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Tag: Penalty Kill

Will Deryk Engelland’s Role Be Reduced in 2019-2020?

Now that the wait is over and fan favorite Deryk Engelland signed his new contract to stay in Las Vegas, it’s time to discuss his future impact. First off, let’s note that Engelland will receive less money in 2019-2020 but will have a chance to make up for it.

At 37-years-old you’d assume his overall presence would begin to drop off. After all, his time on ice dwindled from 20:17 ATOI in 2017-18, to 19:53 ATOI in 2018-19. I’m being sarcastic, that’s not much of a difference. Same can be said for his penalty kill minutes, it’s virtually equal to VGK’s first season and I could argue he was as good if not better in 2018-19.

Just take a look at Engelland’s 2019 Postseason penalty killing performance.

Game 1: 4:26 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/5 San Jose Power Plays

Game 2: 9:19 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/8 San Jose Power Plays

Game 3: 4:16 PK Minutes (Team Leader), 1 Goal/3 Power Plays

Game 4: 4:31 PK Minutes, 0 Goals/4 San Jose Power Plays

Game 5: 3:15 PK Minutes (Game Leader), 1 Goal/3 San Jose Power Plays

Game 6: 2:45 PK Minutes, 0 Goals/2 San Jose Power Plays

Game 7: 7:56 PK Minutes (Game Leader), *4 Goals/9 San Jose Power Plays

Total: 36:28 PK Minutes, 5 Goals/34 Power Plays, 0.13 San Jose PPG when Engelland was on the ice.

*You all know why there’s an asterisk

So just on defensive special teams alone, Engelland’s return is a positive one. However, the issue could be on even-strength. How will the Golden Knights coaching staff deploy the elder statesmen this season? Is it possible Jon Merrill, Nick Holden(if still on the roster), or Rookie d-men see more time on 5v5 than in 2018-19. That direction would balance Engelland’s minutes under 18-19 minutes a game. Which could be more beneficial for the team.

A big part of my game is killing penalties-Deryk Engelland

Another element to Engelland’s 2019-2020 usage will be who he is paired up with. Over the past two seasons, it’s been a consistent dose of Engelland and Shea Theodore. I’d assume with the uncertainty of the younger defenseman, that pairing would remain the same to start training camp and the season. That doesn’t mean it will stay that way, and frankly I don’t think it will. With the possibility of a rookie in the lineup nightly, Vegas may want to break in the young blueliner with an experienced, reliable defenseman like Engelland. It worked for Theodore.

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In a perfect world, Engelland would see less even-strength minutes and continue to be a rock on the penalty kill. Keep in mind the Golden Knights paid him less money to stay which could be a sign the organization sees Engelland playing a lesser role this season. Or it’s just another shrewd business move by the front office.

Either way, subtracting 5v5 minutes means fresher legs on the PK. It’s an easy, obvious approach to distribute minutes and get the most out of the 37-year-old in 2019-2020. It’s almost too obvious if a half-wit like me can figure it out. Clearly he’s valued and trusted on the ice by the coaching staff which would lead you to believe they expect the same #5 out there. And how can you fault them after two successful seasons with Vegas?

VG(P)K

The numbers on the VGK penalty kill against Washington were staggering. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

In a year of inconsistency, there has been one constant in the Golden Knights game throughout the first 29 games. It’s the league’s 2nd ranked penalty kill which just so happens to be the #1 PK at home and has killed 20 straight penalties at T-Mobile Arena.

The Golden Knights have killed penalties off at an 85.2% clip and are well over 90% on home ice, but never, and by that I mean in the history of the franchise, has the PK shown up bigger than it did on Tuesday night.

Following the Ryan Reaves ejection, the Capitals, who already had a 2-1 lead, went on the man-advantage for five minutes spanning over two periods. Not only did the Golden Knights kill it off, they barely even allowed a scoring chance. Vegas went on to kill two more penalties in the 3rd amassing a perfect 5 for 5 kill against a team scoring on more than 25% of their power plays.

It was big. Obviously, we had killed one of the best power plays in the league tonight. The guys responded because they were trying to pick up Ryan. They did an outstanding job. I think there was two more in the third period that they had to kill.  I think we killed nine minutes of the 15-minute span there between the second and the third period and we did outstanding. -Gerard Gallant

Despite spending just short of 11 minutes at 5-on-4, the Capitals mustered up just three shots on goal. According to NaturalStatTrick.com, Washington had just one scoring chance on their five power plays and not a single high-danger chance.

That’s a lethal power play there, I think we did a really good job of forcing pressure down ice and kind of rattling them and when they got into the zone they were kind of tired or mishmashed or not enough guys up on the ice. That was big for us momentum-wise, big for our penalty kill, big for our team. -Eakin

Aside from one shot from Ovechkin’s office and another from nearly the same spot that John Carlson missed, the Capitals PP spent most of the time trying to enter the zone, changing players, or struggling to fan the puck around to Ovechkin. It was essentially the perfect game penalty killing for the Golden Knights.

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Who Plays When On Special Teams?

The Golden Knights power play king. (Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

The Golden Knights continue to be one of the most disciplined teams in the NHL. Vegas is one of the least penalized teams allowing 7.5 penalty minutes per game (PIM). Players have committed the fourth least PIMs in the league, and opponents have only 82 Power Play opportunities against (PPOA) the Golden Knights. For comparison sake, Nashville has allowed 114 PPOA.

When it comes to shorthanded (SH) situations, Gerard Gallant relies heavily on six players. Four out of the top five penalty killers are defensemen. Deryk Engelland clearly leads the group with 71:15 total SHTOI. Forwards Pierre-Edouard Bellemare, Reilly Smith, Cody Eakin and William Karlsson are also called upon to kill penalties for Gallant.

PlayerTotal SH TOIAVG SH TOI
Deryk Engelland71:152:51
Luca Sbisa59:133:07
Pierre-Edouard Bellemare57:382:13
Brayden McNabb55:582:26
Nate Schmidt54:102:05
Reilly Smith52:522:02
Cody Eakin47:401:50
William Karlsson47:141:49
Tomas Nosek26:001:05
Oscar Lindberg25:001:00
Colin Miller13:260:31
Erik Haula9:100:25
Shea Theodore6:000:30

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