It is a bizarre statistic that defies most, if not all, logic, but if the Edmonton Oilers don’t figure it out and solve the problem — now — their season is done. Road penalty killing: 85.1 per cent, fifth best in the NHL. Home penalty killing: 57.4 per cent, dead last in the NHL. Their inability to kill a penalty at home has been killing them all year and it did again Friday night in a 4-3 overtime loss to the Chicago Blackhawks. Yes, the Oilers ran into a hot goaltender writing the story of the night in the NHL, but they also had the Blackhawks right where they wanted them. They were all over Chicago in the first half of the game. Nineteen shots in the first period, 27 shots in the first 27 minutes. Even though they weren’t scoring, they were in total control. Then came the penalties, and there went the game. Chicago went up 2-1 on its second man advantage of the night and 3-1 on its third and the Oilers were suddenly on their heels. “We had so much momentum going,” said winger Patrick Maroon. “We were out-shooting them, we were out-playing them, we were out-chancing them, then we take back-to-back penalties and they get the momentum and they get a goal. “It kind of changed the game.” It’s kind of been changing games, for the worse, all year. It makes no sense that they can be fifth best in the NHL at home and a complete train wreck at home, but the numbers don’t lie. An almost 30 per cent drop in production is straight out of the X-Files.
Home ice penalty killing continues killing Edmonton Oilers
Edmonton Journal | Dec 31