Our PP = early PO exit
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03-08-2012, 01:07 AM
Join Date: Jan 2010
The problem is structure and philosophy.
Its quite simple and very embarrassing that Sullivan and Tortorella don't realize this.
Every single PP, if we do manage to get control of the puck in their zone, we immediately send a guy to park his ass in front of the net. He doesn't move. He just stays there. All that does is turn a 5 on 4 into a 4 on 4 plus one guy standing in front of the goalie. He's not a legit passing option because he's right on top of the crease. (note: this guy is usually Callahan on the first unit). We have just forfeited the entire advantage of having the powerplay. The defenders don't need to cover him. They don't have to worry about him until/unless a shot actually gets through and there's a rebound sitting there.
Solution: DON'T AUTOMATICALLY PARK A PLAYER IN FRONT OF THE NET. Two of the low forwards need to swing in and out of the slot. Criss-cross. Weave. Rotate as the puck moves from high to low. Slide into the high slot when the puck goes from the point down to the half-wall. It's not about being in front of the net. It's about WHEN YOU ARRIVE THERE.
Because of this, other teams easily pressure us because it's really just a 4 on 4. We don't take advantage of the extra man. It's that simple and that incredibly pathetic that Sullivan still has a job.
There are other problems with the PP as well, such as Gaborik not being a good half-wall player, and Del Zotto refusing to shoot, but the aforementioned flaw is the main reason why our powerplay isnt even close to being AVERAGE. This is simply unacceptable. Do they honestly practice the powerplay during practice and think they're doing good work? It's truly baffling how incompetent this one aspect of coaching has been for two full years now.
In my opinion, Gaborik should play one of the points, or be one of the low forwards sliding in and out through the seams in the slot, while Richards should be in Gabby's current spot on the half-wall so he can actually distribute the puck to Gaborik as he's finding the open lane. Richards has fewer creative options from the point. If he's on the half-wall, he can go down low, back to one of the point men, or through the middle if Gaborik and whoever else's rotation/cutting opens up that center seam.
Stepan and Richards should be opposite eachother on the half-walls. Let Gaborik slide and juke through the high slot / down low / etc. Del Zotto at one point, and Girardi/Staal/Stralman at the other. It's not a necessity to have 4 forwards on a PP unit, but you'd think it was a new NHL rule if you've watched the rangers this year.
The 2nd powerplay unit can be
Callahan and Dubinsky opposite eachother on the half-walls, with Hagelin sliding in and out of space through the opening seams. McDonagh at one point and Staal/Girardi/Stralman at the other.
It's not rocket science. Watch any good teams powerplay. They don't just rush to park a guy in front of the goalie for 2 minutes. That does nothing but eliminate the extra man. They have constant movement and rotation through the slot to confuse defenders and constantly change who the OPEN MAN is while the puck movement simultaneously changes the point of attack.
Anyone have Sullvan's email address?
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