Lackluster Power Play Behind Recent Avalanche Struggles

January 9th, 2010 by James Crider Leave a reply »
At 17.9 percent, the Colorado Avalanche's power play is ranked 15th overall, right in the middle of the league.

So, why is the power play a problem?

It's a problem because that percentile is a number inflated by Colorado's great power play success earlier in the season. Lately, there hasn't been a power play that's been worse.

Over the past 20 games, Colorado has had 88 power play opportunities and only capitalized on 12 of them, or 13.6 percent. The worst power play in the league (Pittsburgh, surprisingly) is at 14.4 percent.

The Avalanche obviously have some fire power—their 131 goals rank seventh in the NHL—but the problem doesn't come down to fire power, but rather being too cute on the power play.

Every time the Avalanche get it in the zone, every player has the same goal in mind: pass.

Paul Stastny in particular, who only has three power play goals and nine total goals on the season, seems too focused on forcing the puck to the point man and has subsequently passed up golden shooting chances.

This wouldn't be a problem if Colorado still had a shot like Rob Blake's on the point, but Colora ...

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