It’s no secret that New Jersey has been awful with the man advantage recently. The Devils have gone 3-for-29 dating back to the Rangers series (10.3 percent) and are 0-for-6 in the Stanley Cup finals (Ilya Kovalchuk called the power play “embarrassing.”)
So, what can they do to fix it? Here are a few ideas gleaned from the Devils themselves.
Figure out a way to keep possession
One of the best ways to score goals on the power play is to have possession of the puck (PHT, your home for in-depth hockey analysis.) Against the Rangers and Flyers, New Jersey faced far less aggressive PKs than what they’re seeing with L.A. — the Kings are aggressive in attacking puck carriers once they enter the zone.
“These guys, as opposed to the other guys we played, they hold the blue line better when they’re coming into the zone,” said Devils captain Zach Parise. “We find we have to dump it a little bit more, whereas against the Rangers and Flyers, we could skate it in. They definitely make it tougher to get into the zone.”
It’s not a lack of chances, it’s a lack of converting them
Whether he was protecting his players or not willing to criticize the unit any further, DeBoer was optimistic during Monday’s pregame presser.
“I look at our chances, we had a grade A chance in Game 1 against L.A.,” DeBoer said. “Zajac in the slot. A couple other opportunities, Kovalchuk had a real good look. Elias had a breakaway, didn’t go in. One of those, two of those go in, they’re different games, and we’re not talking about it.”
Nice theory, but the coach has to be concerned with the fact his team has just five power play shots through two games.
Speaking of shots…
Get more shots on Quick
The Devils did a much better job putting pucks on Quick in Game 2 (33) than they did in Game 1 (17), but that didn’t translate to the man advantage, where they only had three shots in four opportunities.
“I think we can take some more shots,” Parise said. “It’s a lot of perimeter passing.”
In New Jersey’s defense, the Kings appeared to ratchet up the shot blocking from Game 1 to Game 2. In the series opener the Kings recorded just six blocks; in Game 2, they had 19.