Over the course of a season a team's power play usually experiences some hot and cold stretches. With the power of Excel, I've put together a chart that allows us to see those peaks and valleys at a glance (see chart below). The poster LetNoneIn use to make these periodically and I always liked them, so here is my attempt to map out team trends.
The blue shows the single game power play %, The purplish line is a five game moving average (about two week period) and the yellow line is a ten game moving average (almost a month's worth of games).The orange dotted line just below 20% shows you the PP success rate of the median NHL team.
In the short run (blue line) there is a lot up ups and downs, but if you look at the 5 or 10 average trends become obvious. The team started the year cold (and lost several October games) due to the chilly power play. As they headed into November they heated up but December was pretty bad month for the PP unit.
How much has the PP contributed to the Thrashers 2nd half surge? Well at the beginning of that surge very little. The turning point of the season seems to have happened around game #43/#44. As you can see the below the PP% headed into a sharp decline--the team won games because of superior goaltending and Even Strength scoring. However the PP rebounded and the moving average for Atlanta has generally remained above the NHL average for most of February and March.
To be honest, I don't have any major point I'm trying to make, I just found this interesting to look at. If have any insights into these trends feel free to post them in the comments section. (And I'm sorry about the empty white space under the chart, I'm trying to make it go away.)