The Arizona Coyotes haven’t been an offensively gifted team for the majority of their existence. The win with timely goals, solid defense, and excellent goaltending.
Last season the Coyotes had one of the worst power plays in the league. Things got slightly better this past season, with their power play moving up to 18th in the league.
But despite improving during the regular season, things took a major nosedive in the postseason.
The first game foreshadowed what was to come. The Coyotes had six power play opportunities in that game, with only Clayton Keller getting a goal on the man advantage.
Arizona would have fewer opportunities as the series progressed, but it would still be an issue. Taylor Hall would get the Coyotes’ only other power play goal of the series during the third game.
Things were especially bad against the Avalanche. Arizona had fifteen total power play opportunities during the best-of-seven series, and they had only one power play goal with Jakob Chychrun scoring the Coyotes’ lone goal of Game 4 which they lost 7-1.
A terrible power play doesn’t necessarily doom a team. The Tampa Bay Lightning and Philadelphia Flyers also struggled to convert in the postseason while the Edmonton Oilers, Calgary Flames, and Nashville Predators are in top-five playoff power play percentages.
But for the Coyotes it could have made a world of difference. The Avalanche outscored the Coyotes 22-8 in the series, so while the extra goals would have helped it wouldn’t have changed much.
The goal itself is obviously a big thing, but more importantly, a well-timed power play goal can shift the momentum of the game.
For a majority of the series, Colorado looked unstoppable. They kept the Coyotes in their own zone and the few times the Coyotes were able to break out the Avalanche kept calm and were able to stymie the Coyotes’ counterattack.
This likely had a mental effect on the teams. The Coyotes were noticeably flat in the fourth and fifth games, and it seemed like the Avalanche had already won the games in minds of the both teams.
So where does this leave the Coyotes? With the departure of general manager John Chayka, someone new will be running the Coyotes’ front office and we are going to see a different management philosophy. The Coyotes’ have numerous issues that need to be addressed, and the power play is at the top of the list.