This article is part of our The Man Advantage series.
In the the cap era, the average difference in conversion rate between the top and bottom team is 11.1 percent, with 8.1 percent being the lowest (2011-12) and 13.4 percent being the highest (2013-14). Through the 2019 All-Star break, the difference between the first-place Lightning and last-place Habs is 16.5 percent, the widest gulf ever, and nearly five percentage points higher than the average difference.
It's not that the Habs' power play is exceptionally poor – five other teams have had worse rates in the cap era – but more that the Lightning's power play is exceptional, nearly three percent better than its closest competitor. The league average of 20.0 percent is slightly behind last season's 20.2 percent, so not every team's power play has benefitted from smaller goalie equipment and a deep talent pool. Will the Lightning power play take a step back? Will the Habs power play improve? If 2018-19 is the outlier then it's logical to believe so, otherwise it might be the start of a new trend.
HOT POWER PLAYS
A horrendous power play that threatened Stan Bowman to throw a grenade at the roster has been excellent since Alex DeBrincat and Dylan Strome joined the top unit, and for the first time this season it's operating at better than 20 percent efficiency. They went 7-for-16 despite losing five games in a row and scored both goals on the power play in a 3-2 shootout win against the Islanders before the break. It makes