Wednesday, February 06, 2008

The Current Power Outage: To Worry Or Not To Worry?

Heading into tonight's game against the Flyers, since Michael Nylander was shelved for the season on January 15, the Caps power play had clicked at an impressive 23.7% (9-for-38), an efficiency that would have the team 3rd in the League if it was their season-long conversion rate. Overall, the team is 10-for-53, a very respectable 18.9%, with Nyls out of the lineup this year.

That's the "glass is half full" look at the what the team has done with the extra man and without their top playmaking pivot (with apologies to young Mister Backstrom).

Now, the flip side of that coin. The Caps have scored just one time in their last sixteen opportunities with the man advantage, not once in their last four games, and have given up two shorthanded goals against (including last night's putrid 3-on-5 shorty) since their last power play goal. That's not even the "glass is half empty" take - that's "the glass is broken."

Over the course of a season, one can pick and choose four game stretches to show any number of things, so the current stretch is perhaps no more meaningful than the first four games sans Ninety-Two in which the power play was successful 36.3% of the time. After all, on the season, a power play that fired at only 14.6% under Glen Hanlon's direction has been markedly better - 19.2% - under Bruce Boudreau (an efficiency that would be 6th best in the League on the season). So let's just let the law of averages play out... for now.

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