Saturday, March 19, 2011

What's Wrong With The Maple Leafs Powerplay

Like the playoff race, the Leafs work the outside
Anyone who is a Maple Leafs fan has to be frustrated with their powerplay. The Leafs are fairly skilled and can pass the puck around the perimeter very well. But after many passes - and Leaf fans screaming SHOOOOOOOOTTTTTT at their television screens - there is usually a shot from a bad angle with nobody in front of the net for a screen or rebound. If you look at the Leafs top six forwards, they are are all smaller guys who can't take a beating in front of the net from guys like Hal Gill - far from the days of Gary Roberts, Mats Sundin and Dave Andreychuk who used to always go to the net.

The Maple Leafs are currently ranked 24th in powerplay percentage with 15.9%. This is where it gets sad, as the Leafs have the 3rd most powerplay opportunities in the league with 290. From these 290 powerplay chances, the Leafs have 46 goals. That's a lot of missed opportunities and considering how close the Leafs are to being in a playoff position, they could have been the difference.

Powerplays are coachable, and their success and failure has to reflected on the coach. If those on the powerplay are not willing to get some bruises in front of the net from a cross-checking defenceman or a Dion Phaneuf slapshot, then they should be replaced with guys that are willing to get dirty in front of the net like Mike Brown. Having 5 guys just pass it around the perimeter all wanting to take a low percentage shot with nobody in front of the net providing a screen has to fall on the coaches. How Ron Wilson puts the same powerplay units out to do the same thing over and over again is just mindblowing - possibly even more so than having a 3rd line center on the point.

11 comments:

  1. hal gill is horrible

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  2. the leafs powerplay is just them killing 2 minutes of the clock in which the other team cannot score

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  3. The Leafs really need a Dave Andreychuk type player right now. It's brutal watching these powerplays with the goalie having a clear view of every shot!

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  4. Grabovski goes to the net!

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  5. To be honest, if I was a Maple Leaf, I don't think I would go to the net if I knew Dion Phaneuf was shooting from the point. That guy has no control.

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  6. they have too many guys who are just learning how to stick handle with their head up

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  7. didn't know the Leafs had that many chances... had I really been yelling at the TV that many times?

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  8. SHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHHoooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooooT!

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  9. They wear a Maple Leaf?! : /

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  10. It's not about having big bodies, but more about having guys willing to go to the tough areas. The leafs are soft and need to get a more skilled colby armstrong next UFA season

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  11. I thought there would be a lot more shots from the defense on a powerplay after dealing away Kaberle. What Dangle says is 100% correct. The March 26th game with Detroit; Wilson had Kadri and Brent on the powerplay. Two small skilled guys but they can be easily pushed off the puck by Detroits defense. Wilson seems to have no idea what to do on the powerplay. Why not use a tough guy like Brown in front of the goalie with Kessel and (Grabovski or MacArthur).

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