Tag Archives: power play

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.

Quote of the day … Wings coach Mike Babcock

DETROIT – Wings coach Mike Babcock on Detroit’s lack of success on power play.

“Obviously it’s not a confidence thing,” Babcock said. “Even the other day at home, not taking anything away from Columbus because they penalty kill real well, we had nothing on the 5 on 4 part. We scored a 5 on 3 goal. So the power play just has to get better.”

Short-term memory

DETROIT — The Wings head back to St. Louis where they were handed a 6-0 setback to begin the season.

“The thing is we haven’t seen that many teams,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “You know, we’re been playing Columbus, St. Louis and Dallas it seems like the whole year. So far St Louis is definitely the best team we’ve seen and I think they have four good lines, they work hard, they play a good system and they’re real tough to play against. So the same way, they’re fun games because you challenge yourself to be good.”

The Blues scored four power play goals and one shorthanded in the opener. Three of their goals came on breakaways.

“It’s going to be a challenge for us,” Zetterberg said. “And if you look back at what happened the last time we were there we weren’t happy with the result and how we played. We want to come out and be a better team and play a good game.

“It’s crucial every night (to stay out of the penalty box),” Zetterberg added. “But if we take penalties, and we will, we’ve got to be better at the PK.”

Quote of the day … Henrik Zetterberg

DETROIT — “We joked before the season, see how many games we will get, 2 ½ this year,” Henrik Zetterberg joked of his short time on a regular forward unit with Pavel Datsyuk. “It was a good run.”

The pair began the season paired together and got broken up midway through Game 3 against the Dallas Stars.

Zetterberg and Datsyuk still play on the first power play unit together.

“We enjoy playing together,” Zetterberg said. “We see each other on the power play.”

Wings’ power play issues same as last season

DETROIT — Starting out cold on the power play isn’t anything new for the Wings.

Last season they failed to score a man-advantage goal in their first 18 chances. This year, they’re 0-for-15 through three games.

“It’s not good,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “We just have to go back to the drawing board and work on it. We’re gripping our sticks a little too hard rather than just relaxing. We’re forcing some plays. It’s one and done all the time. One shot and then we have to go down and get the puck again. It wears us down.”

Heading into the third period Tuesday, Dallas had more shots (four) shorthanded than Detroit had on the power play (one).

“We’re trying to make the tough passes and it hits the stick and the puck goes down again,” Zetterberg said. “We just have to keep it simple. We’re trying to force too much instead of just putting the puck on goal. We need to do more to do less. Power play and PK is what’s going to decide what teams make the postseason.”