directory Light the Lamp - a Columbus Blue Jackets blog: Stat of the day

Countdown to Rick Nash's contract expiration:

Monday, December 1, 2008

Stat of the day

Sorry for no pre-game thoughts today but its been one of those Mondays at work (yeah, I do work...really!).

Anyhow Scott Burnside had an interesting bit on powerplays today in his column:

3. Does it really matter how good your power play is?No. But we also think goaltending is overrated, scoring is luck and it's OK to announce your home crowd as 18,000 even if you've given away half your tickets and there are only 500 real human beings in the building.

OK, a little sarcasm there.

Yes; in this NHL, if you can't produce on the power play, your chances of making the playoffs diminish dramatically, and the probability of advancing in the playoffs starts to fall off the map.

Last season, seven of the top 10 power-play producers made the playoffs. Out of the top five -- Montreal, Philadelphia, Detroit, Pittsburgh and Tampa Bay -- only the Lightning didn't make the playoffs (they were dead last; go figure). Meanwhile, Montreal advanced to the second round, Philadelphia went to the Eastern Conference finals, Pittsburgh went to the Cup finals and Detroit won it all.

On the penalty-killing side, seven of the top 10 teams made the playoffs, but only one of the top five teams (Dallas) advanced in the postseason.

This season, Detroit is the runaway leader in power-play efficiency (32.3 percent) compared to No. 2 Minnesota (24 percent). St. Louis, Boston and San Jose round out the top five. With the exception of St. Louis, all of those teams are almost certain to make the playoffs, and there's a pretty good chance your 2009 Cup champ comes out of that group.

On the penalty kill, Minnesota (see a trend with Jacques Lemaire's squad?), the New York Rangers, Buffalo, Ottawa and Philadelphia round out the top five. There are certainly fewer Cup favorites among this group.

Interesting breakdown and judging by the response to the poll most of you out there certainly seem to think a good PP is important to a team's success.

As far as tonight's game I'll make it really quick. The Canucks are coming off back to back defeats at the hands of the Calgary Flames. They are certainly looking at this game as a "must-win". They are going to come out hungry and angry...the Jackets have to match and even raise that intensity.

They had a great night at home against Washington and they have already beaten Vancouver once at home -- this is no time to blow a tire as they look get above that.500 mark and on a roll.

..and they sure as hell better not take this team for granted with Luongo out of the picture.


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