Re: Powerplay Percentage
posted at 2/17/2013 9:09 AM EST
In response to Bookboy007's comment:
@ steve - I'm pretty much done, too. I don't think we're hearing each other. A beer and a face to face and we'd probably realize there's a lot of wasted words here (and I'm surprised my faux-quote of you offering to buy took so long to land...).
That said, if nite is telling me you're kicking my arz in the whole debate, maybe I'm going at this the wrong way.
Let me throw out two arguments that aren't part of what's gone before to show why I'm sceptical about the whole connection of the search for a better PP = more wins.
When the Bruins won the Cup, they beat three teams who finished the playoffs with a PP% of better than 20%. Montreal got over 22% solely agaisnt the Bruins, the Bolts were over 25% for the playoffs - good for 17 goals over three series including 5 vs. the Bruins - and the Canucks were clicking at much better than their final % of 20.4 before they ran into the Bruins. Like the Bolts, they had 17 PPG through three rounds and added only two in 7 vs. the Bruins. 5 on 5, though, the Bolts were 1.03 F/A, the Canucks 0.88, and the Shabs 0.67. In other words, those teams looked for the PP to score goals, and when the refs didn't cooperate, they sank. Those teams were built around the PP. The Lightning were notorious for not even trying to score during 5 on 5 under old "answered the iron" face. And if you look at the way those teams were constructed, they had a lot of skilled guys but not a lot of grind-it-out guys who can also produce. They were built with the pieces you want on a PP. So argument one is that if you concentrate too much on the PP, you cna come to rely on it, and that can burn you.
Argument 2 is that the Bruins have been trying to solve this problem since about the middle of last year. Longer really, but the focal point has been there since they started trying to address the one flaw around the time they went from dominating to struggling last winter. The PP took a lot of heat and a lot of focus, adn the more they worked on it, the worse it got. The players looks like they weren't reacting, weren't using their talents to make plays - they were struggling to remember which new system they were in and who they were supposed to pass to because that's what the system said they should do. Focusing too much on the PP can actually stymie your talent. They just start shooting from all angles hoping for a fluke - then get the fluke - then keep shooting from all angles. This is the NHL. If you rely on flukes, you get a 10% or worse PP. So - over-emphasizing the one thing the team is doing poorly can actually derail them.
I keep coming back to - play better in any phase, win more. I really don't care if they score a single PP goal (thought watching them struggle will annoy me, so maybe I do care) if they win, and if they're getting 3 or more goals a game without a PP, I will take that and not get greedy.
If that doesn't explain my position better, then screw it. I'm opening that beer.
I get ya book, but I disagree on many levels. First, the numbers you're talking about are irrelevant. No one is arguing the best pp wins most, or should. If that was the debate, you'd be correct. What's at issue is whether it matters, and is worth trying to fix.
I don't feel any team plans their success mainly on the pp. There are just too many intangibles, too many holes in that building plan. The first being the impossibility of controlling how many penalties the opposing team takes.
As I tried to point out too, the strike percentage isn't the whole story either, and I'll try and get this across better in one paragraph, and in order to do that, i'll speak in generalities.
It's easier to score on the power play, than it is 5 on 5. That's the whole concept. The B's are a pretty good scoring team. Around 6th best or so I believe.(haven't checked) If they can be that good 5 on 5, it's unacceptable that they can't be somewhere in that vicinity when the potential gets "easier". On the flip side, if the B's were a low scoring team with a terrible pp, it's a much bigger, tougher problem to solve, and could cause enormous upheaval to address. That's why I brought up those other stats. A team that scores 2 pp goals out of 50, relies more on their pp, than the team that scores 2 out of 100, and shows one thing, but when it's revealed that the team that scores 2 out of 50 actually scores 25% more total goals, it forces another look, and changes the scenario. Someone mentioned Nashville, as an example of the pp's unimportance. Last year, Nashville was one of the highest scoring teams in the league anyway, so their pp was a function of their already proven ability to score goals. Good offense is about finding and utilizing the open man(generally speaking). A pp makes that easier, at least it should.
I don't know where to start on argument 2. We don't know how hard they worked on it, and we surely don't know that they over-emphsized it, but assuming you're right, that points to a strategic flaw, not an ability one, and that shouldn't be accepted. In fact it should be an easy fix. That has nothing to do with planning on flukes, or styming talent. You're a great poster, and I rarely disagree with you, but the more explaining you do, the more I disagree. You're arguing the fact that one critical component of the game doesn't matter. That is just incorrect. Especially in this case.
It doesn't matter if the B's score 5 goals a game, in fact the problem becomes more glaring, the more 5 on 5's they score, cuz they're continuing to prove they can score when it's most difficult, yet fall down when it gets easier. Look again at Nas's list. You don't see many goal starved teams on there. they're pretty much all fairly high scoring teams. The Bruins are a historical blip...you just don't see many good scoring teams near the league cellar while on the pp, and marked improvement will almost surely result in more points. Again, there can be no argument that a stronger pp should hurt the team in other area's
Finally, the reason this is being debated so tenaciously, isn't because I feel the pp is a huge, monumental issue. It's the notion of unimportance and acceptance. That's the heart and soul of this whole thread. Is it important, or isn't it?
I'm on my 4th beer