Carolina's powerplay has been decent these first few games. They are getting plenty of shots on net, have an 18.2 conversion rate (tied for 12th in the league) and are at least averaging one chance per two minutes with the man advantage. That isn't great but it's an improvement over last season. Carolina's first powerplay unit was shaken up a bit with the addition of Tomas Kaberle but the second unit also has a new member in the form of Jay Harrison. Offense is not something that I expect out of Harrison but he has been used frequently on the second powerplay unit this season. He's already played more minutes on the powerplay in six games than he did all of last year. Harrison has stated before that he has worked on his shot over the summer but how much does using him on the second PP unit benefit the team? Let's examine his performance a ltitle closer to find out.
More after the jump
I was planning on having some screen shots here but because my roommate is such a bandwidth hog, I was unable to examine the footage as close as I would have liked. However, I have plenty of data about Harrison compiled to make some early judgements on his performance. Let's start by looking at how many shots on net he's generating 5-on-4 compared other defensemen courtesy of Behind The Net.
Allen and Gleason rarely play on the PP so I didn't include them. I didn't include Faulk or McBain because they've only played three games a piece and their data looks really skewed. Here it appears that Harrison is doing a great job at getting shots on net on the powerplay and after re-watching the game against the Devils from last week where he received 2:44 of powerplay ice-time, I can confirm this. Harrison's shifts weren't very long but during that time, he was at least moving the puck towards the net and getting shots off. Unfortunately, a good few of those shots didn't make it to the net or were blocked in front and quickly cleared. This brings up the next quesiton: How many chances on the powerplay are being created when Harrison is on the ice? He doesn't look quite as good here.
|Player||PP TOI||PP CF||PP CF/2 min.|
The data is less skewed here so I included McBain and Faulk.
Harrison is behind Pitkanen and Kaberle when it comes to creating scoring chances with the man advantage. That's understandable because he doesn't get as much ice-time as them and doesn't possess a huge offensive skillset. He's also only produced five scoring chances over six games. Still, Harrison is producing a decent amount of offense compared to McBain (who has played in half as many games) and his offensive output could be worse when you consider that he's only working the second PP unit with short shifts.
Paul Maurice's decision to scratch Justin Faulk in favor of Jamie McBain may have also had an effect on Harrison's performance when looking at his stats by game.
Harrison didn't get much powerplay ice time in the Washington game (0:43) seconds but in others he's been getting about 2-3 minutes of PP time. Notice how his numbers basically mimick McBain's and Faulk's. It's very possible that McBain's more offensive skillset had a significant impact on Harrison's numbers.
Overall, Harrison has performed about as well as I would expect him to on the powerplay. He's getting shots on net but not many of them are of quality and it appears that McBain's had some influence on his offensive game. Harrison can shoot the puck well but his ceiling doesn't appear to be that high so I'm not sure how long his stint on the powerplay will last. This might be part of Harrison's game that keeps him in the lineup over Derek Joslin so we'll see if he progresses throughout the year.