"I'm not going to comment on our power play right now, because what I am commenting on is something positive and that's winning the hockey game.''
>> Claude Julien, via the Boston Globe
.. and that quote was before Game 7, in which the Bruins power play allowed a goal via the stick of Montreal's Tomas Plekanec. Yes, the Boston power play is atrocious, and we all know that the Flyers have a pretty bad power play themselves. So in this battle of futility, who loses?
The Bruins. By a landslide. Yes, the Flyers have the best power play in this upcoming Eastern Conference Semifinal Series. Believe it. Boston didn't score once in the first round with the man advantage. Not a single time.
They were negative-one for 27 in the Canadiens series. Seriously. The Flyers were a less than impressive five for 35 in the first round, but it's worth noting that three of those five PP goals came in the last two games of the Buffalo series. So what should we expect in Round Two?
Is that an extension of Chris Pronger's return? Possibly, but it's also part of a return to pure simplicity. In Games 6 and 7, the Flyers did a much better job of shooting first instead of passing back and forth from point-to-point a million times and dancing around along the wall for 30 seconds. If they can keep that up, the power play should continue to get at least a little better. It might even reach respectable levels (but let's not push it, it's been bad since October).
The Bruins, meanwhile, probably shouldn't expect a similar turnaround. The Flyers are one of the best penalty killing teams in the NHL, especially when it comes to limiting shots against while down a man. I mean, they might score a goal, but the facts are the facts. Boston has an atrocious power play that's not getting better.
Then again, this all might be meaningless. The power play might not matter in this series at all, and if you're either team, you've already advanced despite a terrible power play. In fact, six of the top-10 power plays in the first round have been eliminated, so how much does the PP really mean after all?