It took a couple months for the Flyers to stop saying the sample size was too small because they truly believed that was the case for a while there. From the start of the season until Dec. 1, the first 24 games of their season, their power play was operating at 15.7 percent, a vast underachievement for what they’ve done in recent years.
It has only gotten worse since then and no one seems to know why.
“You used to win some games with the power play and right now we’re not scoring at all,” Sean Couturier said after the Flyers went 0-for-3 Saturday in a loss to the New Jersey Devils. “We can say that we’re controlling the puck or getting chances but at the end of the day we’ve got to find a way to put the puck in the net.
“Obviously there’s something wrong. I can’t point out what exactly. It’s been close to 50 games. At one point you kind of think that things are gonna turn around and get on a streak, but after 45 games I think we’ve got to look at ourselves and find a solution here.”
That last statement is true for the season as a whole, but the Flyers can’t think with that wide of a scope. If they could at least fix the power play, it could lead to a whole lot more positivity elsewhere.
Assistant coach Kris Knoblauch took over for Joe Mullen in the summer of 2017 to run the power play and it hasn’t worked out well. Mullen was at the helm for 10 seasons and the Flyers were in the top five in the league for half of those years but were 14th at 19.5 percent when they opted not to renew his contract.