Defensive Strategy vs. Habs Power Play/Souray and Kovalev
Our PP has been doing very well, mainly thanks to Souray's impossible to stop one-timers from the right point.
Ottawa's strategy vs. Habs power play Tuesday was obvious, they had their two forwards playing very close to our point men to prevent Souray from unleashing any of his lethal shots.
This strategy was quite effective as our power play did nothing and Souray was not allowed any dangerous shots and even had a couple blocked which almost turned into Ottawa breakaways.
Hockey is about adjustments and I'm curious to see how Carbo will adjust to this one!
My solution, give Kovalev more PP time on RW.
Right now, as we use regular lines on the PP, Kovy gets only 2nd unit time on the PP, which frankly I don't know how we can afford to keep our best offensive weapon on the bench during the first minute and a half of our PP, it is not as we are an NHL offensive firepower loaded with other offensive guns!
Kovy controls the game and is lethal on the right boards on the PP. If the defensive forward on his side tries to check him, he makes a perfect pass to the right point man who can easily one-time it.
If the defensive forward checks the point man too closely, Kovy smoothly skates into the slot and unleashes his deadly wrist shot.
Let's see how Carbo adjusts tonight, as we need our power play going to beat the 'Canes.
Since Kovalev is our second center, I am not sure I would like him to play on Koivu's unit. Carbonneau doesn't always put Koivu-Higgins-Ryder first, it depends on who's fresh and ready to go.
I would like to see Rivet replaced by either Ninnimaa or possibly Kovalev on the point. Maybe even Bonk, who would make a good second option for faceoffs.
I think the tactical adjustments have to be about reacting to the defense. If the defending forwards press Souray, that creates space down low, so he should simply pass instead of shooting ins somebody's legs. We have plenty of talent, we don't need to only rely on Souray. If the PK overdefends Souray, he is valuable because of the space he creates for the others.