This just in: Detroit’s power play is pretty good


Last night with the help of my 3-year-old son Charlie, I spent some time studying the Red Wings’ power play and trying to understand what makes it so effective (actually, I was the only one studying. Charlie was just jumping on the couch and putting off his bedtime).

The simple conclusion I came to is they’re a great team with a lot of great players.

The more complicated conclusion has to do with quick, instinctive puck movement.


Bear in mind the advantages of moving the puck around so quickly in the zone is not just because you can catch the penalty-killers out of position and open up a shooting lane. It’s also because you’re able to tire those penalty killers out.

Think back to the Rangers’ Game 3 loss at the Garden, when they came painfully close to killing off Ryan Hollweg’s brain camp boarding penalty, but instead gave up a goal to Evgeni Malkin with mere seconds remaining. Both the Penguins and the Rangers were clearly exhausted at the end of that power play, but it’s obviously a lot easier when you’re the one passing the puck around than when you’re the one chasing it.

So the Penguins scored, and the Rangers lost, and now it sounds like much of the focus heading into free agency will be in securing some sort of power play quarterback.

As it should be. Because even if Jaromir Jagr returns next year, the Rangers need someone who is going to not only move puck up ice swiftly, but also provide another option beyond No. 68 set up on the half boards.

Because right now, you, me, everyone on the opposing team, and the guys who drive the Zambonis know what the Rangers are trying to do on their man-advantage.


And speaking of the power play…

As we first mentioned a few weeks ago, “Rangers assistant Perry Pearn is a natural candidate for the vacant Panthers head coaching job”: given not only his league-wide reputation, but also his close ties to GM Jacques Martin.

Pearn was an assistant under Martin for several years in Ottawa, which may make him the leading man for the job. But there are others in the running, including Pat Quinn and perhaps the recently-fired Paul Maurice.

About Author


  1. Toronto’s failures were not Maurice’s doing. I think that Fletcher understands that. But in order for the Leafs to right their ship, they need to start with a whole new game-plan. And that had to start there.

    Maurice is probably the best unemployed head coach out there. Excluding Burns or Bowman. But I don’t think either will coach again.

  2. I hate that in the “New NHL” so many penalties are called in the first place. The game needs to be decided 5 on 5…I think you said that yourself, Sam. Putting Dallas down 2 men almost immediately last night severely reduced their chances of winning that game before they could even get their legs beneath them. 5 on 3’s should only be awarded if the 2nd penalty is egregious.

    That said, yes, Detroit’s power play is fantastic, as is Pittsburgh’s. But if that ends up being the Stanley Cup Finals matchup, I’d rather see it decided 5 on 5 than by special teams.

  3. Detroit just looks really good. I really think they will win the Cup this year. I think no matter who they face in the finals that they will win. I think they are going to beat Dallas in 5.

  4. Well, I think we’ve all pretty much been saying all year that the Rangers’ PP either needed to start firing pucks to the net and go to the net OR, if they’re going to insist on going for backdoor slam dunks and the like, then really get the puck moving quickly. Every single guy on the Rangers’ PP stops and looks, which gives every single guy on the defense time to get into position and take a breath. Of course that never worked. Never was clear to me if that was a problem with certain players’ lack of ability or if it was a coaching thing. Either way, it seems much easier to fix than it probably is.

  5. Tony from AZ on

    Does Pearn handle the PP ? If he goes I hope the new guy has a different approach to the man advantage because the one we have now is not working.
    Imagine if we had a decent PP in game 3 with the Pens !

  6. It would be nice to see some guys move on our PP. It’s one thing to move the puck, it’s quite another to rotate effectively and commit penalty killers to opening lanes. Detroit does it so well, as does Dallas. I actually expect a great series out of those two teams, regardless of last night’s result.

  7. reginald dunlop on

    I really dont think that Paul and Jack know whats going on the powerplay and I am definite Al has no clue… which zamboni drivers are you talking about?????

  8. I’d love to see Mess take as assistant coaching gig… Could you imagine having somebody with the 2nd most points ever showing you how to play on the PP? You KNOW all those young guys would listen to the Moose.

  9. Tony from AZ on

    I would like to apply for the job as assist coach !
    I’ve been coaching the team all season from my couch, but no one listens to me. I need to be on the bench. Where do I go to sign up.

  10. Forget about that stuff!

    who I want to hear from is that guy that chewed me out for blasting the “genius” trap-master Ron Wilson when I suggested during reg season that he was holding back an offense jagernaut…and that Sharks would never win(play for cup) with him as coach

    Who was the guy that defended that trap-master?

    Comrade Spider…that wasn’t you was it????

  11. Let’s say Pearn leaves, who takes his place?


    Better question: Let’s say Pearn doesn’t take the FLA job… are will kicking him out?

    *We obviously need to, does the brass have it in them to boot him?*

  12. I read an article linked from that quoted Pearn a bunch. The way it sounded was that it was only a matter of time till he heads south. And that the only reason he wasn’t there in ’04, was the…MOOLAH DOOLAH.

  13. Jeever, in my experience, former superstars rarely make good coaches. It’s tough–and sometimes impossible–for them not to grow frustrated with the average player being unable to do what they were able to with ease.

  14. Sam, I was also studying that same aspect last night as well as in previous series match ups. What I’ve deduced is this: Lots of movement both down low and up the half boards, quick FIRM passes, at times even between 2 guys 10′ apart repeatedly until someone else opens up. The key to this is that the other guys keep moving, creating openings. Nobody lobs a pass; even the setup passes for one timers are quick and firm. That’s something the Rangers don’t do well. They constantly lob soft setup passes to the points. Even if these passes aren’t picked off it gives the defenders time to move in the shooting lanes. Lastly the Wings ALWAYS had someone in the goalie’s face. Everyone of those PP goals were screen shots.
    OK so what’s the job pay…..I’m available.

  15. Tony from AZ on

    NICDIP94 – too late, the job is mine.
    I’ve been saying since the day ice was invented that we need some one screening the goalie . ALL THE TIME !
    I need a new suit, I’m going to look good behind the bench !

  16. Who Needs Lohan on

    Yeah Beer Me is right. Instead we have to get it to the big fella, let him hold it long enough so that 4 guys can easily cover 5, then try to make a saucer pass across that gets deflected and then sent back down our end. Rinse, Lather, and Repeat.

    Again, worse thing that can happen to this team is Jagr returning. New direction folks, its a necessity!

  17. Tony, don’t forget some snappy looking ties for that new suit. I would suggest Armoni-hand painted. They would look best for those between period interviews.

  18. letting Rozisval go and putting Staal on the point is going to do more to help the powerplay then any free agent they could pick up.

  19. I gotta agree with Chris F above, if Perry Pearn wants the Florida job I’ll drive him to the airport. Let’s get someone in here who can do a better job with the power play already! And I totally agree with you Sam, there has to be a better option on the PP other than watching Jagr pass the puck back and forth with Straka and Rozsival from the half boards. I’VE HAD IT WITH THAT ALREADY!

  20. Nobody ever mentions that freddy guy we got from Phoenix when planning next years team. Why?

    To me….he takes Avery’s place if he walks…tough guy, speed, goes to net…seems to have “some” scoring touch..he’s know Heatley…but he’s no Hollweg either

    Nothing against Jagr…but I tend to agree with the Beerme mantra…”Time for as new direction”

  21. Rob, I agree with you to a point. But we still need a Dman who can hit the net consistantly with his point shot. Right now only Mara does that.

  22. I meant he’s “no” Heatley although he may very well “Know” Heatley

  23. Tony from AZ on

    I’m not too worried about Jagr coming back. He’s all about $money$. Sather is nuts to resign him. If we pay him what he wants , say good bye to any decent UFAs.
    I agree with all – we need a different direction – and a new Captain.

  24. Kaspar – It wasn’t me, since I don’t know enough about the Sharks, though I may have said it would be unfair to say they wouldn’t win anything.

  25. I’m with you guys that are looking to change direction without JJ. He’s a great player and still has it over a lot of guys. But I just don’t care for his “fit” with the younger core we are looking at now. He can be a good mentor for Dubi and others, but I don’t see spending 4, 5 or 6 million for a menter. Let’s get players to work with Gomer, Drury and help the PP

  26. The Rangers power play is simple to fix; put Dawes out there to make his crafty passes, and have Callahan/Drury/Avery/Byers park their butts in front of the goalie and shoot bombs from the point. I’d really like the Rangers to go after that Ron Hainsney dude from CBJ. He’s from CT and looks like he can be a cheap replacment for Roszival, so that way they can sign an Orpik or Commodore and get nastier. Say no to Lilles.

  27. MikeA

    Why no Liles?????? I didnt see too much of him..whats wrong??
    Did you see Commodore play with Sens? He was a statue with a Growl on his face

  28. Shanahan would be willing to sign for cheaper and would be a better mentor. Even though he looked bad at the end of the season, he still scored a bunch of points and could rocket shots from the point on the power play, especially five on three. He doesn’t have to be the focus either. I’m not sure where would be the best place to play him at even strength, though. I’m thinking Drury might move to left wing on Gomez’s line but still take faceoffs, so Dubinsky can be the second center and both $7 million guys can be on the top line. That opens up a third line center spot for Korpikoski, Anisimov, or Moore, where Shanahan could play with one of them, putting Dawes and Callahan on Dubinsky’s line and Prucha on the first line, unless we sign someone (which we hopefully do), then he will be on the third line, or possibly bump Callahan down. Then Avery still has to fit in somewhere, since he will hopefully be here. After a few days to think about this, I think that would be our best plan for the future, whether it works this season or not, but we have the goalie that could get us into the playoffs in any given season.

  29. Anyone feel like me???

    Avery needs New York almost more than NYR needs him

  30. In all fairness to Pearn, it’s the players not listening to him on how to do a PP that is the problem. Whoever it is that doesn’t hold the players accountable when they aren’t producing on the PP is the head coach’s job in my opinion. No matter how many times it failed, Renney kept putting the same players out there expecting different results.

  31. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    Spiderpig, its insulting for you to even hint that Shanahan was good at the start of the season. He’s washed up. Face it. Let him try elsewhere. If rather use the money on someone who can at least somewhat play and give the extra time to a kid to develop.

  32. Tony from AZ on

    Kaspar, I agree. Avery thrives on being in New York. He loses his glamour outside NYC. Ya think Vogue has a office in Bum F$%# Egypt ??

  33. shanny firing shots from the point on 5-3s was part of the problem. Unless you have malkin or ovechikin on the point it is a waste to shoot from the point on a 5 on 3. should be able to work it down low for an easy tap in goal. our pp was so predictable but never more so than when jagr and shanny were on the points.

  34. onecupin67years on

    Just as well the Rangers lost to the Pens.. Detroit looks unstoppable. You got to give the wings credit,they turned the franchise around in the early 90’s and have been consistently good to great to date. Osgood is an average goalie ,not a standout like Brodeur or Lundqvist ,but makes the huge stop and keeps the wings in the game,their scouting is great with the players they sign. Zetterberg a 7th round draft choice as an example. The don’t seem to overspend with the F/A and they don’t belong to the aging dinosaur collector club.

  35. It’s right about now – as I watch Pitt mow over Philly – that I start really getting annoyed that the Rangers were bounced. It really all goes back to that 3-0 lead, Rangers well on their way to stealing game one and the momentum of the series, and then Roszival makes that atrocious play by first turning the puck over at the blueline and then watching the puck go in off his body. And from there Pitt rode the momentum to a 2-0 lead in games. Both of those could have gone either way, but the Rangers needed to make it their business to get the first one. Games 3 and 4 were clear wins for either team, and obviously 5 went to OT.

    Maybe its just me, but why does it feel like these last 2 years I can point to the exact spot where the breakdown occurred that cost the team a shot at advancing? I guess if they really deserved to advance, it wouldn’t actually come down to one play. Or would it?

  36. And by the way onecup, I am not at all of the mind that if you don’t win it doesn’t matter when you go home. I’d much rather win the Conference and play until June than bow out early. So it isn’t “just as well we lost to Pittsburgh.”

  37. czechthemout!!!!! on


    You are a duurak!Just look a record with Avery and no Avery!
    Vodka oo teybya v galavhey!

  38. onecupin67years on

    Peter-if your disappointed now imagine the let down in a cup loss..its unbearable ..
    The Rangers are stuck in that round 2 tier,some teams have the fairy dust and overachieve and get to the finals ,but the rangers seldom get that far.

  39. Love Shanny but he’s done. Total waste of a roster space to re-sign him. Hopefully Shanny sees the light and retires.

  40. guys check this out…histerical its from Wikipedia…

    “Metallurg Magnitogorsk is an ice hockey team based in Magnitogorsk, playing in the Russian Hockey Super League. Evgeni Malkin, recently signed by the Pittsburgh Penguins, used to play for the club.

    Magnitogorsk has recently been included in the top 25 Worst Polluted Cities by a survey carried out by the Blacksmith Institute. Pollutants include lead, sulfur dioxide, heavy metals and other air pollutants. According to the local hospital, only 1% of all children living in the city are in good health. The local newspaper refers to 72% of children born in the city that are ill, while only 27% had healthy mothers.”

  41. I personally think there needs to be coaching and player changes. I know it won’t happen because Renney has made the playoffs the last three seasons, but if it wasn’t for Avery coming here last season and their turnaround this season the Rangers would have been dead in the water both seasons.

    I think Renney plays not-to-lose, and it bothers the heck out of me.

    Our power play is pathetic.

    We have stretches during the season where we look like the worst team in the league and then we have stretches where we look like the best team in the league, there’s no consistency.

    We don’t score any goals.

    Do I think he’s a good guy? yeah, do I think the players respect him? Yes, but sometimes I feel he is too easy on his players when they’re not performing and because of it I think the team lacks an edge, we’re too easy to play against.

    I think the guy develops players very well and has a good eye for talent. We need to develop more and more and more talent, we need to develop Cheraponov, Anisemov, Moore, Sanguetti, Sauer and then bring in a coach who can kick some guys in the a$$, not kiss their a$$.

    Too much coddling here in NYC. Benching Malik, the fans whipping boy, is not being tough.

  42. True Fans Bleed RW&B on

    I hope Rozsival goes to play in that city or even gets a roster spot with the Chernobyl Checkers. Lol. Replacing him wouldve been the single largest improvement the team could have made this past season. A defensive player with a heavy shot would have scared the pens with some hitting(like panzy ass Girardi tried) and also gotten some shots through to Fleury. LET ROZY GO!

  43. Players I’d look at signing:

    Always liked Chris Gratton, doesn’t score a lot of goals, but can fight, is big, seems to stay healthy and may fit in well with a defensive system. Would be my replacement for Hollwegg who I think has played his last games in NYC can also play center.

    Marcus Naslund – 34 years old, getting a bit older, but could be a replacement for Straka on the left side. Has speed and might need a change of scenery from VC. Also is Swedish.

    Andrew Brunette- another left wing that has great hands and can play around the net.

    Dan Cleary – right wing to replace Shanahan – younger, tough and can score – but will he leave Detroit? If overed money he could.

    defense –

    Mark Streit – Montreal – 3rd amongst defenseman in the NHL regular season scoring

    Wade Redden – solid veteran defenseman who can skate and score.

    I would re-sign Mara. Let Rozival and Malik go.

    Mara, Streit/Redden, Staal, Toots (tradeable), Sauer, Strudwick, Backman, Girardi

    Streit/ Staal

    If the Rangers let their captain go, then who replaces him on the right side? This may hurt or help the UFA signings. But I would throw some cash at Streit.

  44. Give me a break with Messier as an assistant coach. He was a great player in his first stint, let’s leave it at that and not tarnish the memories any further.

    Besides, Messier’s personality will never allow him to be “assistant” anything. Just because he was good doesn’t mean he can teach it.

    Why hasn’t Gretzky taught Radim Vrbata to score 92 goals yet?

  45. PETE – I agree somewhat on your 5-on-3 assessment but I do remember Jagr scoring quite a number of those from the top of the circles the last 2 years.

    But you’re right, that’s all they do. They don’t move it around down low at all to even mix it up. If you watch Philly at all you’ve seen Briere wide open at the far post for a tap in. It seems like he scores one of those every freaking game. No reason the right handed Drury cant take feeds from Gomez (or another lefty) across the slot like that for slam dunks.

  46. If Messier becomes assistant coach he’ll cry during the national anthem and lose his focus.

  47. onecupin67years on

    Any rumor to the truth of renney in the running for the panther job? His laid back persons and AARP sedated personalty
    are a perfect fit. Pregame dinner at 4:30 pm after a round of golf ,a glass of Tang and off to the arena.

  48. Hey Sam,
    Do you know if anyone talked to Marc Staal about his second round and playing against his brother and all that? I think that would be interesting stuff.

  49. Renney is not leaving the Rangers, Pearn is up for the job in Florida, and if he leaves i say we get Shanny to be the assistant coach.

  50. Kaspar-

    You are a duurak!Just look a record with Avery and no Avery!
    Vodka oo teybya v galavhey!


    Hey Ctm
    The Vodka thing sounds good to me ( I just hope that it doesn’t mean Vodka and a pitbull on my ankle when I order it)

    I fully agree with the fact that Rangers are better with him; that record you point out…but…what was Avery’s won-loss record before joining Rangers…and I said “almost as much”…I fully hope both sides see that they are better for and with each other than apart..(Kaspar is big Avery fan)

    also, Duurak did not translate in Babel translater….help me here

  51. reginald dunlop on

    he slashed him in his oversized chest protector……probably didnt even feel it but went down like he got tasered…..ha ha……….sad thing is the league will suspend him but didnt suspend malkin’s slew foots which are just as dangerous as any hockey player will tell you, falling backwards without any defence from the ice is much scarier and potentially could be a much more dangerous play….but we will see another example of the inconsistency of the league’s punishment department

  52. Zipay asks the question of who would replace Pearn as well. He brought up the name Ken Gernander. That’s actually not a bad idea at all. At this point he’s coached or may have even played with 1/2 the team! There are plenty of options out there. Good luck in your interviews Pearn! We’re all pulling for you to get the F*ck out of…I mean, we all hope you get the job.

  53. I just can’t wait for free agency. This year will really determine where our team is headed. It can either take us to the next level, or set us a year two behind. I just hope they realize that what we have now doesn’t work. So I hope they take that into consideration when thinking of resigning our lame, non physical defensmen. Mara is the one i resign, and look for a cheaper option for rosival. Struds is nice in a backup role and get rid of Backman. Don’t know how, but do it.

  54. Prucha25

    I watched on HNIC and oh my god! They show the replay 6 times and nobody mentions the Osgood butt-end!! Even when they interviewed the jerk…I have no love for Dallas but this “flavor of the month” worship of teams like Pitt and Det is getting on my nerves…where they compliment them both as if they’ve both won the last 3 cups….Pitt has won nothing and aren’t these the same Wings who lost to Edmonton and Anahiem the last two years….fair and balanced reporting??

  55. goal Crosby…. assist to the NHL and Gary Buttman.

    What a joke these games have become…. you used to have to run through a wall to win the Cup, now all you have to do is dive and have some young superstar on your team.

  56. wow that so was not a penalty atleast its wasn’t just the rangers the refs made bad calls on

  57. hey guys right now the rangers are the only team to beat the pens at least ONCE

  58. its embarrassing how the league is handling the whole Market Crosby Idea, by the way when someone is in Europe they hear New York not crosby every second

  59. reginald dunlop on

    league finally did something right and didnt suspend ribeiro, just fined the both of them big………now if they just started to watch malkin………dirty shot on briere tonight knocked him woozy…horrible call on hatcher, that is called defense….I guess in the new nhl you have to vacate your area and let player to the net, in the nba its called position defense and doesnt get a foul in a foul happy league……nhl has become worse than nba…..these games are brutally boring with philly and dallas afraid to hit because of penalties…….zzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzzz

  60. What do ya think we can get for toots and prucha? Those two gotta go.As does rozy and hollwegg.also throw in one one of our young wingers and get get some size and grit…….

    Anyone out there wanna make a deal?

  61. Young Radical on

    Personally, I can’t stand overrated Detroit and their cheap-shotting goalie. Go Penguins, sweep these clowns!

Leave A Reply