Edmonton Oiler Head Coach Kris Knoblauch
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Coach Knoblauch Reveals What is the Main Issue with His Team

Published February 23, 2024 at 1:20 PM

While there's no reason for all-out panic yet, there's a major issue surrounding the Edmonton Oilers performance over the past, and head coach Kris Knoblauch knows what it is. The question is how to fix it.

Coach Knoblauch Has Major Issue to Solve with His Team

Edmonton has a lot going right for it since Knoblauch took over. However, penalty killing as of late as been downright terrible.

" In Kris Knoblauch's first 32 games, the PK was 89.3%. Mark Stuart made some tweaks to personnel and the style, and it worked very well. It allowed only 11 goals on 103 kills. However, since returning from the break the PK has been dreadful. It allowed 11 PP goals in the last eight games on 24 kills for an ugly 54.3% kill rate. The penalty kill allowed 11 goals in 33 games (if we include the Vegas game after the break), but has suddenly allowed 11 goals in the last seven. It is a major issue. - Jason Gregor, Oilers Nation

Gregor asked Knoblauch what he believing the most important issue is for the team right now, and he agreed that the PK has to get better, and players need to remember how to properly play defense

"It has been a lot of things. It has been our forecheck being caught up ice at times, but mostly it is in the defensive zone and where our sticks are. When we went into the break, our team play, our 5×5 play and winning 16 in a row, I do think the break was good for the team. We needed the break, but the one thing that really affected us was the details of the penalty kill, where our sticks should be, where our positioning should be, and right now I see so many of our sticks in the high lane instead of the low lane. The defenceman stepping out, and being a little too passive, rather than stepping out another two or three feet and getting in the shooting lane, which allows the shot."


Oilers Penalty-Killing Must be Fixed Before the Playoffs

Knoblauch will need to give his players an honest assessment of what is wrong if he has any hopes of fixing it before the playoffs come. While always important, special teams becomes an even more massive factor in the postseason, and there's little room for error.
February 23   |   300 answers
Coach Knoblauch Reveals What is the Main Issue with His Team

Is the PK the worst aspect of the Oilers right now?

Yes13545 %
No, there are bigger issues13444.7 %
I'm not sure3110.3 %
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