Next Edmonton Oilers coach should make preventing goals top priority

Sportsnet

So the Edmonton Oilers need a new coach. Again.

I should wax my skis as often as they change coaches.

This time, it’s Ken Holland’s turn at bat, to take a swing at signing a guy who completes his contract in Edmonton.

The good news is, we know exactly what he’s looking for. Two things, actually:

One, it is time for this organization to figure out how to kill a penalty. Of the 31 franchises that have played an NHL game in the last decade, Edmonton’s 79.2 per cent is better only than Arizona’s 78.9 per cent — and the Coyotes have had roughly half the time to figure it out.

A good penalty killer in Edmonton is like a small forward in the NBA. Six-six isn’t small, and sub-80 per cent isn’t good.

Beyond the PK, it’s time to dispel a few myths about the type of coach required in Edmonton.

For example, when Dave Tippett’s name comes up, and people predict that a “defensive-minded” coach will impinge on the offensive instincts of Edmonton’s best players, we would remind you that Connor McDavid, Leon Draisaitl and Ryan Nugent-Hopkins each had career years under Ken Hitchcock last season.

#hockey, #professional

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