Any hockey fan with half of a brain knows that the solution to the Pens situation hinges on fixing the PP success rate. It can’t get any worse than 30th.
Goaltending and the attention the PK gets from most teams when combined with the Pens playing the same-old PP with only minor modifications makes it one of the easiest to defend in the NHL. The stats don’t lie. This is hard to believe (30th) with the likes of Gonchar, Malkin and Crosby out there but the results clearly point the major need for a change. Is this group of coaches so blockheaded so determined……
….. so sure their methods are correct that they refuse to change it up.
Any PP to be successful long term requires someone in front of the goalie… and while they do this once in a while it isn’t consistent. Usually the player assigned to distract the attention of the goalie and/or defensemen isn’t there… they are seen floating around. If Cooke is on the ice during a PP (the last game) I think he’s the player assigned to be in front of the net, same as if Rupp is on the PP. Too often they are not there.
We have Malkin who said he is not comfortable playing the point and particuraly on the left side. Yet, there he is game after game now and not very productive. This sort-of reminds me of when Jagr, playing for the Capitals, went to McPhee and Wilson because of a failing PP with the idea of providing suggestions for improvement and they told him to buzz-off and just do what his is told. Sometimes the management are the blocksheads.
There are four players who I think can handle that spot in front of the goalie… that would be Staal, Rupp, Kunitz, and Cooke. All four are large enough and solid on their skates and none are afraid of being physical. Setting-up two PP units is another option of a change-up to throw into the mix. Remembering that you can’t get lower than 30th in the ranking. I’ve always believed that if your oppenent kills your PP and you’ve had your stars on the ice for the complete PP your opponent now has the advantage because your stars now sit. The exception being if your losing the game and the clocks winding down you do need to load up.
Knundle posted an article in regard to where Crosby scored his goals and it wasn’t from the perimeter. Why play him on the PP there? Our opponents coaches have to be laughing their asses off while watching Malkin and Crosby on the perimeter playing what Errey just referred too as the umbella offense.
Granato (who seems to get a free pass) and Yeo have been assigned to the PP and it really doesn’t matter which one or both… it isn’t working and the responsibility for the problem solving rests with Bylsma. If he can’t get it fixed a remedy might be for Marioto get involved and call in his buddies EJ and Robbie Brown. They knew how to do it and it hasn’t changed THAT much.
Sorry about the rambling but I’ve had it with these coaches not changing it up. If you think you know what’s wrong… let’s hear it.
This is DR Hook… carry on.