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Anaheim’s power play is just awful

Mar 19, 2014, 12:28 PM EDT

BoudreauAnaheim AP

Buried in the game report from Anaheim’s 3-2 loss to Washington last night was this startling statistic:

The Ducks paid the price for an 0-for-6 night on the power play. They are 2-for-48 since Jan. 30.

That’s a shocking 4.2 percent success rate since the end of January. I’ve seen milks with higher percentages. And while that stat only goes back to Jan. 30, it’s clear this issue has run the course of the season; Anaheim has 38 total power play goals on the year, but 12 of them came during a wild six-game stretch in early January in which the Ducks went a perfect 3-for-3 against Boston, then set a club record by scoring six PPG in a 9-1 drubbing of Vancouver.

What makes Anaheim’s futility all the more remarkable is that it remains one of the NHL’s most potent offensive teams. The Ducks rank fourth in the NHL in goals per game (3.2), are on the verge of having two 30-goal scorers (Corey Perry has 36; Ryan Getzlaf has 29) and have 11 players with at least 20 points this season.

The fact the Ducks can’t score on the power play makes zero sense, and it’s definitely disconcerting. Following the loss to Washington, head coach Bruce Boudreau acknowledged the futile PP was a major issue.

“I’m disappointed in our specialty teams. It’s been our Achilles’ heel all year,” he explained, per the L.A. Times. “It’s something that we’ve got 13 games to correct, or we’re going to be in trouble.”

Boudreau is speaking from experience. In last year’s opening-round playoff loss to Detroit, the Ducks jumped out to a 2-1 series lead on the strength of its power play, going 5-for-15 over the first three games.

But when the man advantage stopped clicking, the Ducks started to struggle.

Anaheim proceeded to score just two more PPGs in 10 opportunities over the final four games, and Detroit won three of the four.

  1. theheez - Mar 19, 2014 at 12:47 PM

    At what point does the coaching staff just throw in the towel and go a different direction? Clearly what they are preaching is just flat out missing. As much as I hate to say it, this is where they miss Penner blocking out the sun in front of the net. They need to park a banger in the crease ASAP.

    • imf311 - Mar 19, 2014 at 4:22 PM

      Maroon was parked in front on the powerplay last night…Halak was just lights out. and technically they scored once on the PP as it was expiring.

    • areaman714 - Mar 19, 2014 at 5:14 PM

      The power play has been horrible the entire year. If it wasn’t for the Vancouver game when they had six . . . Anyway, Penner is enjoying life on the fourth line for the Caps. I am sure Ovi will start lobbying for Penner’s services on the first PP line soon.

    • gambloduck - Mar 19, 2014 at 6:45 PM

      Penners presence helped in the past .The bigger problem is players that don’t have skill sets for the power play .Nick Bonino seems to disrupt any speed of motion on the power play . Blind area passes (not on the stick blade) and unable to finish on plays in front of the crease . Why BB sticks with him is a mystery . Perreault (much better hockey IQ and wrister ) comes in and scores on the PP and BB puts Bones back in on the next man advantage . Fowler has taken too many hits to the head and has oo slow a reaction time receiving the puck (holding the line) and making the decision to either skate away from trouble or try to pass . Staff just scared to make decisions and ruffle feathers/confidence of mainstay players .

  2. bcisleman - Mar 19, 2014 at 9:40 PM

    Leading into the deadline, there were strong rumors linking ANA to Vanek. Guessing they wouldn’t part with the prospect Garth wanted. Vanek would now be leading ANA in PPG if he were on the team. Wonder if ANA is having some regrets.

    • areaman714 - Mar 19, 2014 at 11:48 PM

      Nope. Price is too steep for a rental. Plus, what was allegedly offered by the Ducks smoked what the Isles settled for . . .

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