Minnesota has scored just one power play goal in its last 12 games. That in itself is troubling, but for head coach Mike Yeo, the fact his club’s only had 22 man advantage opportunities over that spell is equally distressing.
“The one thing that’s really driving me nuts though, and we’re a really good hockey team: I can’t understand why we draw one power play a game right now,” Yeo said, per the Star-Tribune. “It makes no sense to me whatsoever. It’s night after night, it doesn’t matter where or who we play against, and it doesn’t matter who’s officiating, it’s a consistent thing.
“I’m trying to find reasons, and I can’t understand why. It’s pretty hard. It would be nice to draw more than one power play a game, and we just can’t seem to do that right now.”
Sunday’s 2-1 loss to the Devils marked the third straight game in which the Wild, as Yeo pointed out, got just one power play chance. This has been something of a recurring theme — back on Dec. 21, which is when the PP skid began, the Wild didn’t get a single man advantage opportunity in a 6-3 loss to Dallas.
The next night, against Montreal, Minnesota got one chance. Eight nights later, in St. Louis, another game in which the Wild only went to the PP once.
It’s hard to say exactly why this has happened. Mike Russo of the Star-Tribune suggested a combination of factors, specifically 1) “spotty performances” in which the Wild weren’t driving play, and 2) “some crazy no-calls (high-sticks, muggings, obstructions).”
All told, the Wild sit 24th in the NHL in power play chances this year, with 123. That’s down slightly from last year, when they finished 18th, but up from two years ago, when they finished with the fifth-fewest PP opportunities in the league.
So maybe Yeo’s got a point.