The Detroit Red Wings did not have a particularly potent power play last season, ranking 18th in the NHL and converting at a clip of 17.7 percent.
This season, the power play has risen to first overall with a conversion rate of 25.5 percent. And according to head coach Mike Babcock, a lot of the credit goes to new assistant Jim Hiller.
“Jim Hiller played in the NHL at one time, was a college player, was a long-time junior coach, and he’s about offense every single day,” Babcock told NHL.com recently.
“He had lots of ideas. We had to tweak them a little bit for the NHL, to build our program and get some trust for our guys, but he’s done a real nice job.”
Certainly, Hiller has been given a lot to work with in gifted offensive forwards like Pavel Datysuk, Henrik Zetterberg, Gustav Nyquist, and Tomas Tatar.
That said, there still has to be a plan of attack, and Hiller’s has obviously been working rather well.
“We want to be aggressive at their net-front,” Hiller said in October, per the Detroit News. “When the puck gets to their net, we want to have more players than they do.
“To create more chances, you have to get the puck back once you’re there. It’s outnumbering at the net for your goal-scoring chances, and outnumbering so we can get it back and start over again.”
So…kinda like this?