Toasted Oates wrote:
Other than switch 27 and 55 what did you want him to do? Give the opponents some credit too. Gotta start with the puck and win board battles.
Game 4 - Blues 53% on face-offs
Game 5 - Blues 46% which isn't horrible, but decent enough to win, including 50% on the PP.
Game 6 55%
Face-offs weren't why the Blues lost Games 4 and 6. The Blues were so bad in the first 3, the fact they improved as much as they did is ignored.
Fixing the PP is painfully simple.
1) Look at film from the 15-16 power play which was 26% in the regular season and almost as good in the playoffs.
2) Implement the plays that worked last season which have been painfully absent throughout these playoffs.
3) All it takes is putting a right-handed shot in the low slot, not right on top of the net, and having a good passer setup in the RW corner. High low passing to get the d to move and open up the lane to the guy in the slot.
4) Voila!!! Great high quality scoring chance because it creates a down low 2-on-1 which if they shift to defend opens up back door plays. We saw this with regularity last season and in the playoffs last year.
* Numerous teams run this and I have yet to see a team defend it successfully outside of a goalie making a ludicrous save. Even the Capitals, with the Ovechkin weapon, run this - especially when Ovie is on the ice, because it provides a different scoring threat other than the best shooter. And when the D shifts to take this away, it almost always leaves a clear passing lane to Ovie for his one timer. People ask how can Ovie be that open on the PP? Just watch what's happening on the opposite side of the ice and how Caps opponents are being forced to defend that area also.
But - that apparently is too much to expect of the power play specialist head coach we hired. Last edit - I forgot how many times this season the Blues PP would look to be setting this up and the guy in the slot would skate to the boards. The movement was always coordinated so they were coached to leave the best scoring area on the ice when the puck went below the goal line on a wing with someone already retrieving it.
Personnel wise - 55 puts the puck to the net. 6 puts the puck to the net. 27 spends way too much time looking for a pass and rarely puts it on net. There is no real shooting threat on the PP with 27 and 20 manning the points - which makes killing the penalty as easy as shadowing Tarasenko and over-playing passing lanes to the other two. My answer - balance the 1 and 2 units ice time. #6 goes with #27 so there is a shooting threat from the point. #20 with #55 for the same reason. Point passer, point shooter, then either 1 or 2 unit up front can do their thing.