Eastern Edge: Power-play production in the Metro Division

by Brennan Des on January 14, 2020
  • Eastern Edge
  • Eastern Edge: Power-play production in the Metro Division

 

Howdy reader! You strike me as a smart person with good taste. How do I know that? Well for starters, you clicked on this article! Why not continue your current run of excellent decision-making by picking up a copy of Dobber’s Midseason Guide over here? I can’t tell you how often I refer to those second-half projections when evaluating my fantasy hockey roster. I highly recommend the guide for anyone looking to secure a championship this year!

In this week’s Eastern Edge, we’ll be taking a look at power-play production from the Metropolitan Division. I’ve listed five players from each team that see the greatest percentage of their team’s total power-play time (PP TOI%) and provided a few observations for each team. Click here to check out last week’s installment, where we looked at power plays from the Atlantic Division.

 

Carolina Hurricanes

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Dougie Hamilton

46

12

3:13

64.0

Teuvo Teravainen

46

17

3:11

63.4

Andrei Svechnikov

46

15

3:06

61.8

Sebastian Aho

46

11

2:57

58.8

Erik Haula

27

6

2:55

56.5

 

Last year, Justin Faulk was Carolina’s top power-play defenseman as he saw 60.2-percent of the team’s time with the man advantage. In contrast, Hamilton sat at 38.1-percent. Faulk’s departure opened the doors for Hamilton to take over the team’s PP and the 26-year-old defenseman has made the most of his new role. He’s on pace for 21 power-play points which would break his previous career-high of 16 that he set back in 2015-16 with the Flames.

If you’re concerned about Aho’s power-play production, don’t be. He started the season on the second unit and tallied just one point with the man advantage during the 12 games he played in October. After that first month, he’s been primarily deployed on the top unit and has 10 PPP in 34 games since the beginning of November.

A lot of the league’s power plays feature a trigger man – a guy who takes most of the shots with the man advantage. Carolina doesn’t quite employ that strategy as everyone on their top unit seems comfortable with shooting the puck. Dougie Hamilton has taken 41 shots on the power-play, Teravainen has taken 39, Svechnikov sits at 38 and Aho has directed 31 pucks towards the net.

 

Columbus Blue Jackets

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Zach Werenski

39

10

2:55

58.4

Pierre-Luc Dubois

46

8

2:56

56.8

Gustav Nyquist

46

8

2:54

56.3

Seth Jones

46

8

2:42

52.4

Kevin Stenlund

14

3

2:12

51.3

 

The Blue Jackets have never really been synonymous with power-play production, sporting success rates of 17.3-percent (2019-20), 15.4-percent (2018-2019) and 17.2-percent (2017-2018) over the past few years.

The team has suffered a number of significant injuries, so certain players have had to take on bigger roles. Coming into the season, I knew nothing about Kevin Stenlund – who was drafted 58th overall by Columbus in 2015. Since he was called up from the AHL’s Cleveland Monsters in December, Stenlund has seen a prominent role on the power play and has chipped in three points with the man advantage through 14 games as a Blue Jacket.

Cam Atkinson was the trigger man on the PP last year, leading the team with 67 shots. For reference, Artemi Panarin sat second with 48 shots and Werenski was third with 27 shots. Atkinson has missed the last 11 games with an ankle injury and Boone Jenner leads the team with eight shots on the power play during those 11 games. 

 

New Jersey Devils

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Kyle Palmieri

44

12

3:17

59.2

Jack Hughes

37

6

3:20

58.7

Sami Vatanen

41

10

2:57

51.8

Wayne Simmonds

45

4

2:45

49.2

Nico Hischier

40

9

2:40

48.8

 

The Devils have scored on just 14.3-percent of their power-play opportunities this year – only the Ottawa Senators have been less successful with the man advantage. A closer look reveals that New Jersey scored on 12.8-percent of their chances in 32 games with Taylor Hall on the roster but clicked at 18.9-percent in the 13 games since he was traded. Interestingly, P.K. Subban’s role on the power play has increased since Hall left. Subban was seeing just 30-percent of his team’s total PP time in the month leading up to Hall’s trade but has seen a 50-percent share since then. With that being said, it looks like Vatanen is still the top power-play defenseman in New Jersey, his 10 PPPs rank second on the team behind Kyle Palmieri.

 

New York Islanders

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Mathew Barzal

44

6

2:16

60.2

Jordan Eberle

34

6

2:08

52.0

Devon Toews

44

3

1:54

50.3

Josh Bailey

44

6

1:53

49.9

Anthony Beauvillier

44

5

1:52

49.5

 

You’ll notice that while Barzal sees the highest percentage of his team’s time with the man advantage, the Isles distribute ice time pretty evenly between their two power-play units. They aren’t listed above but Anders Lee, Brock Nelson, Derick Brassard, Ryan Pulock and Nick Leddy all average between 40 and 50-percent of New York’s total PP time. In terms of actual production, Brassard and Pulock lead the way with seven power-play points. The Islanders scored on just 14.5-percent of their opportunities last year – representing the league’s third-worst power-play success rate. They’ve been better this season, converting on 19.4-percent of their chances.

It’s worth mentioning that the Isles have had the fewest opportunities with the man advantage, seeing just 98 through 48 games. To give you some perspective, every other team in the league has had more than 120 power plays.

 

New York Rangers

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Artemi Panarin

45

15

3:48

68.5

Chris Kreider

45

8

3:42

66.6

Mika Zibanejad

32

10

3:37

65.7

Tony DeAngelo

45

12

2:51

51.2

Kaapo Kakko

41

10

2:44

50.6

 

Artemi Panarin is on pace for a career-high 27 power-play points. He’s been averaging nearly four minutes with the man advantage each game, representing the largest power-play role he’s ever had. He registered just 18 PPPs through 79 games with Columbus last year and already has 15 thanks to a more dangerous power-play unit in New York. Panarin is also shooting more with the man advantage this year after deferring to Atkinson who seemed to be the trigger man on the Blue Jackets.

Tony DeAngelo seems to have cemented himself as the team’s top power-play defensemen over Adam Fox and Jacob Truba. Trouba opened the season as the go-to guy, seeing 58% of the team’s total PP time in October, while DeAngelo and Fox saw 36% and 31%, respectively. November saw both Fox (51%) and DeAngelo (48%) overtake Trouba (32.2%) before DeAngelo (65%) eventually took over the top unit in December. While DeAngelo has been deployed more frequently on the power play than Fox and Trouba, there isn’t a huge difference in overall production between the three players. DeAngelo leads the way with 12 power-play points but Fox is right behind him with 11 and Trouba has a respectable eight. If DeAngelo falters over the next few games, Fox has every chance of taking over. Essentially, nothing is set in stone on the Blueshirts blueline.

 

Philadelphia Flyers

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Claude Giroux

46

11

3:07

57.0

Jakub Voracek

46

11

2:57

54.2

Ivan Provorov

46

13

2:57

54.1

James van Riemsdyk

46

4

2:46

50.7

Sean Couturier

46

8

2:42

49.4

 

Travis Konecny narrowly missed making the list above as he sees 49-percent of the team’s total time with the man advantage, but he leads the Flyers with 14 power-play points in 43 games. Ivan Provorov ranks second in power-play production and this season marks the first time he’s been given such a prominent role on the PP. Over the past four seasons, Shayne Gostisbehere held the lion’s share of power-play time in Philadelphia, consistently seeing over 65-percent of his team’s minutes. This year, that’s dropped below 50-percent as Ghost has just five PPPs through 40 games. Back in 2017-18 when he put up 65 points in 78 games, Gostisbehere had 33 power-play points. He’ll be hard-pressed to match offensive totals from the past now that he’s seeing less time with the man advantage.  

 

Pittsburgh Penguins

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Kris Letang

37

8

3:30

74.4

Sidney Crosby

17

3

3:22

69.7

Jake Guentzel

39

10

3:10

67.7

Evgeni Malkin

32

12

3:13

67.3

Justin Schultz

27

3

2:54

62.5

 

Sidney Crosby will make his return to the lineup on Tuesday night against the Wild after missing 28 games while recovering from core muscle surgery. It blows my mind that the Penguins scored on 22.8-percent of their power-play opportunities in Crosby’s absence – managing the league’s tenth-best PP over that span.

Jake Guentzel fantasy stock rose this season as he was granted a role on the top power play for the first time in his career. He had 10 PPPs in 39 games after tallying 11 through 82 games in a smaller role last year.

Like Guentzel, Bryan Rust has also been granted a prominent power-play role for the first time in his career. He wasn’t seeing much time with the man advantage during his first nine games, but as the injuries started to pile up in Pittsburgh, he saw his opportunity grow. He’s tallied nine power-play points in 22 games since joining the team’s PP personnel. Amazingly, he had just five PPP in 253 games prior to the 2019-20 campaign.

 

Washington Capitals

 

Player

GP

PPP

PP TOI/GP

PP TOI%

Alex Ovechkin

46

13

4:44

90.0

John Carlson

46

17

4:06

77.9

Nicklas Backstrom

38

12

3:50

70.3

T.J. Oshie

46

8

3:38

69.1

Evgeny Kuznetsov

43

12

3:33

69.0

 

Alex Ovechkin averages nearly five minutes on the power play each game, seeing 90.2-percent of his team’s time with the man advantage – no one in the league sees a bigger power-play role. Considering the great opportunity Ovi has with the man advantage, it’s strange that he’s only on pace for 24 PPPs this year. Part of that can be explained by Washington’s recent power-play struggles, as the Capitals have scored on just 14.5-percent of their opportunities over the last month and a half. That’s right, the team we frequently associate with power-play dominance ranks 30th in PP production since December 1st – only Columbus has been worse.

The Capitals have shaken up their power-play units in an attempt to spark some offense. Jakub Vrana has been promoted to the top unit with Ovechkin, Backstrom, Oshie and Carlson while Kuznetsov moved down to the second unit. Washington has scored a power-play goal in each of the two games they’ve played since altering their lines. Vrana has five power-play points in the seven games he’s skated on the first PP unit – which includes a stretch from earlier this season when Backstrom was injured.