Wednesday, December 7, 2011
Over the past few years, the power play hasn't been a strength for the Nashville Predators. So far this season, it has evolved to become one of the biggest strengths on the team.
The Predators have five power play goals in their last five games, and currently rank 9th in the league with a 19.4% success rate.
"We made a few adjustments. We're finding seams and getting shots on net. We're going to continue to work on that and make sure we get those chances," said Nashville forward Craig Smith.
Whatever adjustments that were made seem to be working, especially in the last five games. Nashville is creating numerous quality scoring chances on the power play, and shooting the puck with more regularity.
"It creates a lot of good movement. We're shooting the puck a lot more and I think that's what we've got to do. We've got a couple of guys that can shoot the puck out there, and we've got to use that to our advantage," said Nashville defenseman Jonathon Blum.
The new-found success on the power play may be as simple as shooting the puck. Players like Smith and Shea Weber don't shy away from pulling the trigger, which has made the Predators' power play a legitimate threat. The willingness to take the shot can sometimes open up all sorts of options on the power play.
"When you shoot the puck, it opens up seams. Guys are making plays," said Predators blueliner Ryan Suter.
If the Predators are able to solve some of the defensive issues that have cost them several games in the past few weeks, they would appear to be in very good shape. Capitalizing on the power play gives the rest of the team confidence for every game.
"The guys are really getting it going. They're getting a lot of movement and a lot of shots. They're making plays. It's nice to see that going because when they're good, that gives us a chance to win every night. It's nice to see those guys step up, and they're working on it every practice," said Nashville defenseman Kevin Klein.
Nashville will have to continue to thrive on the power play if they want to score enough goals to win games. Even strength goals have recently been sparse for the Predators, which makes the power play even more important for them.
(Photo Credit: Leanne Charles)