Last season, the only real blemish on the Washington Capitals team stat sheet was their post season win total less than pretty Penalty Killing percentage of 78.8%. For the majority of last season, the Caps employed a passive Penalty Kill which allowed the opposition to freely move the puck in the offensive zone.
This season, the Caps have implemented an aggressive, 'attack the puck' penalty killing strategy that resembles their fast-paced offensive game. So far, he results have been great, the unit having killed all 25 Power Play chances against on the season.
While the system its self has the most to do with this success, there are a few other reasons the Penalty Kill has been so good this season.
-Power Play units are now fearfully aware that when the PK looks flat, Brooks Laich has been known to carry a tire iron.
-Looking for pointers, the PK took an afternoon fieldtrip to watch the aromatherapy pillow kiosk salesman at Ballston Common Mall harass everyone who walked by.
-Schultz and John Erskine currently lead the team in PK time. Not coincidentally, Erskine also has the ability to go ‘IEIEIEEIEIEIEIEIEIEIE’ for 2 straight minutes.
-Bruce Boudreau is now awarding successful penalty kills with coupons good for a Free Personal Pan Pizza at Pizza Hut.
-Michal Neuvirth has developed the uncanny knack for knowing when a shot is coming while on the PK. Interestingly, Neuvy has been seen driving an altered DeLorean home from practice…
-To simply minimize the team’s time shorthanded, the coaching staff finally explained the concept of a penalty to Alex Semin, who only has three minor penalties on the season, in terms he could understand.