Power play continues to struggle for Blues

Power play continues to struggle for Blues

Credit: AP

Power play continues to struggle for Blues

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by Scott Bierman / HockeyStL

KMOV.com

Posted on March 7, 2013 at 11:01 PM

(HockeyStL) -- The St. Louis Blues have gone cold since potting at least one power play goal in 12 of the first 14 games this season.

Since February 17, the Blues have scored only one goal in 22 power play attempts; the opposition has scored twice including a breakaway goal scored by the Phoenix Coyotes’ David Moss on Thursday. The Blues also failed to score on a two-man advantage in the third period against the Coyotes.

Despite the power play woes, the Blues have shut down the opposition’s man-advantage attempts. St. Louis has allowed only two power play goals in the last 27 penalty kill attempts.

The lack of goals on the power play is mind-boggling considering the Blues seemingly lit the lamp on every other power play in the early portions of the season.

Could it be line continuity? This is one area where I scratch my head. St. Louis often plays with four forwards and one defenseman on the power play. As a result, the normal lines get shuffled and the players who normally play on the same line together end up playing along someone else.

The Blues’ second line, which consists of David Perron, Chris Stewart and Patrik Berglund, has been phenomenal since being paired together four games ago. During that stretch, the line has posted 16 points. Wouldn’t it make sense to keep them together for the power play since the line is familiar?

Playing a defenseman short on the power play can do three things for a team: it gives the team a “better” chance to score with an extra forward out there instead; it can give the defensemen a rest; it can give the other team a better chance to score on a shorthanded goal.

The latter has happened more than the Blues would like, but it’s the risk you take playing all-in on the power play with four forwards and a defenseman.

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