Thrashers’ power play is No. 3 in NHL

The exhibition season had Thrashers coach Craig Ramsay concerned.

After scoring just 10 goals in six games, Ramsay wondered where the scoring would come during the regular season.

That has not been a problem – and the power play has been a big reason why.

Entering Saturday’s NHL schedule, the Thrashers had the No. 3 power-play unit in the league. They have scored 23 goals in 94 chances with a man-advantage, a 24.5 success rate. Through 23 games, the Thrashers have 72 goals. Their power play makes up 32 percent of that offense.

“Overall we rush the puck up the ice extremely well,” Ramsay said. “Now you’ve got entries with speed. And we’ve won a lot of battles. The key to any power play is you are out against a desperate group that knows they are shorthanded and they put their hardest working guys out there. We’ve won those low battles and have gotten [the puck] back to the point. Our point men have done a really great job of shooting for goals, shooting for tips, shooting for people.”

The Thrashers want shots from the point on the power play. They are getting them from Dustin Byfuglien and Tobias Enstrom. The pair entered Saturday tied for fourth in the NHL with 12 power-play points. Part of the key, according to Ramsay, has been the Thrashers ability to modify the power play if opponents are protecting against the point shot. The team’s power play often ran into problems in previous seasons when opponents keyed on former Thrasher Ilya Kovalchuk’s one-timer from the faceoff circle.

“[Enstrom] gets to the point where he wants to get it to [Byfuglien] because he wants to shoot it so much. You can hear him all over the rink yelling for the puck.”

Ramsay pointed to Rich Peverley’s power-play goal against Montreal Friday night. The forward took the puck high along the faceoff circle and wristed a shot into the back of the net.

“If [opponents] get to the point where the opposition is that worried about our point shots then the other guys start scoring goals and one feeds off the other,” Ramsay said. You have to work together. You have to have both of them in your arsenal if they cheat on something you can use something else.”

19 comments Add your comment

Brie

November 27th, 2010
5:31 pm

Fantastic! I was at practice today and Buff (or Byf, really), was shouting for the puck. I was betting he does that all the time. It’s nice to have a few more tricks up our sleeves! Coach is not just educating the team, he’s educating this town. I love him, and I love these wins!

Brie

November 27th, 2010
5:34 pm

And thanks, Chris, for the great coverage. I’m a constant reader, but I don’t comment much.

whaler8888

November 27th, 2010
5:36 pm

I’ve played and been around hockey for 40 years and I’m beginning to think Craig Ramsey is as good as it gets.

Hockey Biltong

November 27th, 2010
5:59 pm

Very pleased with a shutout win!!!!
Let’s stay consistent with this play!!!!

Nate

November 27th, 2010
6:26 pm

Chris – Any update on Cormier up in Chicago?

Joe Tess Fish House

November 27th, 2010
8:56 pm

If there power play is so god why come they not win more games?

Alan R.

November 27th, 2010
10:39 pm

Joe – The Thrashers had a major overhaul this past summer. They fired almost everyone behind the bench, for starters. They had to get a new head coach, assistant/associate coach, goalie coach, and a new strength and conditioning coach. After that, they brought in four new regular players from the Blackhawks via trade and made some depth signings before the summer was over.

The coaching staff had to institute the new system, and had to teach it to the players. It took some players more time to grasp the system than others. Furthermore, the coaching staff placed an emphasis on scoring goals prior to this month, because scoring was a concern to a lot of people moving forward. This month, the emphasis has been on learning the defensive system.

The team is coming together now, and seems to have taken to Ramsay’s systems better than we fans could have ever imagined. The team is playing a high tempo game, and is really starting to turn some heads around the league. If this keeps up, we should have no problem winning more than we lose.

Hockey Biltong

November 27th, 2010
11:01 pm

Alan, you are a better man than I…tussentak!!!!!

lordstan57

November 28th, 2010
12:26 am

Two things to remember here….
Det. and Montreal did not start their #1 guys in net. Teams will not be taking us lightly now, and WILL use their top-guys. Granted, we exploited this sit-rep by coming out HARD, and getting up early forcing the other guys to take more chances, which we also exploited. Expect games to become MUCH TIGHTER, more pressure…. demanding superlative discipline, and composure.
Sound like Playoff Hockey?……. Hmmmm?

Also, we have a looooong way to go yet, and some adversity is to be expected. How our boys respond to this will reveal their true CHARACTER! I believe our success thus far is NO FLUKE, and because of this, we’ll see no prolonged slumps. This team CAN BE MUCH BETTER! and will.

Enjoy the ride! We’ve been waiting a LONG TIME FOR THIS!!!
Support this team! They deserve it.

“Live Hockey, Love Thrashers!”.

J (Z)

November 28th, 2010
11:59 am

lordstan57 – Detroit started, and then pulled their #1 guy!

Joe Tess Fish House

November 28th, 2010
5:56 pm

I just thing Trhasers would be beter with Kolvochock.

Brendan

November 28th, 2010
6:34 pm

Thrashers are defending themselves vs. the Bruins. It’s 3-1, Atlanta. Burmistrov was tagged, from behind. We’re on the vaunted # 3 overall Power Play, as we speak, because of it.

Brendan

November 28th, 2010
6:38 pm

Bergfors!!! PPG!! It’s 4-1, Atlanta. With 12.3 seconds left in the 2nd stanza. Correction, it’s now officially over. The Thrashers lead, 4-1, headed into the 3rd period.

1) Get the lead
2) Build the lead
3) Protect the lead, to a win
4) Don’t toss back a “pity” point

stendek

November 28th, 2010
7:48 pm

Break up the Thrashers! Fantastic. Pavs presented with early lead then proceeded to smother 39 of 40 shots. Four more markers by Thrasher offense. That team goals against average shrinking each time blue guys take to ice. So proud to see another solid performance. Know Craig Ramsay appreciated effort against his former outfit. Wonderful weekend to be sports fan in state. Thrashers win. Falcons win. In win-win since Georgia played Georgia Tech. Thrashers are now team instead of Illya Kovalchuk with supporting cast. Gear fab! STENDEK

stendek

November 28th, 2010
7:51 pm

Mr Craig Ramsay. Out of respect for you I will never refer to you as Craig Petrino again. No matter what. Thanks for getting attention of these guys. Solid play of late. Best stretch in years even with that figure skating prima donna in lineup. Sigh. STENDEK

stendek

November 28th, 2010
8:14 pm

Mm

November 28th, 2010
8:56 pm

The Real deal thrashers according to NHL on the fly…..big buf just interviewed

Let’s get back down in spite of the last 10 years.
We have an NHL team and let’s not lose it and be stuck with hawks only

Investors have no idea because of the past management of this org but with Duds and Ramer in charge maybe they will see light and see this as a value play.

razorneck13

November 28th, 2010
9:32 pm

I’m waiting to find out how I was thrust into an alternate universe through some Rod Sterling narration. Freaky, I dig it. I still stand by my earlier opinions in so much as on paper this shouldn’t be happening. I firmly believe the only explanation is through quantum mechanics. Again, Duds and Rammers must have some uncanny hockey senses, this is surreal and of course our guys ain’t too shabby either, that said…

LET’S GO THRASHERS!!!

lordstan57

November 29th, 2010
10:58 pm

I stand corrected. Howard is indeed their #1.

GO THRASHERS!