Home > Edmonton Oilers > Tom Gilbert has impeccable timing for bad penalties

Tom Gilbert has impeccable timing for bad penalties

With just a shade over five minutes left in the last nights game and with the Oilers holding onto a 2-1 lead and already short a man Tom Gilbert got called for shooting the puck over the glass. In Gilbert’s defense the puck was bouncing and was up on edge when he shot it so it’s not as if he total control of where the puck went after it left his stick but while defendable, it was a bad penalty to take at just about the worst possible time. Luckily the Oilers were able to kill the resulting 1:39 two-man advantage and hold off the Islanders for their first win in eight tries.

It’s good that Gilbert’s penalty didn’t cost the Oilers in this case but I couldn’t help but think that the whole situation had a familiar feeling to it. As it turns out I was right.

This season Gilbert has 24 penalty minutes resulting from, not surprisingly, 12 minor penalties. Of those 12 penalties, three have been for shooting the puck over the glass – the other instances were in Carolina and at home against the Ducks last month. 25% of his penalties this season have been for shooting the puck over the glass. I don’t have league wide stats on this but that seems pretty high to me.

And it’s not just the percentage but the situations that the penalties are taken that is amazing. In the Carolina game the penalty gave the Canes a two-man advantage for 58 seconds. The Oilers were able to kill the 5-on-3 but not the remainder of the Gilbert penalty and Joe Corvo’s power play goal put the Oilers down 5-0. That game was all but over before the Gilbert penalty though so while it was bad timing, it wasn’t too detrimental to the Oilers that night.

The next puck over the glass penalty came against Anaheim with 2:29 left in the game and the score tied at 2. Unlike in Carolina, the Oilers would kill this off this penalty and force the game into extra time, eventually dropping to the Ducks in a shootout.

Traditional hockey logic says bad penalties like these are the hardest to kill off but to date none of the three puck over the glass penalties have really hurt the Oilers. That said, you can only tempt fate so many times. Sooner or later Gilbert and his impeccable timing for bad penalties is going to cost the Oilers.

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