1. The Power Play still needs work
The Carolina Hurricanes went on the man advantage thrice last night against the Montreal Canadiens. Each time they were offered an opportunity to tie the game up against Carey Price and the Habs, and each time they failed to take advantage of that opportunity. This was not lost on the fans in the stands who resorted to some very low pitched booing as the team failed to get any offense going on the third powerplay of the night.
While it ultimately did not prove to be their downfall that night, It might have allowed the Carolina Hurricanes to avoid giving the Canadiens the overtime loser point and give themselves a little bit more breathing room in the standings. With only seven games left on the docket, every point gained and every point not given is worth its weight in gold. We wondered what the team would be like with league average goal-tending, imagine where they could be in the standings with league average power-play numbers.
The special teams as a whole is not awful. Just as Carolina has trouble scoring on the powerplay against their opponents, their opponents have the same struggles against them. While the Carolina Hurricanes remained disciplined for most of the night, they did quietly kill the one penalty they drew off a Micheal Ferland high sticking incident to keep the game remaining within a single goal. The Carolina Hurricanes have only allowed 4 power play goals on 28 man advantages this month. That is an excellent 86% penalty kill rate, even after facing teams like the Lightning and the Jets.
At this point it is difficult to say what the issue is with the powerplay. Is it the personnel, the system, or the zone entries? On paper it all seems like it should work. Perhaps it is just bad puck luck, but how long can that excuse hold? This is a team that has not scored with the man advantage since the March 9th game in Nashville where they scored two of them. They are 0 for 14 since. Something has to give soon, Lets hope they can figure it out before the post-season.