Abel to Yzerman

Abel to Yzerman

Fixing The Power Play

02/10/2021 at 6:00pm EST

from Helene St. James of the Detroit Free Press,

At 9.3%, it ranks 30th in the NHL, having converted four times on 43 opportunities. The unit was without four regulars when Merrill, Robby Fabbri, Filip Zadina and Sam Gagner were sidelined two weeks after testing positive for COVID-19 in the opening week of the season. But even as those players have returned, the power play continues to be on life support.

"We have to be more assertive and just simplify things a little bit,” Merrill said. “We have to get more pucks to the cage. I think we are doing a decent job of gaining entries at times, and we are just not getting pucks to the net. A good power play starts with chaos, it starts with shots at the net, and that loosens up the PK. We have to do a better job of that early in the power play, of getting shots on net and really creating that chaos.”...

“What happens at times when you struggle to score is, you lose your focus on defense and you gain a greater focus on offense, and next thing you know you’re bad defensively and you’re still not scoring,” coach Jeff Blashill said. “That’s a recipe for disaster. We are not going to win games, 6-5, on a regular basis. We have to win games 2-1, 3-2.

"We have to make sure we continue to stick to the foundation that is going to make us successful, and that’s being really hard to play against. We have to stay with it. We can’t stray away from these principles."

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