With this offseason, the Vancouver Canucks have been forced to make a significant overhaul of their penalty killing system.
Head coach Willie Desjardins had hoped to improve the team’s ability to generate more opportunities on the power play, and the Canucks have spent some time tinkering with the system.
The goal was to improve on their first period scoring rate of 5.0%, which has not been good enough in recent years.
While the Canucks currently sit second in the league in power play time, their possession metrics show a troubling drop-off in possession over the past few seasons.
Since the beginning of the 2016-17 season, the Canucks’ power play has scored at a rate of 15.8% and the second period has been a net-positive for the Canucks.
That is a rate that has decreased to 9.7% and 11.5% respectively in the past two seasons.
It appears that the Canucks, who had their worst record in that period of the season last year, have found their new identity in terms of their possession numbers.
“Our goal with the new system is to give ourselves more opportunities to generate scoring chances and create shots and create opportunities,” Desjordins said in a press conference after the team selected goaltender Ryan Miller in the first round of the 2017 NHL Entry Draft.
“It was our goal to have a better power play for our team.”
With a new system, Desjors hopes that the team can better use their power play.
The Canucks have attempted to increase the frequency with which they get power-play opportunities, and have also been more efficient in using their power plays in the second half of games.
Desjords believes that the changes that have been made to the system are a good one, but it will require a lot of experimentation.
“The first thing is we have to figure out what we can do in the middle,” he said.
“What can we do to increase our power play opportunities in the neutral zone?
We have to see if we can add a little bit of creativity in the way that we use the puck.”
While the team has been experimenting with some of those creative tactics, they haven’t been able to make much progress in terms, and not in terms that can be replicated in the regular season.
“I think the main thing is the goal is to try and make sure that we’re doing something every night that can help us out in terms the quality of the chances that we create,” Desjonas said.
The first thing that we do is we try to figure it out.
That’s what we want to do.
“I think that the way we are playing right now is not a good example of what we should be doing in the power-game, in terms not making the power plays more frequent, but making sure that the power situations are more consistent.”
We have to make sure we’re getting the right amount of chances and then maybe we can create some more opportunities.
“It’s unclear if the Canucks can achieve this goal in the short term.
They have yet to see their top-line of Mark Scheifele, Jordan Schroeder, and Zack Kassian return to the lineup after their injury-shortened 2016-2017 campaigns, and they are currently sitting in fourth place in the Pacific Division with a record of 5-3-1.
The team also has struggled to get a good grasp on the consistency of their power-plays in the third period of games, something that the Sedins have struggled with this season.
Despite the fact that they are second in power-use efficiency at 13.8%, their penalty kill percentage has remained stagnant at 4.7%.
With the Canucks having had to spend significant amounts of time tinkying with the powerplay during the offseason, there has been some skepticism regarding the ability of the system to produce meaningful results.
However, the system seems to be improving over the last several games, which may be one reason why the Canucks are currently in fourth in the NHL in scoring with a goal-per-game average of 1.92.
“We have some things that we feel comfortable with and we have some other things that I think that are really exciting. “
Obviously, there’s some stuff that we have been working on,” DesJonas said of the power Play.
It’s really good to see.””
But overall I think the thing that I am really excited about is we feel like we are in the right place at the right time.
It’s really good to see.”
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