Fired Vancouver Canucks assistant coach Newell Brown was responsible for the team’s power play under Alain Vigneault. He says the Canucks power play was not as successful in the last two seasons because they had too many left-handed shots.
“When you’re trying to run a power play with five left shots, which we were forced to do a lot this year, you’re really swimming upstream. Seventy-seven per cent of the power-play goals are scored with at least two right shots, so that tells you a lot right there. Not to say there are exceptions to the rule, but when you have five left shots, or even four, your chances of scoring are diminished.
“Teams are so fast to get into the shot lanes these days,” Brown continued, “that if you can’t take one-timers, if you aren’t in position to take one-touch passes and move the puck quickly to shooters and shoot off the pass, you’re at a big disadvantage. That was something we were dealing with this year.”
Brown continued by saying the team’s power play was clicking at 22% when they centre Ryan Kesler, who is a right-handed shot, in the lineup. The Canucks power play finished 22nd in the league with a success rate of 15.8%. The top team in the league, Washington, converted on 26.8% of their power play opportunities.
The Vancouver Sun notes when Canucks power play was first in the league in the 2010-11 season, the Canucks had right-handed shots Sami Salo, Mikael Samuelsson, and Kesler. This season, Daniel and Henrik Sedin, Alexandre Burrows, Mason Raymond, Chris Higgins, Jannik Hansen, Alexander Edler, Jason Garrison, Dan Hamhuis, and Kevin Bieksa were the players predominantly used on the power play. Only Hansen and Bieksa were right-handed shots. The team also had Jordan Schroeder on the power play at one point.
In other words, Brown is saying, “It’s not that I can’t coach, but I wasn’t given the right personnel by the general manager.”