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Kent Nilsson and the penalty kill

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03-30-2011, 12:58 PM
  #1
arrbez
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Kent Nilsson and the penalty kill

Having taken Nilsson in the current ATD I was looking over his stats and I was shocked - SHOCKED - to learn that he scored 9 short-handed goals in 1984. That's one of the highest totals ever recorded, and he did it in a season where he only played 67 games. So about 1/3 of his goals that year came shorthanded, and he scored more goals on the PK than on the PP. The rest of the players on his team combined for just 5 shorties, with nobody having more than 1 apiece.

So can anyone who was watching hockey in the mid-80's comment on just how much Nilsson was being used shorthanded? He certainly has a reputation as a guy you wouldn't want killing penalties, but that obviously wasn't the case, at least for a few years in Calgary. It seems like a guy would have to play an awful lot of time on the PK to score 9 shorties in 67 games.

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03-30-2011, 01:17 PM
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TheDevilMadeMe
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I think it was very common for teams in the 80s to use star players to kill penalties and to go for SHGs aggressively. I know Denis savard has a surprising amount of them too.

It's another thing that males mike Richards' shgs in this era so much more impressive historically

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03-30-2011, 01:25 PM
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the edler
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pavel bure scored a lot of sh goals too and he wasn't a very good player defensively at even strength - it's different on the pk

you can see it this season too with grabner and his 5 sh goals and 1 pp goal

nilsson wasn't as fast as bure or grabner but i would guess he was a good pickpocket or puck stealer and he was also a smart player

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03-30-2011, 03:43 PM
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Franck
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Originally Posted by the edler View Post
pavel bure scored a lot of sh goals too and he wasn't a very good player defensively at even strength - it's different on the pk

you can see it this season too with grabner and his 5 sh goals and 1 pp goal

nilsson wasn't as fast as bure or grabner but i would guess he was a good pickpocket or puck stealer and he was also a smart player
Exactly. Guys who aren't usually the best defensively during even-strength can be very effective PKers because they can use their offensive talents to try and force turn-overs, particularly when the opposing team is playing with a forward on the point.

And as TheDevilMadeMe points out in his post, that aggressive, counter-attacking form of penalty killing fit well into the general "run and gun" philosophy that dominated the NHL during the 1980s.

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03-31-2011, 05:03 AM
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brianscot
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Nilsson also had the most non-Gretzky hockey sense on the planet and since reading the play and anticipation immensely help the PK.......

Now if it wasn't for that pesky "having to fight for the puck" thing.

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03-31-2011, 07:15 AM
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tarheelhockey
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Grabner and Bure immediately popped into my mind, too. Theo Fleury had a couple of 7-SHG seasons a decade apart. Brett Hull, Brian Bellows and Peter Bondra were pretty deadly too.

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03-31-2011, 10:05 AM
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Originally Posted by brianscot View Post
Nilsson also had the most non-Gretzky hockey sense on the planet and since reading the play and anticipation immensely help the PK.......

Now if it wasn't for that pesky "having to fight for the puck" thing.
Mario Lemieux and his NHL record 13 shorthanded goals in a season say hello!

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03-31-2011, 10:08 AM
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I guess this was the year before Lemieux's rookie season, so you're statement held true at the time I would assume.

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03-31-2011, 10:36 AM
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brianscot
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I guess this was the year before Lemieux's rookie season, so you're statement held true at the time I would assume.
Come to think of it, my statement might not have been true even then.

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