Over the last few seasons, the Philadelphia Flyers could count on their power play to help them win their fair share of games. They were third in the League last season at 21.4 percent; sixth the season before that at 22.5 percent; second in 2007-08 at 21.8 percent.
This season, however, they're 23rd at 16.7 percent. They're 0-for-10 in their last three games, just 2-for-27 in their last eight.
That's not going to win you many games.
"I'm not sure (of the problem)," Flyers captain Mike Richards said. "There are a lot of things we can improve upon, a lot of things we could probably do differently. It is something that is a big concern for us coming down the stretch and hopefully we can work out some kinks over the last 20 games and get ready for playoffs."
Coach Peter Laviolette has changed his two extra-man units around, mostly switching forwards, which led to a bit of public unrest, and he'll have to switch it again with Jeff Carter's absence Thursday against the Maple Leafs. But he's looking for something to work, and what he's been using clearly hasn't been.
"We're working on it in practice," the coach said. "Any time you see things going off course a little bit, you try to get it back on. Maybe there's a little extra video, some more meetings, you have some practice time here."
However, Laviolette said he isn't losing sleep over his powerless power play. One look at the track records of the players available for him keeps him positive.
"I'm not overly concerned about it because for years these same players have been very good on the power play," he said. "I think that when you go through parts of the season where there's something that's not right where you want it to be and I'm sure they'll get out of it.
Danny Briere, third on the team with 6 power-play goals, said he's confident things will get back on track and that it's good to get the problems out of the way now.
"I'd rather have the problems happening now and hopefully correct them before the playoffs," he told NHL.com. "The past few years it's been very good. I really believe we will have a good power play when it matters most."
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