Tag Archives: power play

Weiss misses practice due to a funeral; Abdelkader skates on own; Wings power play red hot

DETROIT >> Quick update from Wings’ practice Friday at Joe Louis Arena.

Stephen Weiss missed practice due to a funeral he attended. He’s expected to play Saturday when the Wings host the New York Rangers.

Justin Abdelkader skated for the first time on his own since injuring his shoulder on Sunday. He’s also been sick with the flu.

The Wings worked on the power play at practice which has been red hot of late.

Since starting the season 5-for-46 with the man advantage through their first 12 games, they’ve gone 19-for-58 since.

“I think the biggest thing is we’re just throwing pucks at the net,” Niklas Kronwall said. “We know we’re going to have guys there, we have guy’s net-front that are doing a great job of screening and making it hard for their goalie. The rest of us just have to make sure the puck gets there. Of course, winning face-offs is another huge area. But throwing the puck, I think that’s the biggest key.”

Detroit has at least one power play goal in six straight games.

“I think we’ve just been sticking with it, we believed in what we did,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “Obviously the puck didn’t go in for us from the beginning. I don’t think we made that big of changes to it. One thing we did is shoot a little bit more instead of looking for passes before we shoot. We shoot and then automatically it will open up for us and we can make plays. Also, once you score your confidence goes up and you’re more confident in what you do. That helps.”

Heading into play Friday, the Wings’ power play is ranked sixth best in the league.

Wings’ new found success on power play will be tested Friday against Blackhawks’ top-ranked PK

DETROIT >> We’re going to see how much the Wings’ power play has improved Friday night.

Chicago has the top ranked penalty kill in the league, allowing just four goals on 48 chances (91.7 percent).

Detroit has scored two power play goals in each of their last three games, going 6-for-13 with the man advantage.

“The power play has been working better and better here,” Gustav Nyquist said. “Obviously, we want to keep that going, so it will be a good test tomorrow, for sure.”

The Wings went 5-for-46 (10.9 percent) with the man advantage their first 12 games.

“Obviously, it was a really slow start for us on the power play and now we’ve got some goals,” Henrik Zetterberg said. “Even if we don’t score, you have to get the momentum, and we’ve done that the last couple of games.”

Detroit, which finished 18th (17.7 percent) on the power play last season, is up to 17th this year (18.6 percent, 11-for-59) with the man advantage.

“I know the power play started slow, had trouble getting into rhythm, maybe had trouble trying to find the back of the net,” assistant coach Tony Granato said on Monday. “But I think all along it’s been building. I think it’s been really big for us the last week.

“I think the confidence that group has gained certainly moving forward should be a good thing for us,” Granato added. “You put Pav back in that mix it’s going to be even better.”

The Wings’ penalty kill (90.6) is second in the league.

“We looked good for a while and maybe didn’t get the results that we maybe wanted or deserved there and no lately we’re getting pucks in,” Jonathan Ericsson said. “It’s about getting in the groove when the pucks are bouncing and things are going your way, but sometimes it’s not going to go like that.

“Like the PK, we had bounces going with us at the beginning of the season and maybe pucks have gone in a little easier lately,” Ericsson continued. “That’s how it always happens throughout the season. We’re not going to be perfect. You have to go through those things. We work on the things we need to get better at. It’s all about the confidence level and pucks are going to start dropping in.”

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.”