As it so often does, it was a contributing factor in Wednesday night's loss to the Detroit Red Wings.
In the regular season, the Coyotes ranked just 23rd in the league in their rate of success with the man advantage. Of the seven teams that ranked below them, just two are in the postseason, with one of them (Pittsburgh) spending the second half of their season without a guy named Sidney Crosby.
On Wednesday, the Coyotes went 0-for-6 on power play opportunities, which actually looked more like Detroit was either at full strength or running a power play of their own, it was that bad. That's a heavy part of the reason the Coyotes ended up dropping the game 4-2, despite a torrid start to the game.
Sure, Ilya Bryzgalov was a bit shaky in his first postseason outing of the season. Yes, the Coyotes were outplayed a bit on the physical side of things.
But not being able to jump on some bad penalties taken on the Detroit side ended up dooming the Coyotes and dropping them into this 0-1 hole they now find themselves in.
Success on the power play, or lack of, can swing a game dramatically in one direction or the other. Phoenix found out the downside of not being able to convert the power play, especially against a formidable opponent like Detroit. If the Coyotes want to rebound and strike back against the well-oiled machine that is the Detroit Red Wings, it's going to start when the first guy in a red sweater heads to the sin bin on Saturday morning/afternoon.