Friday, December 26, 2014

Flyers' PP crippling their offense

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The Flyers’ offensive funk is directly related to their power-play production.

Flyers' PP crippling their offense

Philadelphia Flyers´ Matt Read, left, tries to get a shot past Toronto Maple Leafs´ Jonathan Bernier during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)
Philadelphia Flyers' Matt Read, left, tries to get a shot past Toronto Maple Leafs' Jonathan Bernier during the second period of an NHL hockey game on Wednesday, Oct. 2, 2013, in Philadelphia. (AP Photo/Matt Slocum)

UNIONDALE, N.Y. - The Flyers’ offensive funk is directly related to their power-play production.

Make that their LACK of power-play production.

The Flyers, who play the Islanders on Long Island on Saturday night, are just 3 for 37 (8.2 percent) on the power play, placing them 29th in the 30-team NHL. They are 1 for 25 (4 percent) in their last seven games.

Even a new-look power play, with Vinny Lecavalier and Mark Streit on the top unit, didn’t help Thursday against the Rangers. The Flyers went 0 for 4, including a five-minute man-advantage in which they managed just four shots.

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In short, the Flyers don't shoot enough on the power play, they try to get too cute and make the perfect set up, and they look out of sync.

The team’s power play is “an area that gives me a little bit of pause,” general manager Paul Holmgren said on Friday. “We’ve got to do better. We’ve got to be more productive somehow. That, to me, is just from getting shots on net or at the net and going to the net.”

Holmgren said the Flyers have “players that can make plays. The plays we’re trying to make right now aren’t working, so we’ve got to hammer at the net. I know the coaches have talked about that and are working on that and have spent time doing video. We have players that can do it and have done it in the past. Sooner or later, you hope they bust through.”

The Flyers (2-7), who had one of the NHL's top power plays last season, will be facing a 4-3-3 Islanders team that has the league’s third-best penalty kill, with an 86.7 percent success rate.

Breakaways.  Brayden Schenn leads the Flyers with five point but is minus-4….John Tavares (four goals, eight assists) has points in all 10 Islanders games….The Flyers have a total of 13 goals in nine games....Isles winger Michael Grabner will return from a two-game suspension for an illegal hit against Carolina on Oct. 19. Grabner has eight points in eight games…..In Friday’s 4-3 comeback win in Pittsburgh, the Islanders scored three third-period goals in a 5:34 span. The Flyers have not scored three goals in any of their nine games….The Isles scored a 4-1 win over Philadelphia last spring, ending their seven-game home losing streak against the Flyers. The Flyers have won 14 of their last 16 games on Long Island....Former Flyers coach Peter Laviolette has not responded to requests by the team's PR staff to do a conference call with reporters..

Follow Sam Carchidi on Twitter @BroadStBull.

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Broad Street Bull is your place for the latest updates, trade rumors, and everything connected to the Philadelphia Flyers.

Sam Carchidi Inquirer Staff Writer
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