14 April 2008
When I started looking at the last 10 games I expected an improvement in the Avs powerplay, but I didn't expect the improvement that has happened. In the last 10 games the Avs are 8/31 on the powerplay which translates to a 25.8% Powerplay over the last 10 games. Considering the Avs were a ghastly 14.6% on the season.
It's not difficult to pinpoint the reason for the Avs sudden surge in the Powerplay: Peter Forsberg. Forsberg's style of play fits the Avs powerplay strategy of working from behind the net out better than any player currently in the game. It plays to all his strengths: strength on the puck, vision, and stick-handling. He also demands so much attention that guys like Ruslan Salei (who has also been a boon for the powerplay) and JM-Liles have been given more space from the point to open up shooting lanes.
Now 10 games is a small sample size, and the Avs will probably revert to the mean. The top PP in the league this season was 24.1% so expecting the Avs to stay at 25+% is unrealistic. But if they could revert to a mean closer to 20% rather and a sub-15% PP, I think the avs could make a very deep playoff run.
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