The Kings have a lousy power play — but does it matter?


After going zero-for-six with the man advantage in Sunday’s 2-0 loss to Phoenix, the Los Angeles Kings saw their power play percentage drop to 8.6 for the playoffs (6-for-70 all told.)

The powerless power play is the only glaring weakness for a team that’s 11-2 these playoffs and yet to lose a game on the road. Kings head coach Darryl Sutter, a virtual beacon of positivity, even went to far as to say there was some “poor shooting on our part,” during the six PPs.

So yeah, the Kings power play stinks.

But is it a big deal?

The question has to be asked after the Boston Bruins won the 2011 Stanley Cup in spite of a historically bad power play. At 11.4 percent, the Bruins had a remarkably low PP percentage for a Cup winner, going 10-for-88 in 25 games (including the infamous 0-for-21 performance in the first round against Montreal.)

Yet since the lockout, other teams have also had postseason success despite an anemic PP.

In 2008-09, Carolina made the Eastern Conference finals with a power play that operated at 10 percent — lowlighted by a 2-for-29 effort during a seven game victory over New Jersey in Round 1.

In 2005-06, Anaheim made the Western Conference finals by going 10.8 percent — though it eventually became the Ducks’ undoing. They went a combined 3-for-39 in the conference final against Edmonton, a series that was noteworthy because 1) Anaheim got 39 PP chances in a five game series, and 2) Anaheim went 1-for-8 in Game 4 and 1-for-11 in Game 5…yeah, 19 PP chances in the final two games of a conference final.

(But no, there’s no difference in how they’re calling the game now compared to back then. Nope, nothing to see here. The players have simply “adjusted.” Uh-huh.)

Anyway, back to the Kings. It remains to be seen if their woeful PP will hinder them — barring a meltdown of epic proportions, they’ll be representing the West in the Stanley Cup finals. That’s farther than most anemic power plays make it and, as Boston proved last year, things can change in a heartbeat.

The Bruins went 5-for-61 in the first three rounds combined. But against the Canucks, they went 5-for-27 — good enough 18.5 percent — and won the Stanley Cup in seven.

Teuvo time: Teravainen to open with Toews, Hossa

2015 NHL Stanley Cup Final - Game Six
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Teuvo Teravainen has played both center and right wing over the course of his brief NHL career.

Now, he’s got a new position — left wing — and a pair of shiny new linemates to boot.

Teravainen will open the year playing alongside captain Jonathan Toews and right wing Marian Hossa, per the Sun-Times.

The move could be a boon for the young Finn. Several ex-Chicago wingers thrived playing alongside Toews and Hossa, most notably Brandon Saad and Patrick Sharp.

It’ll be interesting to see what kind of production Teravainen, who just turned 21 last month, can manufacture on Chicago’s top line. His numbers from last year weren’t spectacular (nine points in 34 games), but he did a solid job of racking up points en route to the Stanley Cup, with 10 in 18 games.

It’ll also be interesting to see how long he sticks with Toews and Hossa.

Head coach Joel Quenneville has been known as a frequent user of the line blender, often switching up his combos at at moment’s notice.

That said, Quenneville is hoping to find some stability with this new-look group.

“[Teuvo will] play there to start the season,” he said. “Hopefully, all year.”

‘Great story’ Janmark surprises, makes Dallas roster

Brian Elliott, Mattias Janmark-Nylen
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Pretty cool story out of Texas, where Mattias Janmark, the 22-year-old rookie that’s played a grand total of nine games in North America, has defied the odds to make the Stars’ opening-night roster.

“It’s a great story,” Dallas GM Jim Nill said, per the Morning News. “We really only planned to have him here for maybe two preseason games and then send him back. But he just kept being one of the best players out there, and he changed our minds.

“It’s a great example of what you can do if you just play hard.”

Nill acquired Janmark, 22, from Detroit at last year’s deadline as part of the Erik Cole trade. Nill was familiar with the Swedish forward from his time with the Wings — he was part of the front office team that drafted Janmark in ’13 — but didn’t think the deal would pay such immediate dividends.

As for Janmark, he didn’t even think he’d be in North America this year.

He has a contract with SHL club Frolunda, where he scored 36 points in 55 games last year. Given he’s barely played in the AHL — a few games with Grand Rapids, a few with Texas — Janmark figured he’d be back in Europe this season.

His strong play in the exhibition season changed all that. Janmark beat out two of Dallas’ touted prospects — former AHL rookie of the year Curtis McKenzie, and ’12 first-rounder Radek Faksa — for a roster spot, and showed good chemistry with third-line center Cody Eakin.

Janmark also performed well on a line with Jason Spezza and Ales Hemsky.