of an obvious transformation the Oilers have undergone this year to become a totally different, more mature, and more physical team. All this considered, along with the generational talents and a quality starting goalie in Stuart Skinner, the Oilers have all the elements to make a long run at the Stanley Cup.
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Oilers coach Knoblauch has developed cheat code to playoff success

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