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Analysis: Who is Playing Well on the Thrashers Power Play

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One season ago the Thrashers power play finished the season 11th with 69 PP Goals scored. This year the Power Play is ranked 6th and on pace to score 67 Goals (looks like PP% rate is down in the NHL after rising sharply last season).

FORWARDS

Ilya Kovlachuk always plays the point position on the PP so I have put him in the chart with the other defenseman below. There are really six forwards who have seen substantial time on the PP this season. All six are averaging around 3 minutes per game of 5 on 4 time. The Peverly-Antropov-Afinogenov group has been far more effective than the Kozlov-White-Little group so far.

NAME POS GP TOI/60 GF  GA  GFA GAA G DIFF MINUTES
NIK ANTROPOV C 25 2.79 13 0 11.19 0.00 11.19 70
RICH PEVERLEY C  25 2.92 13 0 10.69 0.00 10.69 73
MAXIM AFINOGENOV RW 25 3.05 12 0 9.44 0.00 9.44 76
VYACHESLAV KOZLOV LW 25 3.08 8 1 6.22 0.78 5.45 77
BRYAN LITTLE RW  23 3.04 7 1 6.00 0.86 5.15 70
TODD WHITE C  25 3.19 7 1 5.26 0.75 4.51 80

 

DEFENSE

On the blueline the allocation of ice time is much more uneven. Kovalchuk and Enstrom average nearly 5 minutes per game and Kubina, Bogosian and Hainsey get the leftover scraps basically. Kovalchuk has been on the ice for 14 PP GF which leads the team, but he also gets a load of ice time too.

Who should play with Kovalchuk at the point? So far it has been Enstrom, but Kubina has been the most effective point man (in limited action). The biggest problem with Enstrom is that he is extremely reluctant to shoot--everyone knows he is just trying to feed the puck to Kovalchuk. If I were coach I'd give Kubina and Bogosian more minutes on the PP and tell them to take the open shot. If the other PKers go into man coverage on Kovalchuk, then it becomes a 4 on 3 and the Thrashers must become better at exploiting the open man--whomever is open must be willing to shoot the puck.

 

NAME POS GP TOI/60 GF  GA  GFA GAA G DIFF MINUTES
PAVEL KUBINA D  24 1.73 7 1 10.12 1.45 8.67 42
ILYA KOVALCHUK LW 19 4.89 14 1 9.04 0.65 8.40 93
ZACH BOGOSIAN D  25 1.68 5 0 7.16 0.00 7.16 42
TOBIAS ENSTROM D  25 4.60 12 0 6.25 0.00 6.25 115
RON HAINSEY D  23 0.87 2 0 5.99 0.00 5.99 20

 

CONCLUSION

The Thrashers really need to get Kozlov and Little going in the 2nd half to keep that PP rolling. Some tweaks on the blueline such as more ice time for shooters like Kubina and Bogosian might help as well.