The Wild’s power play was so bad last season that, at one point, Zach Parise had to ask fans to stop booing the club when they had the man advantage.
Minnesota’s power play was clicking at just 15.8 efficiency at the end of the regular season – good for 27th overall.
Jason Pominville and Thomas Vanek finished second and third in points behind Parise, but both struggled in man advantage situations. Vanek scored just five of his 21 goals with the man advantage – his fewest in a season. Pominville scored three goals on the power play – his lowest full-season total since his rookie campaign (2005-06).
Speaking with Mackey and Judd on ESPN radio in Minnesota last week, Wild head coach Mike Yeo said his coaching staff has spent part of the offseason working on improving the team’s power play.
“We’ve spent a lot of time for sure, between (assistant coach) Andrew Brunette and myself, looking at different schemes (and) tactics that we can try to get the players a better chance to have success with,” Yeo said. “I think it’s got to be a personnel thing, just in terms of the combinations that we use and how we deploy them, probably a 1A, 1B. Making sure those two groups have competition against each other. I think in a lot of ways, for us, it’s a mentality (and) it’s a philosophy.”
According to Yeo, there’s one area of the power play that needs improvement on last season.
“We’re a skilled team, but we’re not the most skilled team,” said Yeo. “Most successful power plays around the league are still shooting power plays and the most successful power plays have the best net-front (presence). I think of all the areas, I think our net-front has probably been the worst part of our power play. That’s an area we have to improve.”
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