Wednesday, June 01, 2011

Bruins power play

The announcer just said the Boston power play is 5 for the last 105. hmmm that's about 4.8% success rate.

Now at regular strength the Bruins are getting around 3 goals a game. Now 3 / 60 is 5%. But it's actually higher as they aren't even strength the full 60 minutes.

My point is the Bruins score more frequently at regular strength than they do on the power play! So mathematically their strategy becomes obvious. Just do the exact same thing on the PP as you do at regular strength. Don't put on a PP unit. Use your regular lines, even the 3rd and 4th lines. Don't run set plays or attempt anything you wouldn't do at regular strength.

So even if you do nothing at all different Boston would still score more often on PP then regular strength because with only 4 defenders over time they will inevitably score more often.


Anonymous said...

I don't agree with your logic. The team that took the penalty is playing an entirely different type of hockey for those two minutes. It's like an accomplished chess player playing a game against a peer and a novice. You have to match your playing style to match that of your opponent, and no team plays the same when they're killing a penalty.

Rob said...


That's a good point that I didn't account for in my OP.

The opponent will use a different strategy SH than at even strength. Such as using defensive specialists, shooting the puck down the ice when they get possession instead of trying to skate up and make a play, etc.

So using an even strength strategy against the opponent SH strategy is not guaranteed to be more successful on the PP than at even strength.

Let's look at it this way.

1. the strategies they are using now on the PP measurably aren't working

2. the even strength strategy has been very successful against the opponent even strength strategy

3. the Bruins have plenty of offensive talent

So as an experiment I'll still say that the Bruins coach should at least mix it up a bit (maybe 1 in 3 times) by just pretending to be even strength when on the PP.

At least it would surprise the opponent and put him off balance. It may also confuse and disorient the opponent and once knocked off the familiar SH script they may be more likely to make a costly mistake.

At this point the Bruins have nothing to lose on the PP by trying something new. It may or may not work. What they are doing now is known to not work.