Avalanche power play woes are no reason for panic

Feb 2, 2016; Denver, CO, USA; Chicago Blackhawks center Andrew Shaw (65) and Colorado Avalanche defenseman Tyson Barrie (4) battle for control of the puck in the third period at the Pepsi Center. The Blackhawks defeated the Avalanche 2-1. Mandatory Credit: Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports

Fans of the Colorado Avalanche shouldn’t sweat the team’s recent struggles on the power play. The Avs themselves certainly aren’t.

“I don’t think we need to look to much in to it,” defenseman Tyson Barrie said Thursday. “We just need to try to stay consistent, keep doing what makes us successful, shooting pucks, keeping it simple, getting to the net and it will take care of itself.”

Going back to the Jan. 10 meeting with the Chicago Blackhawks, the Avalanche have gone 3-31 on their recent power-play chances.

“It’s tough to go one for four every time,” Barrie said. “You are going to go through droughts where maybe you are struggling a little bit, but then you are going to go through stretches where you are scoring a lot. ”

Case in point? Despite only three power-play goals in eleven games, the Avalanche still have the tenth-best power play in the league at a 19.7 percent success rate.

The Avalanche have three guys in the top fifty of power-play points in the NHL in Barrie, Nathan MacKinnon and Matt Duchene. Barrie, the leader of the three, has three goals and 12 assists on the power play and currently sits at 26th among power play scoring leaders in the league.

As fans at Pepsi Center continue to scream, “SHOOT!” at the Avalanche power play units, it should be noted that Colorado has the fourth-best home power play in the NHL. Having scored on 24.1 percent of their power plays while at Pepsi Center, antsy Avs fans can rest assured that the Avalanche are well above average in their power-play strategies.

Some Avalanche fans and critics have also shown disapproval recently towards the production of Jarome Iginla. While 13 goals and 12 assists with a minus-17 plus/minus rating are below Iginla’s typical production at this point in the season, his effectiveness on the power play remains above par. He has scored seven power-play goals so far this year, which is good for 22nd in the league. Iggy remains on the Avalanche’s first power-play unit on the left side, awaiting his trademark back-door one-timers.

Although the recent power-play numbers have been low, there is still a lot to be positive about when it comes to the Colorado special teams. The Avalanche are a team that tends to ride the highs and lows of the season. Surely, as one power-play goal gets through, others will be close to follow. The current slump is simply that, a slump. There is nothing wrong with their current power-play strategy, nor do the power play units need more encouragement to shoot. Once they find a way to bury one, more power-play goals will be sure to follow.

The Avalanche will play the next three games at home against the Stars, Jets and Canucks. Following that, the Avs embark on their third road trip of three games or more. The Avalanche remain in the first Wild Card playoff position, two points ahead of the teams knocking on the Wild Card door. With 29 games left in the season, every Avalanche game from here on out will have playoff intensity and feel. A few power-play goals would feel nice for everyone.

SHARE