The Moncton Wildcats have all the weapons to have two amazingly effective power play units.
The Moncton Wildcats sit 3rd over all in the league on the man advantage, but their power play still needs to better and should be a lot better, look beyond the numbers things haven’t been good as of late in Wildcat Country on the man advantage.
When you have all the weapons, and lethal combinations at your disposal and still look disjointed on the power play things need to change.
Sure you can argue the Cats coaching staff are still essentially in the exploratory stages of getting everything in place to ramp up to the playoffs and a run at championship glory, but quite honestly the power play isn’t cutting it.
What areas should the Cats change on their power play to go from power”less” to powerful?
A) If you can’t enter the zone with calculated speed and possession, your power play is going to struggle.
The Cats new zone entry with a “bump back” in the neutral zone isn’t working and has to go or get a lot better.
It’s too predictable, too slow and quite frankly ruins the flow.
When you have skilled players like the Cats do, those skilled players should lugging the puck into the zone, going deep and setting things up.
That’s not happening and that’s a big cause for concern right now.
Don’t look at the damn stats or numbers look at the structure and function.
Things should look automatic on the power play not forced or robotic, especially when you have two talented units.
Sure work on the bump back have it in your back pocket, but sure as hell don’t use all the time.
To be brutally honest at some points last night it was embarrassing watching skilled players with speed and skill through the neutral skill throw the puck back and not know what to do or where to go when it happens.
The bump back on the power play zone entry needs to be a 1/10 play not a 6/10 play.
It’s too predictable, it takes all the forward momentum away and it becomes easy to defend.
It really needs to go.
B) Trading Places
The Wildcats first unit is stacked, but like I wrote a few weeks ago, when you have so many weapons and options you better have the right people in the right places.
So the Cats want Groulx and Khovanov to be the set up men and trigger men, with Pelletier in the bumper and Spence or Andersson controlling things at the top with the big point shot coming through the middle.
That’s great, but what about Jeremy McKenna?
Jeremy McKenna net front presence?
That’s like moving Alex Ovechkin to the front of the net to screen the goaltender, it just doesn’t make sense.
Now don’t get me wrong, it’s easy to criticize when things are in the exploratory phases or not going well, but this experiment isn’t working, something has to change.
In my opinion the Cats need to get #12 back on the left dot where he belongs, move Groulx to the bumper, or net front and get Khovanov back on the right face off dot. Pelletier becomes the puck retrieval specialist down low and he and BO Groulx interchange and pop out for the high slot tip options in the bumper.
It’s like the Cats power play are an expensive sports car, but they can’t open it up because they are too focused on gas mileage.
You have all the horses, but you can’t pin it, and unleash them.
It’s like driving a Ferrari down Main Street, Moncton, it just doesn’t belong.
The Moncton Wildcats have all the weapons, they have all the horses to have a lethal power play, they just have to make sure they are in the right positions in order to flourish.
If and when the Cats figure things out on the man advantage look out because it’s going to be a thing of beauty, like a Ferrari in full flight.