The Flyers had one of the most lethal power plays in the league during the 2013-14 season. They did this with an aging Kimmo Timonen, while also giving up 11 shorthanded goals. This upcoming season, the Flyers power play could become even more lethal with Mark Streit on the first unit.
Too often during the season, Timonen would have stretches where a simple pass would hop over his stick and out of the zone. The Flyers would have to re-group and re-enter the zone, wasting valuable time.
It is not only the turnovers. The years caught up to Timonen. Some nights, he resembled his former self. Other nights, and those nights came far too often, Timonen looked like a 38-year-old with 15 seasons under his belt, and not in the good way.
Streit may only be three years Timonen’s junior, but he is the better option to run the first power play unit. His skating is better, a skill both Craig Berube and Ron Hextall have stressed, and his shot is heavier.
A deeper look into the statistics makes Streit look even better.
Mark Streit totaled 15 power play points. He scored four goals and had 11 assists while averaging 2:41 per game on the power play.
Timonen, in comparison, averaged 3:25 per game on the power play. Overall, he scored one goal and totaled 20 points on the man advanaage.
On the surface, Timonen is the better producer of the two, but when the overall power play time is factored in, Streit could equal if not exceed Timonen’s production on the man advantage.
Each member of the first unit totaled more than 250 minutes on the power play. After Scott Hartnell, there is a 36 minute drop off from fifth, to sixth place on the list. Mark Streit owned the sixth spot by a wide margin. Thirty-six minutes is 18 additional power plays. If Streit can score 15 points with reduced ice time, he could do even more on the first unit with better talent.
Moving Timonen down could also benefit the second power play unit. The gap in competence between the first and unit was far too large. The second unit never had any consistent flow to their game. A swap of Timonen and Streit to the second unit could help stabilize it.
Timonen’s age should also be considered in this swap. He will turn 40-years-old next March and reduced ice time should keep him fresh and effective. Streit also has fewer seasons, so the wear and tear of the NHL have not affected him as much.