It’s no secret that the Red Wings have struggled mightily with their power play this season. It sunk even lower after Detroit’s 7-2 loss to Florida last night.
The Red Wings are sitting at a power play percentage of just 6.7%, which sits dead last in the league. The streak of goal-less power play attempts rests at eleven games. The last player to score a power play goal for the Wings? Tyler Bertuzzi, who hasn’t played since suffering an injury against the Panthers on January 30th.
So yeah…not great. And this is coming a year after one of the worst seasons in franchise history (third worst, to be exact), in which the team limped through with a .275 win percentage. So just how bad is this power play currently, compared to past Red Wings teams?
Let’s go back to a better time first, just to pour some salt into the wound. During the Red Wings 2007-2008 season, the Wings finished with the third best power play in the league, with an impressive 20.7 percent on the season. The following year? Even better: league best, with 25.2 percent.
How about more recently? Back in 2015-16, Jeff Blashill’s first season as head coach, the team finished with a percentage slightly above league average, at around 18.8%. However, this would mark the high point of the power play under Coach Blashill. The following seasons would see the power play tumble down the league standings, hitting an absolute rock bottom during last year’s miserable season with the third worst percentage in the league (14.9%).
So, a year after one of the worst seasons in recent history, you can understand why fans are a bit unhappy with a percentage of 7.1.
I know the season isn’t finished yet – there’s still a lot of games left to be played. This percentage will increase by the end of the year. However, the team needs these goals now.
Since the 5-1 trouncing by the Lightning, the Wings have looked surprisingly competent, staying competitive in nearly every game. In fact, the Red Wings have outshot all of their last six opponents, but still managed only two wins. Three of those losses were decided by a goal.
The difference maker in these close matchups is the power play.
If we saw something even half way competent throughout these stretch of games, there might be more talk of a win streak than another losing streak. This goes a long way during a rebuild.
Here’s hoping the Red Wings can find some improvement in this upcoming series against the Panthers (Florida currently has a bottom ten penalty kill percentage). Detroit can’t possibly go eleven straight games without a power play goal, right?