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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 p - WSH 82 56 18 8 252 193 120
2 x - PIT 82 48 26 8 245 203 104
3 y - FLA 82 47 26 9 239 203 103
4 x - NYR 82 46 27 9 236 217 101
5 x - NYI 82 45 27 10 232 216 100
6 x - TBL 82 46 31 5 227 201 97
7 x - PHI 82 41 27 14 214 218 96
8 x - DET 82 41 30 11 211 224 93
9 BOS 82 42 31 9 240 230 93
10 CAR 82 35 31 16 198 226 86
11 OTT 82 38 35 9 236 247 85
12 NJD 82 38 36 8 184 208 84
13 MTL 82 38 38 6 221 236 82
14 BUF 82 35 36 11 201 222 81
15 CBJ 82 34 40 8 219 252 76
16 TOR 82 29 42 11 198 246 69

STATS

2015-2016 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
J. Skinner 82 28 23 -2 51
V. Rask 80 21 27 -6 48
J. Staal 82 20 28 6 48
E. Lindholm 82 11 28 -23 39
J. Faulk 64 16 21 -22 37
J. Nordstrom 71 10 14 1 24
A. Nestrasil 55 9 14 4 23
R. Nash 64 9 13 -5 22
N. Hanifin 79 4 18 -14 22
J. Slavin 63 2 18 1 20
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 23 17 10 .909 2.41
E. Lack 12 14 6 .901 2.81