Most of the talk surrounding the team today is "What's wrong with the Penalty Kill"? after the Oilers scored on 4 of their 7 Powerplays last night.
But I am not worried about it. Comrie's goal was the flukiest of flukes, as Stastny had blocked a pass (as good PKers) do and it bounced right to Comerie, who had an open net as Anderson was going post-to-post to play the pass, that Stastny deflected. Flukey, and no big deal.
There were two other goals (Penner, and Potulny) where the Avs were pressuring the puck very well, but the bounce went to the Oil who made a nice cross-ice pass for a one timer. The Penner goal in particular was a case of a bad bounce for Duchene and O'Reilly combined with an excellent pass from O'Sullivan and excellent finish by Penner. A bit of bad luck and good plays by the opposition is a recipe for a disaster.
What really is starting to bother me is that the Avs are taking so many penalties. Through 18 games the Avs are only 11th in Penalty minutes per game, but that is mainly a result in their lack of fighting, but in terms of being shorthanded, the Avs are tied for 2nd worst in the league, being shorthanded a whopping 79 times. This is the main contributer to the avs being outshot so badly this season, they are spending too much time on the Penalty Kill.
Joe Sacco's new aggressive style is probably partially to blame, more aggressiveness will lead to more penalties, and it's hard to argue that the Avs should go back to playing "Watch the other team create scoring chances" defense of the old regime. But 2 seasons ago under coach Q, the Avs were shorthanded a league best 301 times for the whole season.
I don't think the avs have to go back to the passive style that resulted in so few shorthanded chances, but they need to not take so many damn useless penalties. The PK is going to get unlucky at times (like last night) and give up goals. Those penalties are going to cost you games against teams that you have dominated at even strength this season, like the OT loss against Minnesota and the loss last night.
Draft Cupcakes: Michael Rasmussen
10 hours ago