A look at PP trends and usage from teams around the Western Conference
Weekly Western Leaders
Goals – 4 – Alex Iafallo – Los Angeles
Assists – 6 – Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton
Points – 8 – Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton
PPP – 3 – Anze Kopitar – Los Angeles
Shots on Goal – 16 – Tyler Toffoli – Los Angeles
PIM – 22 – Matthew Tkachuk – Calgary
Best plus/minus – plus 7 – Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton
Worst plus/minus – minus 7 – Austin Watson – Nashville
Hits – 19 – Barclay Goodrow – San Jose
FOW – 45 – Ryan O’Reilly – St. Louis
FOL – 43 – Ryan O’Reilly – St. Louis
Giveaways – 8 – Leon Draisaitl – Edmonton
Takeaways – 6 – Andrej Kase – Anaheim
5 on 5 SH% (min 3 GP) – 18.11 Tyler Toffoli – Los Angeles
Highest CF% (min 3 GP) – 66.6 – Nicolas Deslauriers – Anaheim
Lowest CF% (min 3 GP) – 23.1 – Austin Watson – Nashville
Highest PDO (min 3 GP) – 119.4 – Elias Pettersson – Vancouver
Lowest PDO (min 3 GP) – 84.0 – Riley Sheahan – Edmonton
Save percentage (min 2 starts) – 93.5 Jacob Markstrom – Vancouver
We will look at each team and their power plays and what players are trending up or down since January 1st. To preface this article, we will be referring to PPP/60PPMIN quite a bit and to put things in perspective for first unit power plays, Connor McDavid is number one in the league at 10.2 and anything above six is probably above average and below three below average.
The Ducks rank 30th in the league, with the man advantage, and are at 14.6 percent for the season. The Ducks rank 30th in PP opportunities with 137 and are last in the NHL with 20 PP goals. Since the new-year they have managed 14.8 percent good for 26th overall and are still a team that doesn’t draw many PP. Adam Henrique led the team with 8.0 PPP/60PPMIN while Sam Steel is next with 7.4. First-unit players struggling are Jakob Silfverberg (0.00), Cam Fowler (2.4) and Hampus Lindholm (2.6)
The Coyotes sit 18th in the league with a 19.4 percent power play and are 9th in opportunities with 165. The acquisition of Taylor Hall has maintained the status quo in Phoenix for the most part as the PP is 16.2 percent in January good for 23rd overall. In January, Phil Kessel saw his PPP/60PPMIN rise to 6.0 compared to his overall 5.3, while Christian Dvorak was at 5.1 in January compared to 4.0 on the season. Conversely Nick Schmaltz has seen his PP production dry up and is currently on a twelve game power play pointless streak. Conor Garland has seen his time increase, while Clayton Keller has seen his time reduced.
The Flames PP is starting to heat up, which is not surprising considering the talent they can put on the ice. On the season they sit 16th overall at 19.6 percent while being 20th overall with 153 opportunities. In January they improved to 23.3 percent good for 13th overall with 30 opportunities (21st). Leading the team the past month are Mark Giordano (8.1 PPP/60PPMIN), Mikael Backlund (8.1) and Johnny Gaudreau (7.8). Matthew Tkachuk and Elias Lindholm lead the team for the season at 5.5.
The Blackhawks have struggled all year on the PP and have moved away from Erik Gustafsson and recently gave Adam Boqvist time on the first unit at the point. Overall they are at 15.3 percent and 27th overall but are 17th overall in opportunities with 157. In January things did not improve at all as they were 14.8 percent (25th overall) with 27 opportunities (24th overall). Patrick Kane is the lynch pin with the extra man and leads the team with 5.8 PPP/60PPMIN with rookie Dominik Kubalik next at 4.3. In January, Gustafsson leads the team at 5.1 but still has not won the quarterback job back from Boqvist. Even with Alex DeBrincat producing less than rookie Kubalik, he has not lost his place on the PP (yet).
I would have guessed that Colorado had a better PP than they do at 18.9 percent and 21st overall so far this season. They do get a ton of opportunities though and are currently 2nd overall with 180. They were no better in January with an 18.2 percentage (19th) and 33 opportunities (7th). Not surprisingly, Nathan Mackinnon leads the team with 6.8 PPP/60PPMIN and is followed by Cale Makar at 5.9, while Nazem Kadri at 3.2 is starting to see his TOI come back lately as his time was being given to or taken by Mackinnon. In January, Samuel Girard (6.5) is forcing Cale Makar (5.1) to be at his best with the man advantage.
For the year, the Stars are at 18.5 percent and 22nd overall on 146 opportunities (26th overall). January is a different story and their power play produced at 25.8 percent (10th) on 31 opportunities (20th). The biggest turnaround has been changing up the personnel with Joe Pavelski (2.2 PPP/60PPMIN), Corey Perry (2.2), and Alexander Radulov (4.5) having their time reduced in January. Roope Hintz (6.5), Esa Lindell (5.9), Denis Gurianov (5.0) and Mattias Janmark (6.0) have seen their time increase. In the past month, Hintz (16.1), Lindell (11.6) and John Klingberg (10.0) have been on very effective.
With the best power play in the NHL by quite a margin at 29.5 percent and 156 opportunities (18th), any Oiler put out on the unit alongside Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl has a good chance at getting points. On the year, McDavid has an excellent 10.2 PPP/60PPMIN with Draisaitl right behind him at 9.8. The biggest beneficiaries have been James Neal (6.6), Alex Chiasson (6.6), Ryan Nugent-Hopkins (5.3) and Oscar Klefbom (4.5). In January the team still managed a 25.9 percent pace (9th) with McDavid (10.8) and Draisaitl (11.0) continuing right along, with only Darnell Nurse (9.2), Chiasson (8.0)and Nugent-Hopkins (3.4) getting in on the scoring. I’d look for Kailer Yamamoto to get a chance sooner than later, but the Oilers aren’t going to mess with success.
Much like Dallas, with the old power play guard struggling, the team is looking for new players to take over and succeed. Currently the team is at 17.8 percent and 23rd overall on 152 opportunities (22nd), but has been improving in January with a 36.4 percentage (2nd) on only 22 opportunities (31st). The only established veteran contributing his worth is Anze Kopitar at 6.8 PPP/60PPMIN, while Drew Doughty (4.0), Jeff Carter (3.0), and Dustin Brown (1.9) have been struggling. Nikolai Prokhorkin (12.5 in January) and Adrian Kempe (11.5) have been given more opportunity recently and are making the most of it. Anze Kopitar, (14.1) Alex Iafallo (6.5) and Tyler Toffoli (9.4) have also been hot of late. If the Kings had an heir apparent to Doughty, he’d be in trouble for power play time, but I don’t think Sean Walker will be the guy to do it.
The Wild are solid on the power play with a 20.0 percentage (13th) on 160 opportunities (13th) on the season. Ryan Suter is still their horse with the man advantage and has 15 PPP with a 6.1 PPP/60PPMIN to lead the team in both. Zach Parise (5.2) and Eric Staal (4.9) follow while Mats Zuccarello (3.0) and Matt Dumba (2.1) struggle to maintain their spots. In January, the team has been hot with a 29.0 percentage (3rd) on 31 opportunities (19th). Leading the team in January are Zach Parise with four goals (13.2), Suter (10.4), Staal (8.3) and Jared Spurgeon (7.2) getting more time because of the struggles of Dumba. Mikko Koivu has seen his time diminish significantly and it would be interesting to see Luke Kunin get a look at some point.
The Predators power play is struggling this season at 16.8 percent and 25th in the league but has looked marginally better in January with a percentage of 19.5(16th). They do draw a lot of penalties (173) and are currently 6th in the league overall. Roman Josi leads the team with 17 points with the man advantage and 6.1 PPP/60PPMIN, while Viktor Arvidsson has struggled at 2.7 but that is no different than other years for him. In January it appears that Kyle Turris (7.8), Mattias Ekholm (5.9) and Mikael Granlund (3.8) are seeing more time while Nick Bonino (0.0) has been removed almost completely. The team drew 41 penalties (3rd) and the leaders were Filip Forsberg (9.1), Kyle Turris (7.8) and Matt Duchene (6.6) while Arvidsson and Ryan Johansen were held pointless over 13 games.
With Brent Burns and Erik Karlsson, it’s shocking that the Sharks sit 26th overall at 16.0 percent on the power play. Add in, the fact that they have only drawn 144 penalties (27th) and it is hardly a recipe for success. Evander Kane has 10 power play goals and 5.7 PP/60PPMIN to lead the team while Kevin Labanc (2.8), Joe Thornton (2.5) and Patrick Marleau (0.9) are at the other end. Since January 1st, the team sits 12th overall with a 24.0 percentage on 25 opportunities (28th). Timo Meier was the best Shark this month (7.6), while Karlsson (6.8), Thornton (6.5) and Labanc (5.7) were much better. A player added to the mix, this last month was Barclay Goodrow (6.0) and he was seeing time on the top unit, but has cooled off recently. With Meier’s injury one would assume that Brent Burns (3.9) will have his time re-instated.
I find in almost every category I look at, the Blues are near the top of the league and the power play is no different as they sit 5th overall with a 24.4 percentage. In terms of drawing penalties they are quite average with 156 (19th). David Perron with 8.8 PPP/60PPMIN, Jaden Schwartz (6.2) and Brayden Schenn (6.1) have filled the void quite well when Vladimir Tarasenko went down 10 games into the season with injury. In January, their power play was even better with a 26.5 percentage good for 7th overall. Alex Pietrangelo (7.1) has 20 points already and will more than likely exceed his career high of 26 in 2011-2012. Pietrangelo (11.7) was on fire in January with seven points and Perron (8.6) was right behind him with four goals. There is nothing broken with this power play at the moment so changes are unlikely to happen other than through injury.
The Canucks lead the NHL in drawn penalties with 191 and sit 7th in the league in percentage with 23.0. Vancouver owes a lot to its second unit as Jake Virtanen (10.0), Adam Gaudette (8.7) and Tanner Pearson (6.7) have made the most of their limited time on the power play. The first unit has been very average even with the addition and success of Quinn Hughes (5.3) and his 18 points this season. In January, the team is still drawing a lot of penalties (2nd) with 43, but have struggled to score as they are 28th with an 11.6 percentage. Once again the second unit has chipped in with Pearson (5.5), Virtanen (5.3) and Gaudette (4.7) leading the team, while top line has sputtered with Elias Pettersson (3.9), Hughes (3.7), J.T. Miller (2.7), Bo Horvat (1.3) and Brock Boeser (no power play points in last 13 games) in January. Boeser has already lost his regular line mates and is danger of losing his power play status. The most likely player replacing him would be Gaudette, but unless Boeser goes pointless in the next 10 games and the Canucks go on a slide, this is unlikely to happen.
The Golden Knights have a solid power play and are currently 9th in the league at a 21.6 percentage on only 148 opportunities (25th). The drivers on the first unit are Max Pacioretty (6.5), Mark Stone (5.5) and Jonathan Marchessault (5.3). There has been a lot of personnel movement throughout the year, but Shea Theodore (4.2) has been a fixture on the point. In January the power play has been at 20.0 percent (15th) on only 25 attempts which is 29th in the league. Theodore (7.7) has been the most productive Knight this past month with four power play points, followed by Paul Stastny with three points (7.4) while rookie Nicolas Hague (6.5) has been seeing more ice time with the man advantage and scored a goal.
The Jets had the 4th best power play in 2018-2019 at 24.8 percent, but lost Dustin Byfuglien, Jacob Trouba and Tyler Myers, so have dropped to 19.0 percent and rank 20th overall on 158 opportunities (16tht). If not for the surprising Neal Pionk (7.1) and his 18 power play points, this team would be even lower, as the rest of the first unit have been average so far this year. Things have been the same in January as the team is 18th in the league at 18.4 percent on 38 opportunities (6th). Blake Wheeler (6.4) has kicked things into gear with five power play points, while Pionk (5.2) and Kyle Connor (5.2) have chipped in with four points. The straggler in January is Patrick Laine (1.3) and even though he has rebounded this season, his power play numbers (3 goals) are not even close to the past two seasons of 15 and 20 goals.
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