We've spent a lot of time looking at the reasons why the Canadiens and the Lightning haven't done so hot on the powerplay this season. Whether it's a lack of overall shot volume, questionable PP schemes, or other factors, we could go on and on about what causes a team to score on fewer than 19% of its powerplay chances (the NHL average for this season).
But when you boil everything down to the bare essentials, a team only needs to do one thing in order to have a great powerplay: Make a tape-to-tape pass across the slot.
It's a play that takes less than two seconds to set up, hence this article's title.
Witness these four screencaps, taken at strategic moments during Game 2:
No cross-slot pass here, but Tampa manages to move the puck cross-ice for a Filppula one-timer.
Carey Price is screened by his own defenseman and is a bit late reacting to the shot. His lateral movement is not quick enough and the puck goes in high short side. Powerplay goal #1.
Price might have been able to stop this one, but we are now entering "nothing to do here" territory.
It's a five-on-three for the Lightning. The puck goes to Tyler Johnson at the goal line, who immediately goes back across the slot to Nikita Kucherov.
No goalie on the planet is going to have a play on this one. Powerplay goal #2.
Puck goes from the sideboards to Killhorn at the goal line. He goes across the slot for Hedman, who's the far side guy on the 1-3-1 setup. It's an open net.
Powerplay goal #3.
Johnson finds a passing lane and crosses it to the middle of the slot for Kucherov. The Russian makes a skilled play and tips the puck over Price's blocker.
Powerplay goal #4.
Jack Han is the Video & Analytics Coordinator for the McGill Martlet Hockey team. He also writes occasionally about the NHL for Habs Eyes on the Prize. You can find him on Twitter or on the ice at McConnell Arena.