What is a power play in hockey? When a team goes on the power play, there are some of the most important times in hockey games. When a team takes penalties, it’s often in order to give their best offensive players an opportunity. The coach sends them out when they have the power play because this gives them more time on ice and can make all sorts of combinations possible with five skaters instead of four.
How Does A Team Get A Power Play?
Hockey is one of the most intense, fast-moving sports. There are certain rules that you cannot break and penalties will be called when these infractions happen to players on both teams–the referees’ calls aren’t random.
When a player commits an infraction, they must go to the penalty box for the designated time. The majority of penalties are 2 minutes long but players can also receive longer ones like 4 or 5-minute sessions if it is severe enough.
When a player goes to serve his or her penalty in the box, for designated lengths of time (depending on how severe it is), that team does not get replaced by another member from their side. They’ll stay out there until either score comes along–or one side scores multiple times while already having more players than its opponent active during this stretch; then all those added manpower becomes an advantage called “power play.”
What Does A Power Play Look Like On The Ice?
In standard play, two teams will always be playing each other at full strength: that means they have their maximum number of skaters on the ice against another team’s five players. If a player from Team A takes penalties then he’ll go into the penalty box while opposing B has four additional forwards for starters which creates obvious mismatch and potential scoring opportunities (plus you can’t afford any mistakes).
The new rule is that if a team takes more than one penalty, they do not keep on losing players until it’s just 5 skaters against the goalkeeper. There can be multiple offenders in penalties and even though there was once an allowed number of 2 per team now all teams have 3 minimum due to this change.
Here are the three different possible power-play combinations:
- 5 on 4
- 5 on 3
- 4 on 3
How Much Of An Advantage Does A Power Play Make?
The advantage of having a power play is that it increases your chances of scoring. In the 2018-19 NHL season, teams ranged from 12% efficiency (Nashville) all way up to 28%. The League average was 19%. The typical NHL game features 19.3% power-play goals, which makes it all the more impressive that only a small portion of games will be played on this special team’s unit during any given match-up.
The importance of special teams cannot be understated. Coaches are always talking about how games are won or lost on this type of performance, and when you look at ice hockey as it is today with top-level defense from goalies combined with high quality scoring chances coming by way few in number — one or two power-play goals per game goes a long way towards helping your team take home victory.
How Does The Power Play End?
The power play can come to an end in three ways:
- The team on the power play scores
- The penalty is served in full
- The team on the power play takes a penalty
1. When the team on the power play scores
When an advantage team scores a goal, it’s time for them to continue playing defense. If one of their players receives 5 minutes’ worth of major penalties then they must serve the entire 2-minute penalty without interruption and can’t come back onto the ice until all sentences are served.
In the event that two players are in penalties, and one score while they’re still being served by a teammate who was sent off for an extra attacker on their team (or if both teams incurred identical bench charges), then only those penalized will be allowed back onto the ice – with time left until retirement limited accordingly.
2. Penalty served in full
Once the penalty is served, its game on! The power play has ended and now both teams are back out there with 10 skaters for another 60 minutes.
3. Team on the Power Play takes a penalty
When a team is penalized, they will go to the penalty box and lose players. The first two penalties are always served by themselves while any additional ones may be reduced in severity depending on how many people were punished with that particular infraction as well as its location within either defensive or neutral zone rankings (or some other specific rule).