Dear Mike Yeo,
I don’t know if you have noticed but the Pittsburgh Penguin powerplay is officially the worst powerplay in the entire NHL. All of the research that I have done on the subject points to you as being the gentleman in charge of the powerplay. If I am wrong, please stop reading now.
I was wondering if you also happened to notice that the team has started to free-fall very similar to the way it collapsed last year at this time. It seems to me that getting a powerplay goal here or there could really up the Penguins chances of winning a game.
I saw that you are very good at drawing up plays. Above is a picture of a great play you drew up that had Jordan Staal go wide off a face-off that allowed your team to tie the game very late in a game. So what I did was I took the liberty of explaining why the powerplay is failing miserably, in a way that only you could understand, with charts and five easy to follow steps.
Step One: You finally have Evgeni Malkin at the point on the power play. Good job, you are half way there with step one. Now move him to the other side, the side where Gonchar has quarterbacked your powerplay into the ground. Let Malkin be the quarter back, he has done it before with lots of success. Put Gonchar or Goligoski on the other side. It probably wouldn’t be a bad idea to start grooming Goligoski to play over there anyway.
Step Two: Probably the most important step. Stop the Umbrella. It doesn’t work. If you look at the charts below, on the left you see the umbrella in action. Three guys up top, not very many guys in the middle for screening and for getting rebounds. If you look at the short passes the players make in this system, it makes the goaltenders job very easy as he doesn’t have to move very far and there is not much traffic in front so he can easily keep an eye on the puck. With only two defensemen up top, the goaltender has to make it all the way across the crease with more traffic in front and try to square up. There is a reason the top powerplays in the league use this system.
Step three: The players need to be more active and You need a big guy causing havoc in front of the net, a guy that can take some punishment. Put Mike Rupp there.
Step Four: The players who are out there with Crosby and Malkin are afraid to shoot. Goligoski was set up with slow passes by Malkin three times Saturday and never shot. Yell at them.
Step Five: You have not found a left handed player in the last three years that can take the cross ice pass from Crosby and put it in the net. If Malkin can’t do it, you are not going to find that guy. Start working some right handed shots into the mix.
Mike, feel free to take credit for getting the powerplay back on track by using these 5 easy steps, just dispose of this letter, I will never mention that I sent it.