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Volume Shooting New Focus Of Wild Power Play

by Evan Sporer / Minnesota Wild

The Minnesota Wild has scored a power-play goal in six of its past seven games, one in each, but that's not the only common thread for when Minnesota finds itself on the man-advantage.

The Wild has been focused on taking a great volume of shot-attempts. And the results, in the experiment's early stages, have been positive.

"It's going to create havoc, create lanes, and kind of open more things up," Matt Dumba said. "That shooting mentality has been good for us."

Over those seven games, the Wild has one of the highest shot-rates on the power play in the NHL. With 128.2 shot-attempts per 60 minutes, only the Philadelphia Flyers have attempted shots at a higher rate over that span.

"Just our mentality of going to the net hard, crashing, and getting lots of shots," Dumba said. "The stat we had from the other night something like 34 shot-attempts, 21 on net.

"If you do that every night on the power play, you're going to be all right in the sense that you're going to get lots of chances, lots of opportunities no matter what these shot-attempts are like."

That stat was from the Wild's game against the St. Louis Blues. The Wild went 1-for-7 on the power play in that game, wanting more goals, but having peppered St. Louis and Brian Elliott.

"More shots is going to equal more opportunities," Dumba said. "Whether that's rebounds, or generating it back out top for different looks, it all works together."

In the Wild's 46 games before this seven-game span, Minnesota averaged 97.1 shot-attempts per 60 minutes on the power play, with its jump constituting nearly a 25-percent increase in shot rate.

First 46 games (NHL rank) past 7 games (nhl Rank)
Shots on goal per 60 50.3 (21st) 73.7 (1st)
Shot-attempts per 60 97.1 (16th) 128.2 (2nd)
Scoring chances 52.2 (11th) 69.3 (3rd)

Stats via and current through Tuesday

The chaos begins with the puck moving, which displaces bodies and creates more space.

Dumba has seen these benefits firsthand. Against the Blues, he crashed the crease and scored on a rebound. Against the Dallas Stars on Tuesday, Dumba again found himself in the crease, getting the primary assist on Mikko Koivu's game-tying, power-play goal.

"I have to be up there to support [Ryan Suter], but at the same time, it's a read to see when that puck is going down when I think Zach (Parise) is going to take it to the net," Dumba said. "Zach does a great job rolling, and getting the puck to an area where we can make something happen.

"It's just kind of gambling and reacting on where the puck is going to be, and I've just been fortunate enough to get some good bounces the last couple of games."

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