Jump to content

Are the Devils going about the PK the right way?


Recommended Posts

This may seem like a very silly question considering the Devils were historically effective in 2011-2012 and were once again the top PK team in last year.  However, listening to Talking Red's interview with analytic guru Rob Vollman, he suggests that using top players like Elias, Zajac and Henrique may tire them at even strength.  Vollman also said that the trend on the PK is that teams are using secondary players (3rd-4th liners) and saving their best players. So here are a couple of questions:

 

1) Are the Devils playing the right players on the penalty kill and should they be saving them?

 

2) By playing top players, does is affect even strength performance (i.e. could NJ get above 55% possession)?

 

3) Would you sacrifice PK performance for better ES?

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my take on the PK.

 

- Good PK'ing is a result of effort, not overall skill

-  Good goaltenders are the best PK'ers

- For younger 3rd and 4th line players (even up through college), there is often a real sense of pride about being on the PK. They feel like they have a roll on the team, even if it isn't to dangle and score goals and rack up TOI.

 

Does that mean the Devils should move JJ and Brunner to the PK instead of Elias and Henrique? I'm not so sure, but I'd be very curious to see if it made a statistically significant impact. My guess is that anyone good enough to play to pro hockey can be an excellent Pk'er.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Here is my take on the PK.

 

- Good PK'ing is a result of effort, not overall skill

-  Good goaltenders are the best PK'ers

- For younger 3rd and 4th line players (even up through college), there is often a real sense of pride about being on the PK. They feel like they have a roll on the team, even if it isn't to dangle and score goals and rack up TOI.

 

Does that mean the Devils should move JJ and Brunner to the PK instead of Elias and Henrique? I'm not so sure, but I'd be very curious to see if it made a statistically significant impact. My guess is that anyone good enough to play to pro hockey can be an excellent Pk'er.

 

I would very strongly disagree with the assessment that PK'ing is a result of effort and not skill. At the very least, its a combination of those two. We've had a couple of squads of truly elite PK units. If you think back to Madden and Pandolfo in their hey-dey, they had excellent skill at killing penalties that was combined with a strong work ethic. Later, we had more traditional 'skill' players like Kovalchuk, Parise,  and Elias killing penalties at a historically high effective rate. I don't think that Kovalchuk (in particular) exhibited more effort than Pandolfo or Madden, but he was just as (if not more) effective.

Link to post
Share on other sites

This may seem like a very silly question considering the Devils were historically effective in 2011-2012 and were once again the top PK team in last year.  However, listening to Talking Red's interview with analytic guru Rob Vollman, he suggests that using top players like Elias, Zajac and Henrique may tire them at even strength.  Vollman also said that the trend on the PK is that teams are using secondary players (3rd-4th liners) and saving their best players. So here are a couple of questions:

 

1) Are the Devils playing the right players on the penalty kill and should they be saving them?

 

2) By playing top players, does is affect even strength performance (i.e. could NJ get above 55% possession)?

 

3) Would you sacrifice PK performance for better ES?

 

 

This is where depth is important.  I also wonder how much penalty killing really tires a player as compared to even strength.  You're rarely charging up ice, and it seems like there's relatively less contact than at even strength.  But so far as Elias, he was 37 years old, and he still gets .8 points per game.  These guys are all in good shape, so I don't think it's worth it to take a chance rocking the boat with what is an excellent penalty killing unit.

Link to post
Share on other sites

I suppose I should have said "offensive skill" or "pure talent". I dont think anyone considers Madden and Pando upper-tier hockey players in terms of their talent. They're famous among Devils fans because they were excellent role players who killed penalties. I actually think they are archetypes for my assessment, where Kovy or Parise would be exceptions.

Edited by NLinfante
Link to post
Share on other sites

I can jump on board the idea hat we should try to avoid using our top players (Elias,zajac,henrique) on the pk, but I don't think it's negatively affected their even strength effectiveness- they still had very good ES possession numbers last year, no?

So unless the argument is that oveurse on the PK has a direct correlation to our lack of finish ability, I'm not sure I buy it.

Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO nothing energizes the arena and the team more than the PK we have, the places goes nuts (especially my section diablos) through it and right after it. I wouldn't trade PK for better ES, but then again i don't think they complement or take away from each other, different situations. 

Link to post
Share on other sites

Since youre in the diablos tell the horn guy to blow it once to start a chant and thats it. Theres absolutely no reason to blow it continuously.

I would appreciate it!

And the PK is one of our strengths so I wouldn't make any changes.

Edited by Zubie#8
Link to post
Share on other sites

Since youre in the diablos tell the horn guy to blow it once to start a chant and thats it. Theres absolutely no reason to blow it continuously.

I would appreciate it!

And the PK is one of our strengths so I wouldn't make any changes.

i second this, i HATE sitting in that section.. so damn annoying i dont even like sitting on that side of the arena because of them.
Link to post
Share on other sites

I think that's the only thing all of us agree on lol. Absolutely no one likes that stupid vuvuzela.

And to comment on what makes a good PK. I think it's a place where tactics and discipline make far more of an impact than the skill of the players. Being slow is even something that's less of an issue which is why Volch and Sal can play the PK and do well. It's all about being in the right position and not losing your man. That's something that nearly any half decent NHL player should be able to do. Obviously being a smarter and more skilled player can be a benefit, but I think that it makes far less of an impact than it does 5v5 where you have a lot more to focus on.

Edited by ATLL765
Link to post
Share on other sites

IMO nothing energizes the arena and the team more than the PK we have, the places goes nuts (especially my section diablos) through it and right after it. I wouldn't trade PK for better ES, but then again i don't think they complement or take away from each other, different situations. 

 

It's also a case of we haven't had much to get energized from the past few years. Even some of our wins were boring. So a consistently great penalty kill is something to rally on haha

Edited by DJ Eco
Link to post
Share on other sites

This may seem like a very silly question considering the Devils were historically effective in 2011-2012 and were once again the top PK team in last year.  However, listening to Talking Red's interview with analytic guru Rob Vollman, he suggests that using top players like Elias, Zajac and Henrique may tire them at even strength.  Vollman also said that the trend on the PK is that teams are using secondary players (3rd-4th liners) and saving their best players. So here are a couple of questions:

 

1) Are the Devils playing the right players on the penalty kill and should they be saving them?

 

2) By playing top players, does is affect even strength performance (i.e. could NJ get above 55% possession)?

 

3) Would you sacrifice PK performance for better ES?

 

Elias would be the one guy that I'd hope would be removed from the PK.  Henrique seems to me to be too good at it to be taken off.  NJ uses 3 sets of forwards on the PK, so I really don't think this takes much away from their even strength play, because you can't just add minutes to someone's ice time - that person has to be played as part of a line, on a particular shift.  So let's say NJ rotated these 3 PK units - Carter-Gionta, Zubrus-Zajac, Elias-Henrique - call them A, B, C - well, so long as B isn't the last unit out there, you can still use Zubrus-Zajac-Jagr after the PK is over.

 

I also don't think Pandolfo was a good penalty killer, or at least I doubt he was.  For his final 3 seasons here, he ranked 4th worst among PKing forwards in SA/60.

Link to post
Share on other sites

Join the conversation

You can post now and register later. If you have an account, sign in now to post with your account.

Guest
Reply to this topic...

×   Pasted as rich text.   Paste as plain text instead

  Only 75 emoji are allowed.

×   Your link has been automatically embedded.   Display as a link instead

×   Your previous content has been restored.   Clear editor

×   You cannot paste images directly. Upload or insert images from URL.

Loading...
×
×
  • Create New...

Important Information

By using this site, you agree to our Terms of Use.