Senators power play suck in slump

Getty
3 Comments

The Ottawa Senators are two wins away from reaching the Stanley Cup Final for a lot of reasons.

For one, Erik Karlsson has turned in a Conn Smythe worthy performance on the blue line.

They have completely bought into Guy Boucher’s system and are frustrating opposing offenses.

Craig Anderson has been, for the most part, stellar as the last line of defense in goal.

One area that is not really responsible for their postseason success, however, has been the power play.

Entering Game 5 of the Eastern Conference Final on Sunday afternoon in Pittsburgh the Senators have converted on just 11.5 percent of their power play opportunities this postseason, the third worst mark among the 16 playoff teams.

But it’s actually been even worse than that since the start of the second round.

After going 5-for-23 in their first-round win over the Boston Bruins, the Senators have converted on just one of their 29 opportunities since then. They have not scored a power play goal since Game 1 of their second-round series against the New York Rangers and are currently riding an 0-for-25 drought.

Their 0-for-4 performance in Game 4 was not only a significant factor in their 3-2 loss, but it was a particularly ugly showing from the unit. Before that game Boucher seemed to feel the unit was getting the right looks and shots, but just was not able to score.

“I have to know what’s what and when it’s awful, it’s awful,” said Boucher, via NHL.com. “It hasn’t been awful. We have had all the puck possession and the looks that we wanted to, we just haven’t scored. In Game 4 we did not. That was not a good power-play day. We have to be better.”

When asked on Saturday why power plays tend to go dry in the playoffs, Boucher said “It’s a lot easier to destroy something than it is to build something,” speaking to the nature of teams to be extra-defensive in the playoffs.

Obviously it has not had too much of a negative impact on their ability to win this postseason, but given that 12 of their first 16 games have been decided a singe goal (including four of their six losses) an extra power play goal here and there would probably be welcomed.