The fact the Phoenix Coyotes don’t have the most dynamic group of forwards in the NHL hasn’t stopped them from scoring the third most power-play goals in the NHL, with 55.
Only the Washington Capitals (65) and Pittsburgh Penguins (60) have more goals with the man advantage, and we all know what kind of firepower those clubs boast up front.
How have the ‘Yotes done it? Defenseman Keith Yandle credits one of the new assistant coaches for the team’s success — a success it didn’t enjoy last season, when the power play ranked 25th.
Brown’s last job was in Vancouver, where he helped the Canucks score a pile of goals on the power play, particularly in 2010-11 and 2011-12. He was fired at the end of last season, along with head coach Alain Vigneault and assistant Rick Bowness, after his specialty slumped to 22nd.
In Phoenix, having point men like Yandle and Oliver Ekman-Larsson certainly hasn’t hurt Brown’s cause. Nor have right-handed finishers up front like Radim Vrbata and Shane Doan, each with 10 power-play goals this season.
We only mention the right-handed shots, because here’s what Brown said after being let go by the Canucks: “When you’re trying to run a power play with five left shots, which we were forced to do a lot this year, you’re really swimming upstream. Seventy-seven per cent of the power-play goals are scored with at least two right shots, so that tells you a lot right there. Not to say there are exceptions to the rule, but when you have five left shots, or even four, your chances of scoring are diminished.”