Tracking the Storm

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 - NYR 82 53 22 7 252 192 113
2 y - MTL 82 50 22 10 221 189 110
3 x - TBL 82 50 24 8 262 211 108
4 x - WSH 82 45 26 11 242 203 101
5 x - NYI 82 47 28 7 252 230 101
6 x - DET 82 43 25 14 235 221 100
7 x - OTT 82 43 26 13 238 215 99
8 x - PIT 82 43 27 12 221 210 98
9 BOS 82 41 27 14 213 211 96
10 FLA 82 38 29 15 206 223 91
11 CBJ 82 42 35 5 236 250 89
12 PHI 82 33 31 18 215 234 84
13 NJD 82 32 36 14 181 216 78
14 CAR 82 30 41 11 188 226 71
15 TOR 82 30 44 8 211 262 68
16 BUF 82 23 51 8 161 274 54

STATS

2014-2015 REGULAR SEASON
SKATERS: GP G A +/- Pts
E. Staal 77 23 31 -13 54
J. Faulk 82 15 34 -19 49
E. Lindholm 81 17 22 -23 39
V. Rask 80 11 22 -14 33
J. Skinner 77 18 13 -24 31
N. Gerbe 78 10 18 -14 28
R. Nash 68 8 17 -10 25
J. Staal 46 6 18 -6 24
J. Liles 57 2 20 -9 22
J. McClement 82 7 14 -7 21
 
GOALIES: W L OT Sv% GAA
C. Ward 22 24 5 .910 2.40
A. Khudobin 8 17 6 .900 2.72