Zero. That’s the amount of goals the Flyers scored on the man-advantage during the round-robin. 11 attempts, no conversions, no excuses. A team that was 14th in the league on the powerplay during the regular season is reverting back to their old ways. Just in time for meaningful hockey. However, there’s reason for hope.
The Flyers haven’t gone more than six games without a powerplay tally this season. Yes, six games may seem like a lot but considering the Flyers had a goal while up a man in 35 of their 69 games, there’s not a huge reason for concern. Factor in Montreal’s less-than-stellar penalty kill, and you have the perfect remedy to get the Flyers powerplay back on track.
The Habs finished the year in the bottom half of the NHL in terms of penalty killing. They allowed 45 powerplay goals while being shorthanded 211 times. That gives their penalty kill an efficiency of 78.7%. In terms of powerplay goals allowed, they’ve surrendered the ninth most of all NHL teams. They’re 15th in terms of times short-handed.
In their play-in series against the Pittsburgh Penguins, Montreal accumulated 17 total penalties. Of the 17, they killed 14, giving them an 82.35% efficiency. The biggest sticking point to this stat is the fact that the Canadiens were penalized an average of just over four times per game. Call it what you will considering it was against the Penguins, but it’s hard to be successful when you’re playing a man down for a good bit of the game.
It’s not like Montreal is this ridiculously undisciplined team. They did surrender a good amount of powerplay opportunities to Pittsburgh, but they will certainly be working on tightening up their game before taking on the Flyers.
The Flyers boast the 14th best powerplay in the NHL, converting at a 20.8% clip. They’ve netted 47 powerplay goals on 226 opportunities over their 69 game season. That’s good for seventh in the NHL and fourth in the Eastern Conference. Their 226 powerplay opportunities is tied for the fifth most in the NHL, and also tied for the third most in the Eastern Conference.
While the numbers aren’t mesmerizing by any means, we have seen just how lethal this powerplay can be. From converting three of five opportunities on December 19 against Buffalo, to the same performance against the New York Rangers on March 1. If the Flyers powerplay is hot, it is hot.
To Sum it Up…
The Flyers have a great opportunity to right the ship here with their man advantage. While Montreal’s penalty kill was better against the Penguins, it wasn’t the greatest during the regular season. They have holes, flaws, and if the Flyers can find them, they have the ability to attack them and cash in on Montreal’s mistakes. Their powerplay is good enough to make that happen.
The struggles are familiar for Philadelphia, having gone six games without a powerplay goal this season. However, when they find their footing, they find it in a big way. The five games after their six game skid on the powerplay, the Flyers went 6/19 (31.58%) on the man advantage. Safe to say, the Flyers don’t stay down long when slumping.
Montreal’s apparent lack of discipline against Pittsburgh should bode well for the Flyers in the opening round of the playoffs. More chances means more likeliness that the Flyers end up busting the slump on the powerplay. If the top line gets their wheels moving, the powerplay could find their footing, and fans would be looking at one of the most complete teams in the 2020 NHL Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Mandatory Credit – © Handout Photo-USA TODAY Sports