One aspect of the game that's been highlighted with this losing streak is the penalty killing. It's horrible, and it's killing us. For the season, we are an abysmal 79.3%. That's the 7th worst in the league, and 4th worst in the conference (interestingly, Nashville is worse than us, and they have a stacked defense).
Just look at this 4-game streak. Mar 3 we're kill off 3 out of 6, Mar 6 we're 3/4 (but give up Phoenix's first PP goal in some really long streak), Mar 7 we go 3/3 (blind squirrels and nuts), and today we only go 4/7.
Why is our PK so bad? Is it the coaching? Overuse of certain players on the PK leading to fatigue? Personnel? System?
What can we do in the offseason to improve the penalty killing? What Dmen and forwards might we sign/bring up/acquire to help us?
Also, I will bring up the hypothesis that part of this has to do with the "3 scoring lines" makeup that Murray and many are enamored with. It means there's fewer players, forwards especially, that can reliably kill penalties.
The biggest problem with our PK is the inability to clear the puck down the ice. They have a knack for getting it near the blueline but not the whole way out. I notice that when that happens the players start scrambling more and leaving more guys open for opposing scoring chances.
This team really needs to focus on the basics. They need to simplify the game. On top of that they need to regain any intensity they have while they still have the slimmest chances of making the playoffs.
On the PK, all that is really asked is that you don't allow point-blank shots on net. Guys aren't doing that however and trying to overcompensate for their mistakes or someone elses. The PK system is fine, it's the confidence level that is at a season low.
The biggest problem with our PK is the inability to clear the puck down the ice. They have a knack for getting it near the blueline but not the whole way out.
I think that's down to hockey IQ and the defenders doing the PK now. It's all "swing the puck along the boards and hope the Ducks forward can beat the PP point man for the puck".
When it was OD, Pronger, and Beauch as the other 3 pk defenders, there was a lot more of reading the dump in and intercepting it before it got swung around to the back side. They would then loft easy clearing passes through the middle of the ice. Kind of like what all the other teams do to the Ducks powerplay now ...