Went to practice today. Normally don’t go to morning skates because it is hard to do much and a lot of the times not all skaters there anyway but I noticed one big theme in today’s practice.
The Power Play*.
There were two different units working and both looked to be trying to do two different looks. I like this because it will make our PP harder to play against when guys will have to think about who is out there to know what we might do.
This was the unit of Ovechkin, Semin, and Knuble up front with Laich and Orlov on the points, with Laich taking faceoffs. They had Ovie on the Left Wing half-wall and they spent most of the time trying to get the puck to either Ovie or Laich to get a one timers with Knuble in front and Semin crashing from the outside on the shot to get any far rebounds. I like getting Ovie off the point as I think everyone is but this PP just didn’t seem to click. Even with no PK working against them I think they only scored once in about 5 minutes without even having to worry about getting into the zone. Maybe with a little time it will click but I don’t have high hopes for it tonight.
This unit had Chimmera, Johansson, Backstrom, Wideman, and Carlson with Brower looking on as if he might replace one of the forwards if needed. This unit looked to try to attack the right side with Johansson on the goal line and Backstrom on the half-wall with Chimmy in front. After working a bit of a cycle they were looking for Carlson cutting backdoor from the left side for the one timer. Carlson had at least 3 goals when they were doing this today. If they can get the PK sucked over to the right side and forget about him coming in and can get the pass to him this PP could be very good tonight.
The one thing I don’t get is having two lefties on the points on PP1 and two righties on PP2. I would think that they would split them so all of them could be on their good shooting side but it could be Hunter wants to keep the lines as similar as possible on the PP and Orlov will be replaced by Green if he ever comes back.
I did notice after working on the PP1 Ovie went to Hunter and had about a minute talk with Hunter moving his arm as if he was pointing to where he wanted Ovie to be and to me looked like Ovie not only was listening but went out of his way to get that advice.
*I missed the first 7 minutes due to two different lane closures on Glebe and when I came it they were finishing work on defensive zone coverage off faceoffs so that might have taken the first few minutes of practice but a majority of the work was on PP.