A lot of teams who have a successful powerplay are the teams who enjoy more success in the NHL. The Dallas Stars’ powerplay was far from a success last season.
For the spectators, it was certainly painful to watch the Stars play with an extra man last season, as they recorded a success rate of a mere 13.5%. A lack of any rhythm was evident on pretty much every occasion. The unit very rarely set up in the offensive zone well, and in doing so failed to get any sort of pressure onto the opposition.
The reason that the powerplay struggled so much was due to Brad Richards departing. He is one of the best powerplay players in the league, with great spacial awareness and puck distribution.
However, out with Richie and in with Jagr. Jagr, along with others, will definitely make the powerplay better this season. The experienced Czech racked up 35 assists in his comeback season with the Flyers, emphasising just how great his passing skills are.
Joe Nieuwendyk‘s addition of Ray Whitney is also a good one when it comes to the powerplay. He was one of the top powerplay scorers in the league last season, and that should be the same this time around. Whitney scores points, has the attributes of a leader and can play big minutes. This guy will be huge next season.
With the likes of Jagr, Whitney, Roy, Benn and Eriksson as potential weapons on the powerplay, I am predicting a big year for the Stars playing with an extra man. This will have a big impact upon whether the team will make the post-season or not.
You also have to look at who the Stars will play on the point. Will they go with a defensive combo such as Alex Goligoski and Trevor Daley or will they stick two forwards on the point? I think the latter is certainly an option to consider with the talent available. All will be revealed on opening night.