Breaking Down the Carolina Hurricanes Powerplay

After years of watching an ineffective powerplay, I've finally found a powerplay that gives us hope, as broken down by the article below.

The current umbrella formation the Hurricanes are using relies on one or more of 3 things:

  1. Lateral passes through the slot (Backstrom, Schiefele, Marner)
  2. Strong point player (Subban, Karlsson)
  3. Shooting threats at one or both circles (Stamkos & Kucherov, Ovechkin, Laine).

The weakness of the Hurricanes, is they don't have all of those assets. The team has seen recent success with the umbrella formation with cross-ice passes to Aho at the right circle. However, the play that stood out to me most over the past few years was this one set up by Williams:

Williams Low-to-High

Here's Lindholm running a similar play:

Lindholm Set-up

We've seen a few of these goals, with:

  1. D Teravainen/Faulk at the left point
  2. RH Lindholm/Williams as the right-handed low threat
  3. LH Aho/Skinner as the left-handed low threat
  4. C Staal/Zykov in front of the net
  5. D Hanifin/Slavin at the right point

Carolina has the personnel to execute this powerplay, where players can play to their strengths: short low-to-high passes that have a high percentage to fool goaltenders and quick plays in front of the net (Skinner and Zykov are particularly suited to this).

The big booming Ovechkin powerplay only works when your team has Ovechkin. This is a high-percentage plan that plays to the team's strengths. There's a lower threat of giving up breakaways, better puck retrieval options, and more direct outside passes. Rather than trying to pass through a box, which the team is often unsuccessful at, they can make use of good outside puck movement to create good shots, backdoor plays, and crash the net.