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2 months, 2 weeks ago on Ekpe Udoh Is The Solution To All Of Our Problems
55% PP conversion is nice, but I think it speaks more for the abysmal Penguins PK than the Flyers PP. The Penguins have the defensemen needed to contain the PP, but they lack the gritty forwards. Jordan Staal has been considered an excellent penalty killer throughout his career but he's been sloppy and has been missing assignments often. Kunitz and Cooke haven't done their job either. The PK forwards absolutely MUST recognize that the Flyers have generated the majority of their PP chances from down low near the goal. Giroux, Jagr, and Briere are all excellent playmakers and have been making great passes from the slot. Believe me, as a Capitals fan, I've been absolutely amazed by the performance of the Caps PK. Alzner and Carlson are good young defenders, but the difference in these situations is the performance of Brooks Laich, Jay Beagle, Troy Brouwer, and even Nicklas Backstrom. These guys have hustled, cleared constantly, and have sacrificed their bodies to block shots. Each of these forwards have blocked at least 7 shots in their current series, and who shoots most of the shots from the point on the Bruins PP? Hmm.... does Zdeno Chara sound familiar to you?! Try blocking a shot of his. That's just effort. Spell it out now... E-F-F-O-R-T. I said those Caps guys blocked 7 shots, right? Do you know how many forwards in the entire Pens-Flyers series have more than 4? Yes, just 4. Want to know how many? One. Chris Kunitz. And forgive me for saying that blocking a Kimmo Timonen shot is a little easier than blocking a Zdeno Chara shot. Blocking shots is my favorite play in hockey, but it isn't even the biggest reason why the Caps have held the Bruins to less than 7% PP conversion. The penalty killers have KEPT THE FREAKING PUCK ON THE FREAKING PERIMETER. Listen, if you force the opposing team to shoot from far away, they basically need a deflection or a rebound to score. The PK defenders on the Caps have cleared the lanes for Holtby, who hasn't given up rebounds. Say it with me, "The goalie is your best penalty killer." Basically I'm saying the following things to the PK killers in the Penguins-Flyers series: (It isn't just the Penguins. The Flyers allowing 33.3% on the PK is pretty pathetic too.) 1. Get in the shooting lane and stop the shot. Often the puck stops right next to you and you can clear, which kills 15 seconds or so. 2. Keep the opposing team on the perimeter. When they get in the middle of the ice or even in the slot, passing lanes open up and one timers can happen. How many of the Flyers goals on the power play have been the result of them getting the puck in deep and making passes to one timers? Too many. Keep the puck on the perimeter. 3. Clear the shooting lane of offensive players and don't let them get a stick on the puck. My little brother is notorious for somewhat paying attention to a Capitals game, then he'll often ask me if Ovechkin scored because when the play-by-play guy goes "Deflection, SCORES!" he thinks they say "Ovechkin SCORES!" This has happened SO many times, and it really gets me to understand how many goals in the NHL are off of deflections. (Also, if this point seems to contradict my first point, look at it this way. You should try to block shots near where they are being shot, on the perimeter if you follow rule 2. They can bounce off of your body right out of the zone. Near the goaltender? Get away from the puck and give your guy a chance to see the puck and make a stop. Pull the offensive guy away from the shot too.) 4. Get a new goalie. Seriously.
1 year ago on Flyers-Penguins Game 6 Preview