As of article post time, there are no updates. Lines are projected from Daily Faceoff
Red Wings Lineup
Mathias Brome - Dylan Larkin - Tyler Bertuzzi
- Luke Glendening - Anthony Mantha - Vadislav Namestnikov - Bobby Ryan
Valtteri Filppula - Taro Hirose - Darren Helm
Michael Rasmussen - Luke Glendening - Givani Smith
Filip Hronek - Patrik Nemeth
Danny Dekesyer - Christian Djoos
Marc Staal - Troy Stecher
Carter Verhaeghe - Aleksander Barkov - Anthony Duclair
Jonathan Huberdeau - Alexander Wennberg - Patric Hornqvist
Frank Vatrano - Eetu Luostarinen - Brett Connolly
Vinnie Hinostroza - Noel Acciari - Gustav Forslin
Mackenzie Weegar - Aaron Ekblad
Markus Nutivarara - Anton Stralman
Keith Yandle - Radko Gudas
Keys to the Game
Key One: PP Zone Entries
A lot of what is wrong with the power play is what was wrong two seasons ago when I wrote the weekly power play series. That’s pretty frustrating, to put it mildly. I will have to re-watch more closely, but it seems like they are not changing up their zone entries to match the forechecking scheme by the PK. I know everyone hates the drop pass, but that’s because they don’t execute it properly. A player like Dylan Larkin is the archetype of the player to receive the drop pass and carry it into the zone.
The drop pass entry works if you don’t do it every time and you make the defense freeze at the blue line before you drop it back. Detroit typically doesn’t do that. Even with Fabbri and Zadina out because of COVID protocol, they have the players to execute consistent zone entries in multiple ways.
Key Two: PP Zone time
While it seems like each game the Red Wings invent new ways to fail on the power play, the issues are pretty simple. When a player has the puck, they need to have multiple options so the defense doesn’t know exactly what’s coming next. The players off the puck need to be moving more than they are to open up passing lanes for the player with the puck. The one timer from the circles works if the defense and goalie are moving. That only happens if the players and puck are in motion much more than they are. Also not to beat a dead horse, but if you want that half-boards one-timer to be dangerous, you need one-time options on both sides of the ice, which Detroit hasn’t been employing most of the time.
Key Three: Remember Thomas
While he was a net negative for Detroit at 5v5, Thomas Vanek was immensely helpful to the power play during his time here. One of the things he did that we have been missing is set up below the goal line. Every time they did it two seasons ago, it was effective, which means it’s baffling to me why they don’t do it more often. He was awesome at the modern NHL net front 5v4 position. It’s no longer a static screen. That player needs to be almost constantly in motion, moving out to the side or behind the net to open up one-touch passing lanes.
If you’re interested in reading more about this, I want to put together an article with video to show all of this, assuming I have the time to do so.