• RSS



CALGARY, AB – Though still boasting one of the league’s top units, The Homes By Avi power play was met with mixed results in February.
Starting the month with power play goals in three consecutive games, the Flames special teams unit was on fire. In all, Calgary scored seven times with the man-advantage in the club’s opening seven games of in February, clicking at a rate of 28 per cent.
And when the power play is rolling like it did in the early portion of the month, Calgary coach Bob Hartley has easy motivation for his troops.
“That’s the biggest reward in hockey,” he said. “Everyone wants to play on the power play. I always tell this to the players. Steve Begin wants to play on the power play. Everyone.
“For me, that’s the biggest cookie that you can get in a hockey game is to be part of the power play. We demand hard work. We demand to be solid out there and to make sure that we execute well because obviously that’s a big part of the game. Special teams are huge.”
The last seven games of the month weren’t as fruitful as the first, though. Calgary scored with a man up three times in the back half of February, the team clicked at just an 11 per cent rate on 27 opportunities with an opponent sitting in the penalty box.
At times, luck becomes a factor in the success rate with the unit, according to Hartley.
“I believe special teams comes in by waves, but sometimes that’s how the luck goes,” he said. “We have confidence in those guys. We work at it. We do lots of video and sometimes you miss the net by an inch and the next night you put it in and suddenly we’re saying ‘wow, the power play is working great’.”
A staple on Calgary’s power play, Mike Cammalleri is more than aware of the team’s struggles with the man advantage recently.
“I think more fresh in our mind is kind of that it hasn’t gone in as of late,” he said. “I think the important thing for us to realize is that when that happens, we start overthinking it and over-manufacturing it. Power play I think it’s important we do a few things.”
The good news for Calgary’s special team unit is that they managed to find the back of the net in consecutive games to close out the month.
“We have a hard-work battle five-on-five mentality,” Cammalleri said. “From there we just let it happen and allow ourselves to make plays. We were probably doing that more so than lately. A little too much though maybe, and lets get back to that.”
The Flames have an opportunity to do just that as the calendar turns to March.

Check out previous editions of the Homes By Avi Powerplay Update