The Flyers Power Play study
The Philadelphia Flyers power play has been performing poorly as of late. In the 10 games prior to the week of March 8th, the Flyers had only converted successfully on 3 of 35 power play opportunities. For a team with 7 players with 40+ points and 9 players with 15+ goals, a power play that weak is mind-boggling. In my article last week, I provided a comprehensive study of the Flyers shot selection against the New York Rangers , which diagramed the spots on the ice in which the Flyers attempted even strength and power play shots.
For this week’s article I decided to narrow my shot study and focus only on the Flyers’ power play.
The Flyers power play made a drastic leap in the week of March 8th. During that time span, the Flyers successfully converted on 4-of-9 power play opportunities and scored at least one power play goal in each of the three games played.
The following is a game-by-game breakdown of the Flyers power plays. The “X” marks represent registered shots on net, “Asterisks” represent blocked shots, “Circles” represent shots that missed the net, a “Box with an X” represents a shot on net that resulted in a rebound, and a “Black Box” represents a goal scored:
MARCH 8TH VS EDMONTON
In the first period of the Edmonton game, the Flyers had two power play opportunities. On their first power play they looked fairly weak and only attempted one shot, which came from the point off of a faceoff. At 12.57, Ladislav Smid would hit Darrel Powe head first into the boards and received a 5-minute major for boarding. On the ensuing power play, the Flyers didn’t look wonderful but they moved the puck well and took a varying amount of shots. Jeff Carter eventually found the puck at the top of the crease and put the Flyers up 2-0.
In the second period, the Flyers had one power play. They spent the majority of the time chasing the puck and didn’t register a single shot on goal. They attempted 2 shots, both of which were blocked and originated from similar spots.
The Flyers ended the game 1-for-4 on the power play. They registered 6 shots on goal and had 2 shots blocked.
MARCH 10TH @ TORONTO
Mike Komisarek hit Dan Carcillo head first into the boards and put the Flyers on a 5-minute power play. Andrej Meszaros quickly put the Flyers up 1-0 with a shot from the point. The Flyers moved the puck well and amassed a total of 7 shots. The team had solid form in the offensive zone, spent the majority of the advantage on the attack, and looked to have a confidence that they hadn’t possessed in weeks. The flaw in this power play was their inability to score more than one goal.
The Flyers next power play came in the second period. It was far less inspired than their first period effort and as the chart displays, the shots were highly concentrated in one area.
The Flyers ended the game 1-for-3 on the power play. They registered 10 shots on net, had 4 shots blocked, and missed 1 shot.
MARCH 12TH VS THRASHERS
This game was by-and-far the strongest outing for the Flyers’ power play. They had two power play opportunities and Ville Leino scored a goal on both of them.
The Flyers first power play came in the second period when Tim Stapleton took a holding penalty at 13.47. The goal came .35 seconds into the power play. Leino scored the goal of off a rebound from a Scott Hartnell shot.
The Flyers next power play came off a Mark Stuart broken stick penalty at 12.53 in the third period. Claude Giroux took a shot from the slot, which missed the net and eventually found the stick of Ville Leino and found the back of the net for his third goal of the game. The goal came .45 seconds after the penalty was taken.
The Flyers ended the game 2-for-2 on the power play. They registered 3 shots on goal, had a single shot blocked, and had one shot with a rebound, which resulted in a goal.
In my opinion, these studies are very telling of the successes and failures of the orange and black’s power play attack. If you pay attention to the charts where the Flyers score a goal, their shot selections are varied. On the charts where the Flyers don’t score a goal (the second period of both the Edmonton and Toronto games) the shots are coming from a concentrated area. In the case of the second period power play against the Maple Leafs, all but one shot is attempted above the right faceoff circle.
The Flyers biggest problem on the power play seems to be consistency. It’s very basic, but the Flyers are unsuccessful when they attempt shots from one specific area. Even going back to last week’s study against the Rangers, their power play was attempting shots from a single point and they were having no success. You don’t have to conduct a shot study to come to the conclusion that a varied offensive attack is going to confuse defenses and result in scoring chances as well as offensive production.
Throughout the week of March 8th the Flyers showed a more varied power play attack that displayed a drive and determination that has been lacking.
-Ville Leino = 3 goals, 1 assist
-Jeff Carter = 2 goals, 1 assist
-Claude Giroux = 1 goal, 4 assists
-Danny Briere = 1 goal, 3 assists
-Mike Richards = 3 assists
WHERE THE TEAM STANDS AT THIS POINT:
42-19-7 (91 points)
1st place in the Atlantic Division (by 3 points over Pittsburgh)
1st place in the Eastern Conference (1 point over Washington)
2nd place in the NHL (8 points back of Vancouver)
Power Play = 17.2% (18th)
Penalty Kill = 83.3% (t-10th)
**They lead the league with 12 short-handed goals
-Claude Giroux leads the team with 64 points as well as assists with 42
-Jeff Carter leads the team with 30 goals
They will play 3 road games this week:
Tuesday: @Florida 7.30 PM
Thursday: @Atlanta 7 PM
Saturday: @Dallas 8 PM
There are 14 games remaining
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