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The Malik Report

Execution Needed On The Power Play

from Ansar Khan of Mlive,

Coach Jeff Blashill cited a lack of execution, not a personnel issue.

"Our entries haven't been as good in the last four games as they had," Blashill said. "Entries and unforced errors. Those aren't necessarily systematic issues. The unforced errors, we at times enter the zone, we have complete control of the puck and we throw it away. We did that too much early last year.

"We were running about 80 percent success rate for a while, which would be above the league average by a good amount. We've dropped back down, so we got to get those entries back to the right spots where we're in the zone more."

The one personnel change made on the power-play unit two games ago saw Tyler Bertuzzi replace Anthony Mantha as the net-front presence on the second unit. Mantha returns to the lineup tonight and rotated with Bertuzzi on the power play during the skate.


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Yeah Blash. There are no systematic problems. Nothing is ever wrong with your PP schemes. Kronwall on the PP is brilliant stuff. More of him and less of Green is a winning recipe. Asking Mantha to stand in front of the net like a robot instead of unleash his shot from the high slot or the dots is just genius. I remember a few PPs early on when Frk was at the blueline instead of the left dot to unload his one-timer. That was a smart scheme Blash. Kinda like how we used Pulkinnen last year. Also smart. The 5-on-3’s with everyone standing still was just brilliant coaching. So innovative!

Yup. Nothing wrong with our schemes. It’s all execution. These stupid players just need to listen harder.

Posted by fatsavage on 01/03/18 at 02:35 PM ET


Isn’t Mantha the team’s leading goal scorer and PP goal scorer?  He’s the problem with the PP?

Posted by jb61973 on 01/03/18 at 02:40 PM ET

duhduhduh's avatar

Jeff: Just put in the tape of Tampa and let it run.  Then tell them to do it just like that.  Simple.

Posted by duhduhduh on 01/03/18 at 02:50 PM ET


This: There are no systematic problems.

And this: Those aren’t necessarily systemic problems.

Are not equivalent.

Posted by howeandhowe from Seattle on 01/03/18 at 02:50 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by jb61973 on 01/03/18 at 01:40 PM ET

I am not sure if anyone is saying mantha is the problem. I don’t think he is best suited for a net front role.

But he also hasn’t scored a PP goal since 11/15. 3 goals in his last 16 games.

Something is not working. It could be the coach & systems, it could be a slump that all players go through.

Posted by ilovehomers on 01/03/18 at 02:52 PM ET


I’m wondering where that “80% success rate” comes from, because to my eyes the zone entries on the PP have been a problem for the last 2 seasons (i.e. ever since “just give it to Datsyuk” stopped being a viable plan.)

Posted by EthrDemon on 01/03/18 at 03:01 PM ET


The veteran PP unit has been actually better than the other one in about 5 games in a row now.

Posted by VPalmer on 01/03/18 at 03:13 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Heck.  The zone entries have been a problem ever since Rafalski retired and they didn’t have anyone to pass the puck 100 feet.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/03/18 at 03:22 PM ET


Oh man, I was always a big Rafalski fan.  Thought he was consistently underrated because has was never really the true #1D either here or in NJ, but I think there’s a good reason his teams never missed the playoffs & went to the Final 5 times.

(Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Stuart was a contending top 4 D, but Stevens, Niedermayer, Rafalski was like 3 top pair guys.)

Posted by EthrDemon on 01/03/18 at 04:00 PM ET


The veteran PP unit has been actually better than the other one in about 5 games in a row now.

Well, I mean, the “veteran” unit had three power play points in the last six games and the “other” unit has had six, despite the vets playing on average about a minute more on the PP per game (vets ranging from 2:45-3:10 per game, others averaging 1:53-2:08) so, to quote Margie Gunderson: “I’m not so sure I agree 100% with your policework there Lou”.

Posted by CharDeeMacDennis on 01/03/18 at 04:30 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Lidstrom, Rafalski, Kronwall, Stuart was a contending top 4 D

Got that right.  That Kronwall Stuart pairing was as potent a second pair defense I can recall.  Kronwall really shone in that role too…always thought he was a perfect 2nd pair/#3 d, and Stuart really complimented him nicely by being an entirely different type of player.

The Lidstrom Rafalski pairing was like having three goalies playing at once.

Posted by TreKronor on 01/03/18 at 05:26 PM ET

ilovehomers's avatar

Posted by TreKronor on 01/03/18 at 04:26 PM ET

Posted by EthrDemon on 01/03/18 at 03:00 PM ET

You guys need to quit with that nostalgia nonsense! Taking me back to 07/08….Ozzy’s conn smythe worthy goaltending…Fleury sitting on the puck and pooping it into his own net….



Posted by ilovehomers on 01/03/18 at 05:38 PM ET

TreKronor's avatar

Did we even have HD back in 2008?!?!  Has it been that long???? 

Oh the humanity!

Posted by TreKronor on 01/03/18 at 05:42 PM ET

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The Malik Report is a destination for all things Red Wings-related. I offer biased, perhaps unprofessional-at-times and verbose coverage of my favorite team, their prospects and developmental affiliates. I've joined the Kukla's Korner family with five years of blogging under my belt, and I hope you'll find almost everything you need to follow your Red Wings at a place where all opinions are created equal and we're all friends, talking about hockey and the team we love to follow.