Power play a hot-button topic
Chris Stevenson, QMI Agency
|Los Angeles Kings Dustin Brown answers questions during a media availability before Game 3 of the NHL Stanley Cup Final between the New Jersey Devils and the Los Angeles Kings in El Segundo, California June 3, 2012. (REUTERS/Lucy Nicholson)
LOS ANGELES - It’s the hot button topic in both camps in the Stanley Cup final.
The cold power plays.
Like the New Jersey Devils, who are 0-for-6 so far through two games, the Kings are looking for their first power-play goal, though they’ve only had three chances.
“I think it’s one of those things you should stay focused on. Our percentage is not going to be good regardless, but we have opportunities ahead of us on the power play. You look at our power play thus far this whole season, we haven’t scored many goals,” said Kings captain Dustin Brown. “But the goals we have scored have been really key goals for us, dating to the very first series against Vancouver. When we got that third goal, that put us up, was a huge goal for us.”
Kings coach Darryl Sutter said struggling power plays are at this time of year are often the result of improved penalty killing.
“First off, just because of the technology, it’s pre-scouted right down to the inch. I think sometimes that can be an overload, too. I think penalty killing becomes such a premium because it is part of the defence. Usually finals and playoffs are lower scoring. Those instances get so emphasized by coaching staffs. There’s not much secret in it ever. Even if you do anything different, you got to practice it, so...There’s open practices now,” he said with a smile.
Throw in some usually poor ice conditions at this time of year and that conspires against the power plays, too.