If you were to look at which Hurricanes forwards are creating the most scoring chances on the powerplay relative to their ice time, you'll see some familiar names. Jussi Jokinen, Eric Staal and Tim Brent. Wait, Tim Brent? The guy who we signed to center our fourth line and play on the penalty kill? Well, it's true. Brent trails only Jussi Jokinen in powerplay scoring chances per ice time with 9.64 chances per 15 mins. He only has a goal and an assist while playing with the man advantage but he's been creating scoring chances and has been on ice for eight powerplay goals. Muller's done some interesting things with the lineup and adding Brent to the powerplay is one that seems to be paying off.
Brent was used sparingly on the powerplay in Toronto last year so this isn't anything new to him but the general thought among Carolina fans that Brent's role would be limited to the fourth line and penalty kill. He's still the team's fourth line center but if you look at his special teams ice time, you'll notice that his powerplay and penalty kill usage have shifted in the opposite direction and the change started right around the time that Muller took over. The strange thing is that Brent has actually been very efficient on the powerplay. Remember, he is second among regular forwards in creating powerplay chances. This isn't what you'd expect from a defensive center who struggles to drive possession but for whatever reason, Brent is getting the job done on the powerplay.
What exactly is Brent doing to be so operative on the powerplay? The initial thought is that he would be a good body to create traffic in front of the net. While he can play that role, he's actually been working the point on most nights. That might come across as a surprise to some, but he's actually done a fine job in that position. Brent playing the point has helped the Canes with their zone entries on with the man advantage and he's been doing the little things that help make the Canes powerplay better.
After the jump, we'll jump into the film room and look at an example of how Brent's been helping the powerplay.no comments