Tags Posts tagged with "Power Play"

Power Play

After a huge 4-3 shootout win over the Ottawa Senators, the Montreal Canadiens will once again play their rivals down the 417 at the Bell Centre tonight, in their ongoing battle for the Atlantic Division title.

Join Coach K as he looks back at the past week for your Habs, as well as forward to the battles coming up this week. He also delves into the Canadiens’ power play, and why he thinks it’s time for Jean-Jacques Daigneault to go.



Michel Therrien, the head coach of the Montreal Canadiens, has made some interesting decisions behind the bench so far this season. With a record of 8-8-1 to start the season, the panic room certainly isn’t a place the Habs’ bench boss needs to be so early in the season.

From the onset of the season, certain lines worked very well. The Galchenyuk-Eller-Gallagher line came out of the gates like a prized stallion, providing plenty of excitement and production in this season’s infancy. However, due to the lack of production of his other trios, Therrien decided to break them up in an attempt energize his other wards.

Of course, there is the public display of distaste he showed 2013 Norris Trophy winner P.K. Subban, berating him for all of Habs Nation to see on 24CH. While it seems that Subban has responded well to the public criticism, it still remains a point of contention among many NHL analysts and fans alike, as has his continuous refusal to use

The “overuse” of defensman Francis Bouillon and seemingly eternally struggling centerman David Desharnais has led many to believe that Therrien has an affinity for “les gars de chez nous.”  Wouldn’t “Cube” have been better served platooning with recently demoted defenseman Greg Pateryn in and out of the lineup? Pateryn can provide the secondary offensive push from the back end on the power play, and has the ability to play an aggressive defensive game.

Injuries certainly had a large part to play in their use so far this season, but we have seen recently, with the appearance of Desharnais in the press box, that his patience is running quite thin.

Regardless of the injury situation, or his use of certain players more than others, there are other issues at hand that have Canadiens’ fans questioning where Therrien is leading his team.

Therrien seems to have a propensity to use his fourth line too much after a goal is scored or coming out of a television time out. Granted, in most cases, your checking line is usually there to provide some energy when your team needs it to most, but lack of footspeed from players like Ryan White and George Parros are more of a crutch than a kick in the keester, especially given the combined -6 plus linus rating.

Over the first 20% of the season, we’ve seen the Canadiens refuse to drive the net throught the mid-ice lane. While having diminutive forwards is the root cause of the problem, players still need to engage the opposition’s defensemen. Continually playing around the perimeter without a single player in front of the net or in the high slot makes the Habs uni-dimensional offensively.

Mid-ice play and net drive force opposing player to pay closer attention to those players engaging them in the offensive zone, creating more open passing and shooting lanes to create offense. Is there a fear of injury plaguing the Canadiens’ players or has Coach Therrien instructed them to play that type of game to minimize the likelyhood of injury?

Then, there is their seemingly anemic power play, which doesn’t produce nearly as much offense as it is capable of. Under the watchful eye of assistant coach Clement Jodoin, the power play is rudimentary and simplistic. There is limited movement, and much of the offense is generated from behind the opposition’s goal line or along the half-wall between the hash marks and the goal line.

When two or more players engage the defensive team behind the net, your scoring options become very limited, Only the defensemen remain available for viable opportunities to shoot, oftentimes unable to wait for their forwards to disengage from the defense to take position in front of the net. Furthermore, depending solely on generating shots from the blue line is never a good way to conduct your offense.

Power play rotation is key to success, so no more than one forward should be behind the net unless support is required, in which case a second may come in to help. Creating odd-man situation that favour the defensive team while in possession of the puck on the power play is never successful.

Finally, maintaing possession of the puck, for a team as physically challenged as the Canadiens is paramount. Getting the puck back from bigger and stronger opponents is a daunting task. Instead of simply dumping the puck into the offensive zone, regrouping in the neutral zone, changing skating lanes and re-engaging the defense is the better option. As long as the Habs continue to use an up and down attack based on dump and chase hockey, their success will remain limited.

While in the midst of a four game losing streak, a coach’s mind is filled with limitless questions and scenarios. It remains to be seen how Michel Therrien and his staff deal with the situation, but the simple steps outlined above go a long way to providing some offensive variations.

Take a moment, reflect, and decide, but whatever you do Coach Therrien…

Stay away from the Panic Room !!!

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WebSports Media Network is proud to present its newest show, The 3 Zones, which will delve into the coaching aspect of the game of hockey.

Join Bobby Dollas, Dino Masanotti and our host Mitch Gallo, as they talk about both the power play and penalty kill, and get into the nuts ans bolts of the officiating contraversy surrounding the NHL.

Below, you’ll find the 5 most commons power play set-ups…Enjoy!!



There are five common ways of setting up in the offensive end during a power play.

These are the most common power play formations and each one works against different kinds of penalty killing.


OverloadThis is a good puck possession formation to start the power play in and all of the other formations can be started from this formation. The overload is also an effective way to play after the initial attack in even strength situations.

The overload or Czech power play creates a three on two on one side of the ice.

* The plays usually start from the hash marks at the half boards. One forward supports from below the goal line on the strong side and the other forward gets open between the dot and the mid slot on the weak side. The defensemen support from the blue line. This formation creates many passing triangles and all five attackers are threats to score.

* When the puck is at the point, the forward below the goal line moves to the front of the net and screens, the strong side forward is an outlet pass option and rebounder and the weak side forward gets into position for a one time shot.

In the umbrella power play the idea is to get the puck to the middle of the ice at the point.

* When the defenseman is in the middle with the puck the other defenseman and strong side forward go to the top of the circle and form a high triangle. * The other two forwards play in the low slot area. * From this formation shots can be taken or passes made to the players at the top of the face-off circle above the dots. Two players are in low and they can screen, redirect, one time shoot or rebound.

* The other two forwards play in the low slot area. * From this formation shots can be taken or passes made to the players at the top of the face-off circle above the dots. Two players are in low and they can screen, redirect, one time shoot or rebound.


The spread power play is simply a wide 2-1-2 in the offensive end. Two forwards are positioned below the dots on each side and one forward is in the mid slot.

 * The spread causes problems for the defense because there are four natural triangles to pass the puck in and the player in the mid slot area causes the defense to over compensate when on the weak side and either frees the weak side point or leaves the mid slot player open.  

*The spread is very effective on a 5-3 situation, especially when a pass is made straight down from the point to a low player on the strong side.


The slot set power play sets up on the half boards with one player behind the goal line and one player in the low slot in front of the net. The two defensemen play the point.
* When the puck goes to the point the player behind the net screens and the slot man moves to the weak side for a one timer or rebound.  * The slot set is similar to the overload but the weak side forward is usually a big player whose main job is to screen the goalie and tip shots.

1-3-15. THE 1-3-1 POWER PLAY

The 1-3-1 Power Play was developed in Finland. It combines the benefits of all of the power plays and is probably the hardest to defend against.

* The slot set creates four triangles to pass around and take one time shots from.  

* The point player must be very skilled with the puck, a good passer and have an effective shot.  

* This power play is very effective against the box penalty killing. The 1-3-1 gives more attack options than the other power plays but has a higher risk because the last man has the puck.