To add some validity to this post (where I promise not to go off the deep end), here's some mass media opinions of last night's game and the series so far:
Now that we've got that out of the way, let's talk about the power play. It sucks.
OK, got that out of my system. Jibbles committed a sin of sins yesterday with this post, suggesting that the PP may not be that bad. Jinx? I don't think so. Weapons-grade hallucinogens? More likely. I work with numbers on a daily basis. Numbers lie. It's in their nature. This just proves it.
You know who else lies? 'Coach' Quenneville. Somewhere on his resume it has to mention the ability to coach hockey. That is a lie. Anybody with a functioning mammalian brain knows that you don't beat the #4 PK by cycling the puck endlessly in the corner and below the goal line. When Joe Sakic and Peter Forsberg spend more time with their backs to the net digging pucks out of the corner and off the boards because you've cut the offensive zone down by 67%, you have muzzled an exceptionally talented power-play unit. Last night's first instance of back-to-back PP's (essentially a 4-minute PP) that resulted in 1 shot and 2 blocked shots (Salei slapshots) is horrendous. That shot? The Duke with a 36-foot wrister. In four minutes of 'work'. I said it during the game thread that that missed opportunity would come back to haunt them. Too much perimeter passing, not enough dirty work in front of the net. Same song we've been singing all season. Look at the play-by-play. It's a crime against humanity the number of giveaways and takeaways.
In the Avs' defense, they did better with the second 4-minute opportunity: 5 shots, 3 blocked shots (all slappers). Oh and Arny missed a shot. No surprise there. Speaking of Arny, he went an underwhelming 43% (6-for-14) in the dot. Super Joe wasn't so super with a 33% (5-for-14) showing. It should be noted that two of Arny's wins were against Rolston. So was one of Joe's losses. I don't know what that means, other than I still think Arny isn't a good fit for his line, the PP, or this team. For the Guite haters: 80% (8-for-10). It's gotta be the 'stache.
Anyway, on to the request: Let's institute the Reverse Hickory High rule. Instead of a minimum four passes before taking a shot on the powerless-play, how about a maximum of two? Also, getting shots from the point seems to have entered the game plan as of late, and that is a good thing. We're still missing the other ingredient though: there hasn't been enough traffic in front of the net. You can't have one without the other. As a goalie, I can tell you slapshots without screens are pretty easy to stop. Especially for the god-that-walks-among-men, Nicky Backstrom.