What is a Power Play in Hockey?

Power Play? – What comes to your mind whenever you hear this term? – A time when one team gets the advantage of being on the power play and has a great chance to show their fantastic game and game wining techniques. 

Many hockey fans are well known for the term Power Play and this part of the game has its aura and attention on the game. Almost every sport has power play and fans love to watch the game at that time. 

Power Play

Power play – A five or two-minute advantage. It’s a time in ice hockey when one team does a penalty and as a result, the other team gets luck to play with all its players while the penalized team plays with 3 or 4 players. It’s a 2 or 5-minute duration when the team on the power play has its all members against the penalized short-handed team and a good time to show their game to the fullest. At the time of power play, the power play team coach normally sends their best offensive player to keep the dominancy of the game.

In cases, where both of the teams come under penalty then neither of them will have a power play and there will be a regular game.  

How Does A Power Play Happen?

Like every other sport, ice hockey also has things that you can do or cannot, and has its own rules and restrictions that are ought to be obliged. 

A referee gives will call a penalty each a player breaks a certain rule. Then the offending player has to sit in the penalty box usually for a designated time of 2 minutes but the penalty time can exceed 5 or sometimes reaches 10 minutes in length based on serious penalty infractions a player has incurred. 

The key point here is that when penalized team’s player sits in the penalty box for a specific amount of time to serve his penalty, then the penalized team will not replace that player with another player of their team rather they will play with short-handed means less number of players against the opponent’s full players.

So that’s how a power-play happens and the team on the power play is like to have blessed to play with more players against a short number team and can get control over the game. 

How Does A Power Play Look On The Ice?

During regulation, both teams play with standard 5-on-5 players means the maximum number of skaters on the ice. If team A’s players come under penalty and sit in the penalty box then team B will play with their full five players and have its edge in the game. The scene on the ice will be like 5 versus 4 which brings trouble for the penalized team as it is an obvious mismatch that gives potential goals scoring chances to the team on the power play.

In case, if team A takes on another penalty, then another player of them will go down and they will become tight-handed, unable to play the fullest game. But if there is more penalty occurring on team A side, then that’s not mean they will keep losing their players and get shorter than 3 members. No matter what will happen there will always be at least three players on the ice because if players are less than three then there is no use to continue the game as it will be a clear victory for the team on the power play. 

The possible scenarios of power play on ice are:

  1. 5 on 4
  2. 5 on 3
  3. 4 on 3

Power Play Advantage – A Team Can Take

When a team is on a power play, they will have potential chances of goal scoring. The 2018-19 NHL season is proof of this. When the power-play goal (PPG – official abbreviation used to indicate power-play goal) efficiency brings a team higher up to 28.2% from a low of 12.9%. The average power-play goal scoring in the league was 19.7%.

And it is quite impressive when a small portion of the game, mostly about 2 minutes, gives more goal figures than when the game is evenly played.

Coaches emphasize special teams when preparing their teams. Special teams: “Penalty Killing” and “Power Play” performance is the basics of the game win and loss. Based on the quality of goaltending and defensive play, it is so hard to score in NHL. Therefore, a power-play gives a team an opportunity, allowing more scoring chances and to capitalize on their best game to win, and one or two goals scoring per game will lead them to win an NHL league. 

What Ends Power Play?  

 Three situations end power play:

  1. If the team on power play scores a goal.
  2. The penalty served full
  3. If the power play team takes a penalty

When the Power Play Team Scores a Goal?

If a player takes a minor penalty, then when the team on power play advantage scores a goal, the penalty expires regardless of how much time is left. The player comes out of the penalty box and gets back on the ice. However, if there is a 5-minute major penalty, then a player must have to complete his penalty time to come back into the game, and the power-play team can score as many goals as they can in a specific amount of time. 

In the case of 5 on 3, when the team on power-play scores, only one player is allowed to rejoin the game, and the other play with the least penalty time left will serve the penalty to the end.

When the Penalty Fully Served?

The power play comes to an end when the player served his penalty in full and is permitted to back into the game. Both the teams will again have an equal number of skaters on the ice.    

When the Power Play Team Takes a Penalty?

Sometimes, the power play team also takes a penalty and the penalized player will go down. Now the scene on ice will be 4 on 4. Both teams will become equal, so none of the teams will be on a power play. However, the first team penalty player will come first after serving his penalty and now they will be on a power play with 5 on 4, on the other team who was previously on the power play. 

WE HAVE Answers

Frequently Asked Questions

In overtime, it is 3 on 3 than the standard 5 on 5. So, if a penalty occurs, there is no chance of 3 on 2. Keep in mind that there will be never 2 players on the ice as it is quite difficult to defend with just 2 players. Instead, both teams will have an additional player. Penalized player will sit in the penalized box and another player will replace him and one player will add to the power-play team. Now, it will be 4 on 3. NHL reverses the number of players in overtime.

Suppose the penalty happens when 1 minute is left in the 2nd period. Then the reaming one minute will be served at the start of the 2nd period. No matter how much time the penalty is, the penalty time will be filled fully even in the next period. 

But when the penalty occurs in the last two minutes of the final period, then the player will sit in the penalty box till the end of the game. In case there is a tie and penalty time is still left. Then the penalized player will serve his penalty to the full in overtime too.

The Bottom Line on What is a Power Play in Hockey?

Power play brings a change in a game and packs many actions done by both teams in a brief time. This gives the audience one of the most exciting parts of the game.  

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