I'm going to start posting some new topics over here every now and then. Hockey's my sport, and I wanted to spark some discussion get to know you guys a little better.
This past weekend was the first time we've scored multiple power play goals in back-to-back games in the same series this season. The team still has some work to do when they're up a man. The PP is clicking at nearly 19%; it ranks only 23rd in the country. But the improvement is noticeable. Anything's better than going o-fer, which was basically the first half of the season. In fact, the unit was actually giving up goals shorthanded.
An observation: in the late 90's and early 00's, when the Wolverines had some of their more elite teams, they possessed power plays which were some of the nation's best. And it was a little bit of cycling that led to their success. Red would commonly have his teams rotate players off the half-wall, where one guy would leave the puck for the teammate he was trading "spaces" with. The Wolverines would move the puck from high-to-low, forcing the defense to suck in and form a tighter box down low. This would create opportunities for a point shot. The defensemen would regularly capitalize on slapshots from the point.
It's small improvement, but I've been noticing that with renewed confidence, skill, and spacing, they're started running similar motion like this on the PP. In both the FSU and NMU series, each PP unit would run that action, rotating a forward off the half wall, leaving the puck, and eventually making a pass to the defenseman. Phil is good at drawing the attention of the defense with his passing. And on some occasions the last few games, Trouba, Bennett, etc. have made the opposition pay by scoring goals.
So, those are my thoughts on the power play. Feel free to add any thoughts you guys have.
This post was edited on 3/10 10:35 PM by GeoffChiles
3/10 9:43 PM | IP: Logged
It appears they have changed up the PP formation.
In the past, they over pass looking for the perfect play. They need to shoot more from the point when positioned in between the faceoff dots.
3/12 10:53 AM | IP: Logged
I did not see an interview, but during one of the televised games in the Ferris State series, the TV announcers were talking about it.
3/12 12:18 PM | IP: Logged
That was probably where I heard it. I looked at the other places it could have been and didn't find it and I know it was fairly recent.
This post was edited on 3/12 3:03 PM by redbeard09
3/12 3:03 PM | IP: Logged
Billy Powers did an interview recently where he talked about how they had changed the way they were practicing power plays.They are focusing on individual skills that go into a good power play instead of doing 2 minutes of 5 on 4.He feels that is working much better on building the muscle memory to do the skill at game speed.
3/11 7:24 PM | IP: Logged
I think the individual skills part is the key part. You can see a general improvement of the team cycling the puck- assuming that what we saw against Northern and Ferris was representative- during even strenght play. So with the fowards already getting into the motion thing- the natual movement of the players during the PP picked up a lot. The comfort with the puck, the speed that they pass it, the better knowledge of where others will be- it's all coming together.
Now it's a matter of just better shooting. Or, more correctly, a few players "fixing" their fight with the puck- most noteably Trieas and Moffie. Poor guys are really fighting it right now. Both are clearly making better decisions, both are playing both ends well- but both just seem to be not able to keep the puck at the end of their stick, and make sure all of their passes and shots are spot on.... Hope they can get over it. Can you imagine having both Trieas and Trouba being able to bomb the puck on net??? It's bad enough for the opposition to KNOW Trouba is going to get a long shot, and be able to do nothing.
3/12 8:36 AM | IP: Logged
These are all good observations but I think the biggest thing is finally getting guys - particular our bigger players - committing to fighting for position in front of the net and in the slot on the PP. In recent games we have seen Guptil, Copp, K Lynch and Moffat scoring rebound or garbage goals from the net front or slot on PPs. For much of the year (and last year), our PP consisted of guys prettily passing the puck around the perimeter without anyone getting themselves positioned into the prime scoring areas.
3/11 4:50 PM | IP: Logged
I agree. Specifically for me, it's been a combination of Guptill, Copp, and DeBlois at different times. They've been going harder to the net than anyone, and they've been getting rewarded for their efforts.