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Lightning vs. Hurricanes
Tracking the Storm

Dumbing Down the Power Play

Tuesday, 12.02.2008 / 10:43 AM / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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Dumbing Down the Power Play

It wasn’t the most glowing term, but Ryan Bayda may have said it best last week when describing what the Canes need to do differently in order to score more goals.

“It’s almost brain-dead hockey,” he said prior to Sunday’s loss to Anaheim.

Paul Branecky
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In saying that, he meant that the Canes need to play a simpler, almost textbook game of shooting the puck at every opportunity and working hard to convert those shots into goals through rebounds, screens, tip-ins and other types of grunt work.

They did a better job of that with 17 shots in the second period against Anaheim on Sunday, but couldn’t convert.  Still, it was a step in the right direction, and as long as the Canes keep that up, their luck should turn.

Even in that second period, however, the power play seemed to be a completely different animal.  The team had two man-advantages in that period – one with two shots and one with zero - that basically served to give Ducks goaltender Jonas Hiller a breather between even-strength barrages on either side.

The 0-4 performance on Sunday extended the Canes current power play drought to 26 chances, dating back to Ray Whitney’s goal against Montreal on November 18.  The power play is currently 29th in the league at 12.9 percent.

Carrying the even-strength simplicity over to the power play could be the answer.

”We’ve just got to get back to the basics and stick to it,” said General Manager Jim Rutherford.  “We have good enough players and a good enough team.  We don’t have to score pretty goals on the power play.  Any kind of goal on the power play will work.  They all count the same.”

It sounds obvious, but the first step to scoring goals is getting shots.  The Canes have mustered only 23 shots on goal during the current 26-chance drought – an average of less than one shot per opportunity.

“We’ll turn our two minute power play into passing the puck around the outside and in some cases not even taking a shot,” Rutherford continued.  “That’s what the other team wants.  Keep the puck to the outside and you can pass it around all you want.  That’s the easiest system to defend against, and that’s what we’ve been doing.”

In preparing to face two teams in Pittsburgh and Philadelphia that boast top-10 penalty kills, a little brain-deadness could go a long way.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 TBL 48 30 14 4 156 127 64
2 NYI 46 31 14 1 151 129 63
3 DET 47 27 11 9 139 119 63
4 MTL 45 29 13 3 123 106 61
5 PIT 46 26 12 8 138 117 60
6 NYR 44 27 13 4 134 106 58
7 WSH 46 24 13 9 137 120 57
8 BOS 48 25 16 7 126 121 57
9 FLA 44 20 14 10 107 122 50
10 OTT 46 19 18 9 126 128 47
11 TOR 48 22 23 3 142 150 47
12 PHI 48 19 22 7 130 146 45
13 CBJ 45 20 22 3 113 142 43
14 NJD 47 17 22 8 107 134 42
15 CAR 46 16 25 5 98 120 37
16 BUF 47 14 30 3 89 167 31

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 41 15 13 -8 28
J. Faulk 46 8 18 -14 26
J. Skinner 41 10 9 -7 19
E. Lindholm 46 9 10 -10 19
R. Nash 46 7 12 -4 19
J. Tlusty 39 11 7 -12 18
N. Gerbe 42 4 13 -2 17
V. Rask 46 6 9 -9 15
A. Sekera 44 1 14 -8 15
C. Terry 33 6 3 -3 9
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
A. Khudobin 5 8 2 .916 2.32
C. Ward 11 17 3 .911 2.45