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What Does Power Play Mean In Hockey?

By Swikriti Kandel / 9 May 2023 08:25 AM

Official Puck That Is Used In The National Hockey League
Source : facebook

What Does Power Play Mean In Hockey? Power Play meaning in hockey is when one team has more players because the opposing team members are serving a penalty.

Alike every sport, ice hockey also facilitates penalties in certain conditions. The time duration of the rule infraction spans 2 minutes, 4 minutes, and 5 minutes depending upon the severity.

When a sportsman receives a penalty, he is relieved from the ice arena for the designated time. Multiple players from one team can be in the penalty box at a time.

Since there is no substitution for a penalized player, his team will have one less playing member. On the contrary, the number of players on the opposing side will remain the same.

A team with such advantages is said to be in a power play. The team can make strategies and have a high chance of securing a goal in such dominating times.

Longest Power Play In NHL History

Longest power play in NHL history is of 9 minutes. Colorado Avalanche and Vegas Golden Knights were the participants of the game in March 2021. 

Ryan Reaves of the Knights got furious when Avalanche goalie Philipp Grubauer saved the goal. He started punching the opposing team's defenseman Ryan Graves.

The fight broke out during the third period and Reaves leaned his body over Graves. Graves stayed on the ice until a referee rescued him.

Ryan assessed a match and a double minor penalty for his actions. A total of 9 minutes of power play was provided to the Colorado Avalanche.

Avalanche secured 7 goals whilst Knights earned a single goal. Golden Knights lost miserably and Reaves was suspended from the following two NHL games.

The 9-minute powerplay caused a debate on social media since it can potentially impact the overall outcome of the game.

Most Power Play Points In A Season By Team

Most power play points in a season by team are earned by Pittsburgh Penguins. They received 342 points during the 1988-89 season.

The Penguins earned 87 points in the regular season and placed 2nd in the Patrick Division. The team was captained by a former ice hockey athlete Mario Lemieux.

Mario solely secured 79 power-play and 199 total points (85 in goals and 114 in assists) during that season. Lemieux still holds the record for the highest power-play points by a player with 80 points.

Pittsburgh Penguins Has The Highest Powerplay Points In A Season
Source : instagram

Pittsburgh also has the third and sixth highest points with 322 and 316 points respectively. 

Some other teams that have the highest power-play points in an NHL season are as follows:

  • Detroit Red Wings - 331
  • Calgary Flames - 317
  • New York Rangers - 317
  • Winnipeg Jets - 316
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - 313
  • Los Angeles Kings - 297
  • Ottawa Senators - 296
  • Buffalo Sabres - 294

Best Power Play Percentage NHL History

Best power play percentage NHL history is 32.4% secured by Edmonton Oilers in the 2022-23 season. They are followed by the Canadiens with 31.9%.

Power play percentage can be calculated by dividing the total number of total power-play goals by the total number of power-play opportunities.

Oilers climbed the leader this season and ranked at the top. Since 1977-78, the record was maintained by the Montreal Canadiens for almost 45 years.

Edmonton Oilers Reached The Top Of The Highest Powerplay Percent In 2022-23 Season
Source : instagram

In the 2019-20 season, Edmonton reached the fifth position by securing 29.5%. The team secured 89 power-play goals and 258 power-play points this season.

Some other teams with the highest power-play percentage are listed below:

  • New York Islander - 31.4%
  • New York Rangers - 28.8%
  • Calgary Flames - 28.5%
  • Tampa Bay Lightning - 28.2%
  • Toronto Maple Leafs - 27.3%
  • Chicago Black Hawks - 27.1%

NHL Powerplay Lines

NHL powerplay lines refer to a set of players used during a powerplay situation. It usually consists of three forwards and two defensemen.

Depending on the strategy and situation, the team can switch between forwards and defensemen. Top defensive players are selected for the powerplay line.

They generate high chances of scoring goals during such an advantageous time. In 2022-23, the Edmonton Oilers secured the highest power-play goals, points, and percentage.

Leon Secured 32 Goals Powerplay For Edmonton Oilers In 2022-23 Season
Source : instagram

As per DailyFaceoff, the first powerplay line consisted of players: Zach Hyman, Ryan Nugent-Hopkins, Leon Draiasitl, Connor McDavid, and Evan Bouchard.

Similarly, the second power-play team unit of the Oilers comprised Evander Kane, Ryan McLeod, Warren Foegele, Darnell Nurse, and Mattias Ekholm.

In the season, Leon secured the most power-play goals with 32 scores and Connor earned the highest power-play points with 71 points.

NHL Power Play Rankings 2022-23

NHL power play rankings 2022-23 top team is Edmonton Oilers. Maple Leafs, Lightning, and L.A. Kings have followed the list.

Oilers secured the highest power-play points, goals, and percentage making them the top one in the power-play ranking. They also made history as the team with the highest powerplay percentage.

Maple Leafs have placed second with 26.0 percent this season. They secured 190 points and 64 goals from the power play alone.

The third rank is held by Tampa Bay Lightning with 25.4%. The team made 71 goals and 212 points although they had multiple opportunities to earn more.

Toronto Maple Leafs Have The Second Highest Power-Play Percentage In The 2022-23 season
Source : instagram

With 25.3 power-play percent, Los Angeles Kings have successfully ranked fourth. Kings recorded 68 goals and 195 points during this season.

Dallas Stars have landed fifth in the rankings with 25%. In the recent season, the Stars scored 64 goals and 190 points. Other teams who have ranked 6th to 15th are:

  • Colorado Avalanche
  • New York Rangers
  • Ottawa Senators
  • Buffalo Sabres
  • Florida Panthers
  • Vancouver Canucks
  • Boston Bruins
  • New Jersey Devils
  • Pittsburgh Penguins
  • Minnesota Wild

Is There A Shootout In NHL Playoffs?

There is no shootout in the NHL playoffs. If a game ends in a tie, multiple 20-minute overtime is added until one of the teams secures their first goal.

A shootout is a provision that can be accessed in the regular season. Three team members are awarded a penalty shot each to determine the winner.

There are three rounds of 20-minute periods in a regular game. When the score ends in a tie, a 5-minute 3-on-3 overtime is followed.

Buffalo Sabres Defeated Chicago Blackhawks In Overtime During A Match In 2022
Source : twitter

3-on-3 refers that only three members of a team can play on the ice. If the game is still drawn, then the shootout proceeds. The team who scores more in three penalties wins the game.

However, in the NHL postseason, shootouts can not be accessed. If the game ties then the sudden-death overtime is ensued. 

Sudden death means the game ends when one team scores a goal. During the playoff, each overtime is of 20 minutes and it continues until one team puts the puck behind the net. 

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