Joe Pavelski fired a Stamkosian one-timer from the left circle past Steve Mason in the waning minutes of the Sharks' 6-2 loss in Columbus yesterday. But prior to that meaningless tally, San Jose had gone six games with just one power play goal to their credit after living off the man-advantage early in the season with 10 5v4 markers (and 2 more 5v3) in their first five games.
So what's causing the power outage for a team that has historically been the best in the league on the power play during the Todd McLellan era? The first step to answering that question is to determine what exactly drives power play success in the NHL. There are a lot of things that contribute to whether or not a man-advantage unit (that will never not sound like a euphemism for dongs) clicks but, from a purely statistical perspective, it's the rate at which teams direct pucks towards the net that tends to be the most accurate reflection of their talent. As JLikens of the sadly defunct Objective NHL demonstrated, on average, teams' 5v4 shooting percentages regress to the mean by about 90%. In other words, only 10% of the observed team-to-team differences in power play SH% are the result of actual differences in talent level, the vast majority attributable to randomness. Substantially more repeatable is a team's 5v4 shot rate.
Sharks vs. Predators: How concerning are San Jose's power play woes?
Fear The Fin | Feb 12