breakouts. seems like we have trouble getting it into the zone. legwand is the only one consistently capable of this. dmen seem nervous during breakouts and just make blunders.
but that's really only half the problem, because we do make it into the zone eventually. unlike what half the crowd yells during a pp, its not shots, necessarily. taking blind shots increases the chance of it being blocked, which you really don't want during a pp. you want the shot you make to count, because chances are, you won't get the puck back after you shoot it.
we're lacking creativity. guys like suter and hammer are just not as good as puck movers as kimmo and weber (now that he's back i think our pp should improve). unfortunately creativity is not something you can really teach. it just seems like we pass the puck to each other along the boards and never create any lanes down the middle.
it also seems like we turn down the intensity when we go on the pp. it's like we concentrate a little too hard, over think things and blow it. for this i blame the coaching. if we remain chill and lax out there, the pkers will be relaxed and won't make any mistakes. that's really what a good pp is about. forcing your opponent to make a mistake. if we go at it full blown it will put the defence on their heels and make them frantic.
One problem is that we don't have good off the puck movement. Then if we do manage to have the movement that will unbalance the defense we don't have the communication to find the open man. I think some of this is due to the mish/mash lines that we use on the PP. The Arrnot line should be perfect for the PP using a cycle to get set up behind the net and open up the slot. Then if you put Bonk out with Legwand and Radu you should get some goals.
We all thought it was that Horacek was the problem. Now that Peterson is running it, no improvement....so it is either their visions are too similair or coaching really isn't the problem.
I think their are a number of things going on.
First, we didn't have a legitimate point shot for the first 18 games until Weber came back. Since he has come back, his timing isn't quite there yet, he is only getting 2nd unit time, and when he does get out there, it seems that the whole unit is passing it around to get him the one timer almost exclusively, and the PK knowing this is rotating to cover it. Before Weber came back, they basically knew their was no shot coming from the point, therefore the lanes between the forewards and D weren't opening up.
Second, we have had definite troube getting it in the zone. 303 and I used to laugh that the the first 1:35 was always spent getting it chipped back into our zone until the last 20 seconds when total chaos ensues, and we somehow garbage in a goal during a scrum in front of the net. Erat and Legwand have been doing better lately. They have added a wrinkle on the breakout that they are passing d to d up the ice then back to Legwand or Erat with speed and they are getting into the zone better. It is hard for us to really chip it in and retrieve it because Erat is the only one [and Arnott occasionally when he decides to] that are strong enough on the puck to go get it out of the corners. Our good corner muckers Ortmeyer, Fiddler, and Smithson don't see any PP time [thank God]. Bonk is doing some work there, and Bambi is getting better at it, though.
Third, our net presence is poor. Bonk is getting better at it, but he is doing something he has rarely been asked to do in the past. Arnott refuses to do it, and is frankly much more effective at the dot for that quick hard shot of his. We miss Hartnell out there doing it, I am loathe to say, as I don't miss him in any other capacity.
Fourth, Marek Zidlicky is not the PP quarterback that they envisioned he would be when they let Kimmo get away. His hockey sense isn't near what Kimmo's was, although his stick skills are better, they get him in trouble more than they seem to create the amazing play.
Fifth, we have a very stationary PP. Other teams have much more North-South flow to there man advantage. And since the PP is all about isolating 2 on 1s, it is much easier to defend our PP than one that is in perpetual motion in and out, not just moving the puck peripherally to stationary guys, hoping to create passing lanes with puck movement alone.
Lastly, we haven't figured out where to use Radulov. He played the halfboard in juniors. We tried him in front of the net, and he is not strong enough on his skates [but he is getting better]. Lately he has been playing down low, but that takes him away from darting in and out, and his is still not strong enough on the puck to cycle reliably. He really doesn't need to be on the halfboards as his forte is finishing not distributing, although he would be dangerous to shoot when driving off the wall and the d would have to respect that, which they really don't with Legwand and Erat.
Maybe he just needs to play weakside....I don't really know.
Maybe we need to utilize more of an umbrella set....but it is hard to do with only one legitimate cannon from the point.
So in summary to all this rambling....I think the problem is multifactorial. We don't have the ideal role players for an ideal PP, but with Weber, Dumont, Arnott, and Radulov's skill we should do better than we do.
I think handtrick's analysis is good-- the biggest factor I see is the lack of movement. We are making it way too easy on the PK unit. When you watch a successful PP guys are circulating much more thoroughly, even the guy in front of the net keeps going to periodically block the goalie from a different point. Without lots of traffic obscuring his view, it is too easy for the goalie to guess when the shot is coming. We also are not getting enough deflections, and we need more quick wristers thrown in, not just low hard slapshots (although they are more effective, again we become predictable).