Changes coming on Flyers’ inept power play

Shayne Gostisbehere

If it is broken, fix it.

One day after another fruitless performance by the Flyers’ power play in a 3-2 loss at New Jersey, the team disclosed there may be changes coming.

With the Flyers stuck in a three-for-28 rut on the power play, coach Scott Gordon indicated he might make changes – both system and personnel-wise – for Monday’s home game against Minnesota.

“You watch the other teams’ power plays and they’re getting less (quality scoring chances) than us. . .so you feel like you’re doing something right,’’ Gordon said after Sunday’s practice at the Skate Zone in Voorhees. “Because we’re not giving up the kind of chances that we’re getting on the power play.

“At the end of the day, it’s not going in. So we’ve talked about a couple things that are possibilities for tomorrow.’’

The Flyers have pretty much stuck with a first unit of Claude Giroux and Jake Voracek on the half-wall, Shayne Gostisbehere on the point, Wayne Simmonds down low and Sean Couturier as the trigger man, with James van Riemsdyk also seeing some time there.

Assistant coach Kris Knoblauch, who oversees the power play, has been crunching some numbers to see if the Flyers can do some different to create more production.

“Chances and shots have actually increased over (the amount per year) the past five years,’’ Gordon said. “But it hasn’t gone in. You would think at some point that would change, just the law of averages. The shooting percentage would go up or whatever it might be.

“But it hasn’t so that’s why talked today about making some personnel changes, some system changes. It’s hard to have a good power play when you don’t have many of them.’’

Gostisbehere is as mystified as anybody as to why the Flyers aren’t clicking more often with the man advantage.

“It’s a big question mark right now,’’ he said. “We could move the puck around better and make better plays. . .but I feel like we get the chances and we don’t quite get the bounces. Every time we shoot, it just goes to their guy and they clear it. I think for us, it’s just a matter of sticking with it.”


MacDonald set to return


Defenseman Andrew MacDonald, out the past six games due to injury, will be back for this game and will be paired with Gostisbehere.

MacDonald has been watching his team’s play closely and believes it’s not too far off from turning things around, even though the Flyers are 1-7-3 in the last 10 games and last in the Metro Division.

“We’re doing some good things out there,’’ he said. “We’re close in a lot of the games. We’re just having trouble finding that push to put us over the top.

“There’s obviously some mistakes made — and some costly ones. We’re trying to do a better job of managing the puck. I think playing a solid defensive game first and taking care of our own zone and trying to generate our chances from there (is the way to play).’’

The Flyers’ only win in the last 10 contests was a strong defensive effort which led to a 2-1 victory over Dallas on Thursday.

“You can bear down defensively and try to win those 1-0 and 2-1 games, somewhat like we did against Dallas,’’ MacDonald said. “If that’s what it takes for us to get out of this, that’s what we’re going to have to do.

“When things aren’t going well, you just start trying to do a little bit more than you need to. When you can find a way to grind out those tight games, you give yourself some confidence as a team.”

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About Wayne Fish 2446 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.

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