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BLOG: Power play improvement

by Chris Wescott / Edmonton Oilers

The Oilers finished 19th in the NHL last season on the man advantage (17.7%). Their conversion rate on the power play drastically improved from the first half of the season, where they were operating at just 14% before the All-Star Break. Following the break, Edmonton improved to 23.6% and sat fourth in the league during that time.

Oilers centre Ryan Nugent-Hopkins sees improvement on the power play this upcoming season, given the strides made last season and additions to the coaching staff and the roster. One of those key additions should be 2015 first-overall pick Connor McDavid, who has the high-end offensive capabilities that can boost a power play.

“I think, as the year went on and near the end of the season, we really picked up our power play,” said Nugent-Hopkins. “We started scoring and just had the confidence to go out there and get the job done. For whatever reason, that was something we were lacking at the start of the year. With a guy like (McDavid) coming in too, that will ignite us a little more hopefully. We should be a team with a really strong power play and we’ve got to get back to that.”

Oilers new Head Coach Todd McLellan has a history of coaching productive power plays. With San Jose the last seven seasons, only once were the Sharks ranked outside the top 10, and twice McLellan’s Sharks were second in the league on the man advantage (2010-11 and 2011-12).

San Jose’s Power Play Under McLellan:

2009-10: 4th (21.0%)

2010-11: 2nd (23.5%)

2011-12: 2nd (21.1%)

2012-13: 7th (20.1%)

2013-14: 20th (17.2%)

2014-15: 6th (21.6%)

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