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More Chances, More Goals for Power Play

Wednesday, 12.17.2008 / 12:24 PM ET / Tracking the Storm
By Paul Branecky
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More Chances, More Goals for Power Play
Audio: Paul Maurice | Frantisek Kaberle

The Canes got an unexpected day off on Wednesday, as the “ice” at the RecZone was more like a lake, preventing the team from having practice. If that was a result of a player coming in early and messing with the thermostat, no one admitted it.

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According to head coach Paul Maurice, today’s session would have been a short one anyway, designed mostly to “get the hands loosened up” for tomorrow’s game against the Florida Panthers, who are 6-2-0 in their last eight and suddenly only two points back of Carolina in the standings.

The practice would not have been used to work extensively on the power play, which wasn’t always pretty in converting three of 11 chances last night against Montreal, but did enough to earn the win.

“Some nights you’re snapping it around and they go for you, but last night it wasn’t the case and they still stuck with it and found a way,” said Maurice.

It has been an adventure at times, but the power play has been cashing in more often in the Canes last six games under Paul Maurice and Ron Francis. They’ve scored seven man-advantage goals in that span, including three on eleven chances in their most recent game against Montreal.

The conversion rate is better – 17.9 percent over that six-game period – but a big factor in the increase of goals is an increase of opportunities. Prior to the 11 chances they got against Montreal, they had eight on Saturday against the New York Rangers and seven on Thursday against Philadelphia.

The Canes have been one of the NHL’s best-behaved teams after some trouble with discipline in the first few games of the season, but haven’t been drawing penalties at this rate for quite some time.

“We’ve controlled the puck more,” said Maurice. “Another thing to look at is hits, and teams are out-hitting us because we have the puck. We are making a concerted effort to hang on to the puck and not dump it as much. You’ve never seen a guy with the puck get a hooking penalty, and you never will.”

Frantisek Kaberle did manage to find a dry spot on one end of the ice and did some light skating on his own minutes after being activated from injured reserve (Tim Conboy was reassigned to make room). He’ll be ready to go tomorrow.

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STANDINGS

EASTERN CONFERENCE
  TEAM GP W L OT GF GA PTS
1 WSH 50 37 9 4 163 112 78
2 FLA 51 31 15 5 141 112 67
3 NYR 52 29 18 5 148 134 63
4 TBL 51 29 18 4 137 118 62
5 BOS 51 27 18 6 149 136 60
6 DET 52 26 18 8 130 131 60
7 NJD 53 26 20 7 119 120 59
8 NYI 50 26 18 6 135 126 58
9 PIT 50 25 18 7 129 128 57
10 CAR 53 24 21 8 129 141 56
11 PHI 50 23 18 9 119 130 55
12 MTL 53 25 24 4 142 142 54
13 OTT 52 23 23 6 142 164 52
14 TOR 50 19 22 9 116 134 47
15 BUF 52 21 26 5 119 137 47
16 CBJ 54 21 28 5 135 168 47

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Faulk 53 15 19 -13 34
V. Rask 51 12 19 1 31
K. Versteeg 52 10 21 1 31
J. Skinner 53 18 12 -3 30
J. Staal 53 12 18 7 30
E. Staal 53 9 21 0 30
E. Lindholm 53 8 16 -8 24
A. Nestrasil 46 7 12 -1 19
J. Nordstrom 42 5 9 2 14
R. Hainsey 53 3 11 -12 14
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 15 11 5 .905 2.43
E. Lack 9 10 3 .901 2.74
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