Tag Archives: power play

Babcock puts Nyquist back on the top power play unit

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings practice Tuesday at Joe Louis Arena before they fly out to Washington for a game against the Capitals Wednesday.

Wings coach Mike Babcock kept the same lines together he ended with in the loss to the Philadelphia Flyers on Saturday.

Babcock wouldn’t confirm after if that would be the lineup he would be going with or not Wednesday.

Jimmy Howard did say he was starting in goal.

Johan Franzen (groin), Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary each skated in gray.

The Wings made one minor change to the power play, moving Gustav Nyquist back up with the top unit and Tomas Jurco moved to the second group.

“We changed it back, just trying to switch things around,” Nyquist said. “We haven’t been scoring. My jobs are a little different on both units. Now I’m with Hank and Pav and I’m going to be the guy in the middle, trying to retrieve a lot of pucks and get the puck back to those guys for them to make plays and obviously be ready to shoot when I get in the middle.”

Babcock had moved Nyquist down with Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Andrej Nestrasil and Danny DeKeyser so he would be able to shoot the puck more.

“We all have to have different jobs on the power play, obviously, but we want to work together at the same time,” Nyquist said. “As a power play we can be interchangeable and stuff like that so right now we’re just trying to find a way to score goals ’cause we haven’t done that so hopefully it starts tomorrow.

“We’ve had a lot of chances but we’re still not getting the puck obviously in the net,” Nyquist added. “It would be nice to get one here soon, to get things going. I think we have two really good groups with a lot of skill and I think a lot of players can put the puck in the net on those two units so it should be working.”

The Wings’ power play is just 2-for-30 this season.

“But when you’re scrambling sometimes you do things,” Babcock said. “I thought it was a real good idea we took (Nyquist) away and then we haven’t got anything to go. We’ve got to attack the net so I just thought those are the guys that have been scoring for us. We put them in scoring positions and see what happens.”

Wings’ top penalty kill matches up against the Peguins’ top power play

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ morning skate Thursday prior to their game tonight against the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Coach Mike Babcock will go with the same lineup as he had Tuesday in Montreal which means Stephen Weiss, Daniel Cleary and Brian Lashoff are healthy scratches.

Jimmy Howard will start in goal.

Babcock did switch a forward on the power play units.

Tomas Jurco will play on the top unit with Henrik Zetterberg, Pavel Datsyuk, Darren Helm and Niklas Kronwall, while Gustav Nyquist will play on the second group with Riley Sheahan, Tomas Tatar, Andrej Nestrasil and Danny DeKeyser.

“We want Gus to have more touches and whenever he plays with those guys he never gets the puck,” Babcock said. “We think having him with Tats and Sheahan that gives him more opportunity to have the puck.”

Nyquist has both of the Wings’ goals this season on the power play.

The Wings’ penalty kill, which has yet to allow a goal, faces the league’s top power play.

The Penguins have scored eight goals on 19 chances with the man advantage.

“The key to tonight is don’t take penalties,” Drew Miller said. “You have to play rough and tough and match their speed and their skill out there and all of that, but we have to be smart and not take the penalties that you don’t want to kill off. That’s the biggest thing, and once we are the penalty killers got to do what we’re doing.

“I just think we’re playing our system well,” Miller continued. “I don’t know, we’re perfect right now, we want to stay that way, and we know they have a good power play, so we’re just going to stay the same way and work hard.”

Detroit is 18-for-18 on the penalty kill though six games.

“We’re happy about that and will try to keep it that way for as long as we can,” Joakim Andersson said. “It would be hard to do it for 82 games, but as long as we can we’d like to keep it this way.”

Sidney Crosby has three goals on the power play, while Evgeni Malkin and Chris Kunitz have two each.

“They’re a great team and we have to put our best foot forward on the penalty kill, try to eliminate as much zone time as we can,” Luke Glendening said.

The Wings’ penalty kill finished last season ranked 12th, an 83-percent kill rate.

“I just think we’re being more aggressive than last year,” Glendening said. “We’ve done a pretty decent job on faceoffs, which is allowing us to clear the puck quickly. When you can get a start with the puck in their zone it’s always a plus.”

Wings still looking for success on the power play; penalty kill still has yet to allow a goal

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings’ off day at Joe Louis Arena on Wednesday.

Coach Mike Babcock felt his team needed a day off after getting home late from Montreal and having a meeting with Pittsburgh on home ice Thursday.

“We never got home till late, late, late,” Babcock said. “I just thought I want energy tomorrow. I didn’t know what was right for sure.

“We wanted to clear a lot up in our game so we had a meeting,” Babcock continued. “We dealt with our power play a little bit and we felt we can score a lot better by being harder, we haven’t been. We’re just trying to evolve our game so we did that.”

The Wings were 0-for-3 with the man advantage in the 2-1 overtime loss to the Canadiens, dropping them to just 2-for-24 on the season.

“I think we have to get the puck back more, that’s the biggest thing,” Babcock said. “You have to shoot it more and get it back more. There’s lots of stuff we talked about here today. There are lots of people that know what’s expected. The other thing is you have to get off the schneid, you just have to get one so everyone relaxes and makes plays instead of doing what they’re doing right now. I’m confident that will happen.”

Gustav Nyquist has both of Detroit’s power play goals this year.

“I’ve been real impressed with our look and our opportunities,” Babcock said. “Even last night, Hank (Zetterberg) had the wide open net and hit the post. We had some looks, but it hasn’t gone in for us. Once it goes in you start feeling better about yourself. We need some goals out of it.”

In those 24 power play opportunities the Wings have just 28 shots on goal.

“We keep talking about it, but we have to get some more pucks to the net,” Niklas Kronwall said. “I think that’s the bottom line. How it gets there is not always that important, just gotta make sure that it gets there and we have people there. So we’ve gotta take the shot more often.

“You want to do good out there,” Kronwall continued. “Of course sometimes I think maybe you overanalyze things and you want to do the right thing and that ends up you thinking too much. Just go back to basics and keep it simple out there usually works.”

Darren Helm has a pair of assists on the power play. Kronwall and Johan Franzen have the others.

“The scorers get lots of points on the power play,” Babcock said. “You want the power play to go well because it makes you feel good individually as well.

“I think initially you say, ‘Hey it’s going good’, and it is, but eventually it’s got to go in,” Babcock added. “We have to find a way to be better at it and be harder to play against in that situation.
The other thing is the when you look at the work ethic of our penalty kill and how hard those guys work. The power play has to work just as hard because you have to outwork the guys you’re playing against. If you don’t you have no chance.”

The Wings’ penalty kill has yet to allow a goal against on 18 chances.

Wings focus on special teams in second full practice before playoffs begin

DETROIT >> Quick update from the Wings second day of practice as they prepare for their opening round series with the Boston Bruins, which begins Friday.

The team worked a lot of special teams.

“We knew coming in we were going to grind (Tuesday), do a lot of heavy lifting, then specialty teams today, and we’ll have a little more tempo and special teams (Thursday). But obviously we were given a good opportunity to prepare and we want to be as prepared as we can.”

The Wings originally thought the series with Boston was going to open Thursday.

The Bruins ended the regular season with the third best power play in the league, scoring 21.7 percent of the time.

“Well size, their ability to retrieve pucks,” Babcock said when asked why Boston’s power play is so effective. “Everybody in the National Hockey League, off a faceoff, off a puck put on the wall, off a shot, tries to put as much pressure as they can on you. So the bigger you are, the more you can handle the tight quarters to get the puck out and get the team backed off again. They do that well.”

That will test the Wings’ 12th ranked penalty kill.

“They have a big guy at the net, they can shoot the puck up top and they have good skill, and they have two different looks,” Babcock said. “They have a spread power play in the one group and an overload with (Patrice) Bergeron high in the other so they make it hard for good depth obviously. They score goals so that’s what’s going to make them hard.

“I’m a big believer in our penalty kill, (assistant coach) Bill Peters has done a phenomenal job with our penalty kill all year long and that and the goaltending, we have to shut their power play down,” Babcock continued. “They can’t run, go crazy on the power play for us to have success.”

Everyone that skated Tuesday took part in the skate Wednesday.

Wings working to fix power play

DETROIT >> The Wings are 0-for-11 in the last three games on the power play.

“We’ve been struggling to get in the zone and even when we’ve had it in the zone we’ve struggled to get chances,” Danny DeKeyser said. “We have to get back to basics, be simple on it and get pucks to the net and get traffic because that’s how we’re going to score.”

The Wings were 0-for-4 on the power play against Edmonton on Friday, having two chances to win it late with back-to-back delay of game penalties one of which occurred in overtime giving them a 4-on-3 man advantage.

“I didn’t think we entered the zone at all last game,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We didn’t enter it good and we weren’t very smooth. We had an unbelievable look when we threw it into Bert one time and we had a real good rebound chance when (Teemu) Pulkkinen shot it to (Riley) Sheahan and we didn’t score. It’s a fine line. If we have bad entries all night and we score a goal we think the power play is great. The power play wasn’t good (Friday) night, we talked about it and we met with the groups (Saturday), spent a couple seconds on it in practice to be ready for (Sunday).”

Entering play Saturday, Detroit’s power play is ranked 17th overall.

“We all know we’ve got to be better on the power play,” Tomas Tatar said. “We practiced, tried to make up some things, tried to make some plays, hopefully the breakouts work for us. We have to work way more. I think we have to put work before skill, just a couple of retrievals. Everyone has to battle to help each other. Hopefully it’s going to work. We practiced some things for the next game. We’ll see.”

The team isn’t making excuses for the lack of talent missing on that specialty unit.

“It’s changing all the time, but the guys stepping in are capable of playing on it,” DeKeyser said. “Whether it’s guys called up or guys that have been here for years we have depth.”

Babcock: “I don’t think we have to worry about anybody’s penalty kill, we have to worry about our power play.”

DETROIT — The Wings have not scored on the power play in their last 21 chances and face a New York Rangers team Thursday with the ninth-best penalty kill in the league.

“I don’t think we have to worry about anybody’s penalty kill, we have to worry about our power play,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “We focused a ton on it (at practice) and we have to score more goals but at the same time we can’t give up any.”

Detroit’s power play was in the top 10 just a few weeks ago, but has since dropped to 20th in the league, converting 16.7 percent of the time.

“That’s one of the things that we have to be really good at and it’s something that hasn’t been clicking as well as we would have liked,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We have to generate more offense, get more second and third chances.”

Wings’ power play finally comes to life in 5-2 win over Flyers

DETROIT – The Detroit Red Wings power play finally came to life Saturday night at Joe Louis Arena.

Coming in without a goal on 10 chances with the man advantage to begin the season, the Wings scored three times on the power play as they skated past the Philadelphia Flyers, 5-2.

“I think that was the key to the game,” said Jimmy Howard, who made 32 saves in his fifth straight start to begin the season. “If we don’t convert on the power play like we did we probably don’t win the game. It was great to see that starting to click for us.”

Todd Bertuzzi, Niklas Kronwall and Pavel Datsyuk each scored on the power play, while Henrik Zetterberg added two third period goals, one in an empty net.

Erik Gustafsson and Tye McGinn scored for the Flyers, while Ray Emery made 25 saves.

“We’ve had some good puck movement on the power play before during games, but haven’t been able to capitalize on it,” Howard said. “Tonight we were able to find the back of the net and that was huge for us.”

Detroit is now 18-1-2 in the last 21 games against Philadelphia at Joe Louis Arena, including the 1997 Cup finals.

Daniel Alfredsson also added three assists on the power play.

“That’s something we’ve been trying to work on here ever since the start of the season,” said Kronwall, who added two helpers on the power play. “There’s no panic in here. We know that we have some good people here and if we stick to the system and continue to believe in what we’re doing it’ll be a matter of time before it happens. Tonight we were able to get a few. We’ve had some decent looks last two games. We shot the puck, got it back and that way we were able to create some chances and we were able to score.”

Detroit was the last team in the league to connect on the power play this season.

Bertuzzi, who was added to the top line to skate with Zetterberg and Datsyuk, was credited by many of his teammates for his net-front presence that led to two of the Wings’ power play goals and another from Zetterberg.

“On Pav’s backhander and on my goal, I don’t think it was the heaviest shot, but the goalie didn’t see anything and Bert was in front,” Zetterberg said. “It’s good to see.”

“Bert I thought was all over the place,” Kronwall said. “He provided some great screens for us and that got us at least two of the goals. He was all over the ice, skating really hard and strong on the puck, creating chances and making them take penalties.”

Bertuzzi took advantage of the extra room behind the nets, picking up a loose puck and used a simple wraparound, chipping in just inside of Emery’s right pad to put the Wings up early in the first period.

“Bert just got it done on his own, I think it loosened the guys up and after that we were able to move the puck and get pucks back,” Wings coach Mike Babcock said. “So that was a real positive thing for us. You need your scorers to score to win games. But they got to get their confidence and in order to do that you got to score a little bit so this should be a good thing for us.”

Kronwall doubled the Wings’ lead with their second power play goal of the game.

After some nice puck movement, Alfredsson spotted Kronwall sneaking in from the point and using a screen provided by Bertuzzi he snapped a wrist shot top shelf.

The celebration didn’t last long as the Flyers cut their deficit in half 34 seconds later on a goal from Gustafsson.

More good puck movement led to Detroit’s third power play goal. It all started with passes on the blue line from Alfredsson to Kronwall, who spotted Datsyuk open in the slot and he buried a wicked wrist shot past Emery. Bertuzzi aided with another screen on the Flyers netminder.

“The big thing with Bert, as long as he gets to the net and he takes care of the puck then things will work out real good for him,” Babcock said. “I liked our lines. They hardly played their fourth line so I hardly played mine but I thought those guys were fine, too.”

McGinn got the Flyers’ deficit to one just over two minutes later, but Zetterberg potted his two goals to seal the win and snap the Wings’ two-game losing streak.