by Forechecker on 12/09/08 at 05:19 PM ET
Any Nashville Predators fan can tell you that 5-on-3 shorthanded situations are a dangerous affair; last night in St. Louis, the Preds gave up their 7th(!) such goal this season. Just in time for Barry Trotz’s chalk-talk before tonight’s game with Vancouver, hockey stats guru Gabriel Desjardins brings us an analysis of just how much more likely a team is to score with 5-on-3 as opposed to a 5-on-4 power play.
The short answer is, quite a bit more, and it’s usually well worth it strategically to pass the puck to the shorthanded team as soon as a ref raises his arm, to maximize that 5-on-3 time. The only situation I could see where you wouldn’t want to do this is if the team on the power play is defending a lead late in the game; keeping the man advantage for a longer time might be better at keeping down the chances of the other team scoring to tie things up, but the defensive side of power play action isn’t addressed here.
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