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The Edmonton Oilers have the NHL’s worst home penalty kill percentage in history

And it’s not even close.

Buffalo Sabres v Edmonton Oilers

In the future, it would probably behoove the Edmonton Oilers to not take penalties at home. Not only are the Oilers in the midst of a surprisingly terrible 2017-18 season, they’ve also now hit another low point in the NHL record books.

After a 5-0 loss to the Buffalo Sabres at home, where the Oilers gave up three goals on four power play opportunities against, Edmonton’s team penalty kill clip dropped to a cool 54.2 percent. The league’s worst home PK was recorded 40 years earlier and was over 10 percent higher than the Oilers’ current rate.

For those counting, the Oilers’ penalty kill is operating at just over 50 percent, meaning out of every 10 PKs they have had at home, their opponents have scored on half of them. Normally, operating a penalty kill with an 80 percent success rate is the average for an NHL team, but numbers like this are unprecedented.

Even more incredible about the phenomenon is that the Oilers’ penalty kill percentage away from home is normal. In fact, it’s more than normal, as their 86.6 percent PK away from home leads the NHL! However, it’s all canceled out in the end, because their overall penalty kill is also the league’s worst at 71.4 percent.

It’s hard to say exactly what is wrong with the Oilers’ penalty kill at home. Cam Talbot has looked incredibly human this year after being a standout last season. His .901 save percentage in 38 games doesn’t help, but his five-on-five save percentage is marginally better at .916, according to Corsica.

Part of it is certainly in the team’s heads. Hockey may be a game, but the mental aspect shouldn’t be ignored, especially for a team so down on their luck as the Oilers are this season. Edmonton has plummeted down the NHL standings, with a 21-24-3 record that has them 12 points out of a playoff spot as their postseason hopes continue to dwindle by the day. It absolutely would make sense that this problem is just being compounded by their own mental mistakes whenever they take a penalty.

It also doesn’t help that the Oilers take the NHL’s 10th-most penalty minutes per game, as they come out to 9.5 on average.

A historically bad penalty kill isn’t the sole reason the Oilers have taken such a dive this season, it’s just one of many that have made this a year to forget in Edmonton.