77%. That’s what our PK percentage is these days. It’s been the one thing that’s killed us this year. Killed us again this past Wednesday against the Kings. If we don’t fix it soon, it’ll be the reason why the streak ends.
I feel like penalty killers are given a pass on fans and reporters critiquing their game individually. Draper was great at it right? I think so, but I have nothing other than my memories to back that up.
Sure, we know the PP sucks, but who is making it suck and who’s doing alright out there? Let’s take a look.
I'll give you three guesses of who's sucking it up, but there's no way you get who's dominating...all after the break.
So I’ve taken behindthenet.ca’s tools and looked at how our players do on the PK, only 5 on 4. I’ve further only looked at players who average a minute or more on the PK per game. Here’s the results, sorted by GA/per 60 minutes of play.
Let’s start with the good.
Leading the pack we have the new guy Kent Huskins, who hasn’t let a goal in on during his time on the ice despite the fact that he plays an average of 2 and a quarter minutes per game on the PK in his 11 games. Makes sense too, his foot speed is a bit slow, but defensively he’s solid around the net. He’s a PK specialist it appears.
But speaking of special, look at Zetterberg. His GA per 60 on the PK is about half the Wings GA average all around. Essentially, if Zetterberg played the entire game, ON THE PK, we’d average 1.8 goals against per game, which would be leading the league. Holy freaking crap.
Zetterberg for MVP…anyone?
On the other end of special, look who’s holding down the bottom of the fort. Good ol’ curly haired paleface. Abdelkader hasn’t just been bad on the PK, he’s been about six goals per game worse than the next worst guy. 16 GA per game on average. Wow. How he ever touches the ice amazes me even more reading this.
And this isn’t a huge bonus to our other players when you compare it to some of the better teams. For example, the highest GA of any player on Boston per 60 minutes is 2.9. I’d say the average on the team is about 2. Montreal, a more middle of the range team, averages around 5-6. Our average is about 8-9. So Filppula, Cleary, and Quincey are doing alright, and everyone else is pretty crap. Including Datsyuk, which does surprise me a bit.
So the TL:DR of part two? Zetterberg for MVP. Huskins is good when he doesn’t have to skate.
And Abdelkader to the beer leagues.
Abby is not having a good season, and to make it worse he is being given every chance to excel. The guy has played with Datsyuk for weeks now and still doesn't have a goal. Right now if anyone needs some time in the press box it is Abby.
Datsyuk isn't "crap" on the PK. Rather, if my observational memory serves me right, I think he usually faces the top PP unit and is sandbagged with the guys he's with. You try playing against, say, Chicago's top PP unit with Abby as your other forward...
@ThroatShot Maybe, but it sure isn't showing up in the stats, as he's third worst on the team thus far.
@moorecha Well, I would advocate for taking him off the PK anyway, as I would rather not see him being the one to dive in front of Shea Weber shots and would rather him be rested for PP and even time. Based on the stats, our best PK lines are Z-Fil-Huskins-Quincey and Cleary-Emmerton-Lashoff-Ericsson, though the recent post about defensemen is likely correct that Huskins will soon be wearing a suit to the games. I actually don't mind those lines at all, though Helm-Eaves is our best forward pairing from the past of this current team. I also support taking Kronwall out of the PK picture the way he's been playing defensively this year.This season, I'm starting to believe Abby is the most useless NHL'er I can think of. He isn't really playing the role of grinder/enforcer well, and he seems to have no place in the NHL. This would be a perfect time to trade him for anything, because maybe a change of scenery would invigorate him and he really is useless to us.
Notice how much better the PK has been without Abby being on it? Abby isn't a bad PKer... but he doesn't look as good without Helm out there with him. If there's one person that's missing Helm more than any other, it's Abby.