An immediate change I would make would be on the Penalty Kill. I would take the front PK'er and get on top of Pavelski. The guy is single handedly killing us on the PK. I know the forward's job in a diamond/square PK is to try to take away passing lanes, but all the Sharks are doing is throwing the puck back to Pavelski for a hard slapper from the blue line. I would want the forward to be more aggresive (yes, I know it opens up the center of the ice if Pavelski is able to make the pass, but it's a calculated risk. The 3 PK'ers down low are doing fine. Someone needs to rush Pavelski, make him a second or third choice instead of the default power play shooting option.
Detroit needs to be careful blocking shots, especially fakes. If they get duped, that entire quadrant is free for the power play shooter to skate in to the slot. Some may disagree about being agressive at the point, but we have to change it up. Maybe a hard press half the time, keep Pavelski on his toes. If not, I have a feeling he'll break the 2-goals a game in a row record that he currently shares with Super Mario.
They need to focus on positioning and getting beat to the puck. I know it's a vicious cycle: Take a penalty, have to PK, too tired to attack, rinse and repeat. They need to keep moving their legs and beating the Sharks to the puck. I know that's Hockey 101, but it's AS CRUCIAL as winning face offs.
- Grypho likes this