Hockeymetrics: The Power Play is Failing The Stars At Home

The power play is failing the Dallas Stars at home and that is odd when you consider how potent it was in the first half of the season to the tune of 28 goals in the first 26 home games.

You don't need to be a hockeymetrician to know that's more than a goal per game.

But as we sit here with just three home games remaining on the docket, the Stars have 33 power play goals on the season. Or just five in the last 12 games.

So what happened to this once feared unit?

After all, the addition of Alex Goligoski was supposed to address the biggest need on this unit. And while Goose has helped in the offensive area with two goals and six assists since coming over from Pittsburgh, his presence just hasn't translated to as many goals as the Stars would like on the power play I'm sure.

In today's edition of Hockeymetrics, I look at what's plaguing the Stars and the impact it's lack of success is having on the Stars during this home stand.

First, a look at the special teams at home since the All-Star Break:

 

Date H/A Opp PP G GA GF/60 GA/60 SH G GA GF/60 GA/60 ST GD
2/1 H VAN 09:47 0 1 0 6.132879046 02:40 0 2 0 45 -3
2/9 H PHX 11:47 0 1 0 5.091937765 07:56 0 4 0 30.25210084 -5
2/11 H CHI 20:23 1 1 2.943581357 2.943581357 15:57 0 5 0 18.80877743 -5
2/13 H CLB 30:20 2 1 3.956043956 1.978021978 18:14 0 5 0 16.45338208 -4
2/21 H NJ 38:20 2 1 3.130434783 1.565217391 25:31 0 6 0 14.10842587 -5
2/26 H NSH 45:18 3 1 3.973509934 1.324503311 27:49 0 6 0 12.94188137 -4
3/9 H CGY 50:41 4 1 4.735284446 1.183821111 29:49 0 6 0 12.07378424 -3
3/11 H MIN 58:05 4 1 4.131994261 1.032998565 35:14 0 6 0 10.21759697 -3
3/13 H LA 64:05 4 1 3.745123537 0.936280884 40:49 0 7 0 10.28991425 -4
3/15 H SJ 71:12 5 3 4.213483146 2.528089888 45:52 1 8 1.308139535 10.46511628 -5
3/17 H CHI 79:12 5 3 3.787878788 2.272727273 51:52 1 8 1.156812339 9.254498715 -5
3/19 H PHI 87:12 5 3 3.440366972 2.064220183 53:52 1 8 1.113861386 8.910891089 -5

 

I added a column at the end for special teams goal differential. In case you're scoring at home, the Stars have only won the special teams battle three times in their 12 post All-Star Game home games. In those three games they've gone 1-1-1.

They've lost the special teams battle in five games, going 0-4-1. And in the four where the special teams battle has been even, they've gone 3-0-1.

And you need luck no further than the empirical evidence on this current home stand which ends Wednesday night to see how much of an effect the failure of the power play is having on the Stars current position in the standings.

Against Philadelphia on Saturday night, the Stars ended regulation on a power play and enjoyed a 4 on 3 power play 23 seconds into the OT period with a chance to win to collect the full two points. They couldn't capitalize and the Flyers won in a shootout.

Against San Jose on Tuesday night, the Stars had a chance to tie the game after Dany Heatley's elbow met the side of Steve Ott's head with 2:01 left in regulation. Score, and you probably get a point from the game (though as the LA game eight days ago proved, you can't take that for granted).

Instead, they gave up two short handed empty netters to the Sharks and came away with no points.

Against Calgary back on March 9th, the Stars had a late power play in regulation after Tomas Vincour completed a three goal comeback earlier in the period to tie the game. Again, they came up empty and the Flames prevailed in the shootout.

That's a maximum potential of four points that the Stars have dropped. Now I don't want to be too hard on them. Had they been able to get the power play to convert in all the scenarios I just mentioned, that would have been an impressive feat. And would have them sitting in the 4th seed right now, BTW.

Instead, let's assume they had only been able to pick up an additional point against Calgary or Philadelphia. If they had, they'd be sitting in the 6th seed right now, instead of 9th.

And if they had been able to pick up two points from those scenarios (with a game tying PP goal against San Jose and an OT or Shootout win), they'd be in sole possession of the 5th seed.

Furthermore, remember that back breaking Jamie Benn power play winner that he scored against Phoenix with four seconds left back on March 1st?

That was the first time a power play goal for the Stars either stood up as the game winner or stood up as the game tying goal in a game that went to OT since January 17th when Loui Eriksson's power play goal against Los Angeles stood up as the game winner (with help from the left pad of Kari Lehtonen on a Jack Johnson penalty shot late in the third).

Now the good news is that during this home stand, the power play has looked like a power play with sustained pressure in the zone. It seems the only thing they've failed to do at these crucial times is score.

But that's ultimately what any power play unit is measured by. And if it doesn't start to come through down the stretch, the Stars epitaph for the season will be written by it's failure.

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