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Coyotes coach hopes to solve power play woes

The Coyotes get ready to face the Blackhawks for the first
time ever in the post season when they play game one of
the Stanley Cup Playoffs at Arena. Despite
winning the Pacific Division for the first time, head
coach Dave Tippett knows special teams is a two-sided
story for them.

“I think everything in the playoffs is a clean slate all
over the place,” he said. “I say that as a coach where our
penalty killing has been pretty strong, I wouldn’t want a
clean slate with that but I want a clean slate with our
power play.”

The Coyotes’ power play during the regular season left
much to be desired. They converted at a rate of 13.6%,
which puts them in 29th place out of 30 NHL teams in that
category. On the other hand, the Coyotes’ penalty kill
was something to talk about. They had the 8th-best penalty
kill unit in the league at 85.5%.

Tippett says they’ve tried just about everything this
season to get better results from their power play, but in
the end it comes down to one thing: energy.

“We’ve tried a lot of different set ups this year. The
work ethic and the ability to get the puck to the net, to
me that generates energy,” he said. “Like I say, we might
not score every power play but we gotta create some
energy, we gotta create some havoc around their net.”

Tippett and the Coyotes hope to snap the streak of being
dismissed from the post season in the first round by using
the power play to their advantage.

“We’ve got some people who can score, but the majority of
our goals on the power play have come from hard plays
around the net and I think that will have to continue,” he

The ‘Yotes have not made it to the second round of the
Stanley Cup Playoffs since moving to the Valley. They’ve
come up short back-to-back years against Detroit in the
first round. This year they face a Blackhawks team they
beat three out of four times during the regular season.

Game one is Thursday night at Arena, followed
by game two on Saturday.