Detroit’s power play is struggling, yet again


When Detroit shook up its coaching staff this offseason, GM Ken Holland stressed a need for change in several departments.

One of those was the club’s power play. After an up-and-down showing during the regular season, the unit was awful in an opening-round playoff loss to Tampa Bay, going just 1-for-25.

Things haven’t gotten better this year.

Detroit currently sits 29th in the NHL in power play efficiency, at 13 percent. Things have been especially bad over the last three home games — the Wings lost all three, were out-scored 9-2 and went a ghastly 0-for-13 with the man advantage.

“We really have our work cut out for us on the power play,” Gustav Nyquist said, per the Free Press. “We just have to find a way to get that going.

“We are losing a lot of games because of that.”

As mentioned above, Holland and the Wings knew things needed to change last season. And they did set about trying to change them.

Pat Ferschweiler, the assistant coach tasked with running the PP — and one that faced a fair bit of criticism — was reassgined to work out of the press box. John Torchetti was then brought in as Jeff Blashill’s new assistant on the bench.

(Prior to hiring Torchetti the Red Wings interviewed Todd Richards, who eventually was hired in Tampa Bay. Richards had a top-5 power play in Columbus during his last full season there.)

So far, there hasn’t been much in the way of improvement. Detroit has scored just a single PPG in December, despite having 24 opportunities, and is starting to feel the pressure. The club is sitting sixth in the Atlantic Division with a 13-14-4 record, and sounds like a team that loses confidence with every missed opportunity.