For the Philadelphia Flyers, it has been a roller coaster first six games. It has featured some ups and downs, but there has been one consistent: a poor power play.
The Flyers are a miserable 2-for-27 on the power play, good for 26th in the NHL in power play percentage (7.4). To make matters worse, the man advantage is 1-for-18 on home ice, and 1-for-9 on the road.
While it's still very early, it's a cause for concern for a team that had the third best power play in the entire league last year. In the 2009-10 season, the Flyers were 68-for-317 (21.4%). Their 317 opportunities ranked sixth most in the NHL last year.
Through six games this year, the Flyers have 27 man advantages, which puts them 19th in the league in power play opportunities. They are in the midst of a 0-for-9 drought since their last power play tally in the first period of this past Saturday's loss to the Penguins.
Before that, the Flyers were 0-for-13 on the power play during a three game stand after scoring once on the man advantage in the season opener in Pittsburgh. Here's a depressing thought: the Flyers are 2-for-9 against the Pens on the power play this year, 0-for-18 against everyone else.
Not sad enough, Danny Briere who scored eight times last year on the power play, has accounted for the only two goals the Flyers have scored on the man advantage. What happened to the scoring depth this team had last season?
Mike Richards led the team with 13 power play tallies in the 09-10 campaign, thus far he has none. Jeff Carter was second with 11 goals, this year he has zero. Scott Hartnell and Claude Giroux had eight last year, and neither have tickled the twine this season.
The Flyers have been working on the power play during practice, trying to find something that works, but so far, Peter Laviolette has yet to find the right ingredients for a lethal power play.
No matter what the Flyers try, they need to install a mindset to shoot when there's a shot available. I've noticed that the Flyers are hesitant to shoot at times, and you can't score if you don't shoot.
The Flyers power plays consists of a lot of passing, cycling the puck searching for shooting lanes. They have a player stationed in front of the goalie acting as a screen, but ever since Mike Knuble departed, the Flyers haven't found someone capable of scoring the dirty goals.
I believe patience is the key to a successful power play; you have two minutes to capitalize on the other team's penalty, there's no rush to force the play. At the same time, too much patience is a problem.
That's what I think the Flyers are suffering from, too much patience.
Visit the Broad Street Scoop for more of Tom's coverage of the Philadelphia Flyers, and the NHL. Follow Tom on Twitter: @Tom_Dougherty. E-mail him at: email@example.com
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