Eastern Edge: Unsustainable power plays

Brennan Des

2021-02-16

In this week's Eastern Edge, we'll look at the impact of power-play success rates on your fantasy roster. In particular, we'll focus on an overperforming unit in Washington, as well as underperforming units in Detroit and New York.

Detroit Red Wings

Detroit's offensive struggles in recent years have been well documented. So, it shouldn't surprise you that they've had the league's worst power play over the past four seasons, scoring on 16.4-percent of their opportunities since the 2016-2017 campaign. Last year represents their worst showing of those four seasons, as they scored on 14.9-percent of their chances through 71 games.

As bad as those numbers look, Detroit's power play has gotten off to an even worse start this season. They've scored on just four of their 53 power plays through 17 games this year, which translates to a success rate of 7.6-percent. To give you some perspective, in the last 10 years, only one team has finished the season with a power-play success rate below 12-percent. That team was the 2013-2014 Florida Panthers, who still managed to score on 10-percent of their opportunities. For those of you thinking that this year's condensed schedule may lead to a lower power-play success rate than we've ever seen before, keep in mind that the 10-year span I referenced includes the lockout-shortened season of 2012-2013. Although teams played just 48 games, the worst power-play success rate was 13.8-percent (Winnipeg Jets).

The Red Wings haven't scored a power-play goal in their last eight games, over which they've had 22 chances. Notably, the team has been without Tyler Bertuzzi during this stretch, as an upper-body injury has kept him out of the lineup for Detroit's last eight games. Bertuzzi leads the team with four power-play points through nine appearances this season. While his absence may be hindering the team's power play performance, I think Anthony Mantha, Dylan Larkin and Filip Hronek have enough talent to turn the tide eventually. Don't be too discouraged that Mantha only has one power-play point through 16 games, or that Larkin only has two through 17. If anything, their current struggles allow you to acquire them at a discounted price in fantasy