The PP in the Sharks at Penguins Game.

I'm watching the Sharks vs Penguins game and noticing some startling differences between them.

First a few stats to keep in mind while reading.

SJS: PP-22.8%(4th in the league) PK-81.5%(18th)     PIT: PP-17.8%(15th) PK-87.6(1st)

Watching the Game I've Noticed a few glaring differences between the two team's Power Plays, at least one should be important to Preds fans.

First of all the easiest difference between them is that the Sharks shoot the puck on net every time they can even see the goal with the puck on their stick. I know A LOT of fans have been calling for this for some time, and it is important, but I believe is it more of a side effect of the second thing i noticed then anything else.

The most important thing I noticed in the differences between the power play styles of both teams is that Pittsburgh looked like us and the Sharks didn't. By that I mean when set up in the zone the Penguins were stationary with slowish puck movement and few shots. The Sharks on the other hand looked like an angry beehive. They had players buzzing all over the zone and moving quickly. Basically the sharks had superb player movement, which left the BEST penalty kill in the league looking mediocre.

Player movement is the key to the Sharks power play. Because of the strong player movement they opened up passing lanes. They opened up passing lanes all over the place, which lead to fast puck movement. The strong puck movement opened up shooting lanes everywhere. Pucks were flying at the goal left and right, which kept the goalie and penalty killers off balance until the eventual goal score. All these things: the goal, opening shooting lanes, puck movement, and opening passing lanes were all a product of player movement.

This makes me wonder "What happened to Trotz trying to implement player movement like this into the Preds power play?" At the beginning of the year the entire coaching staff sounded like broken records "We need player movement. Players need to move their feet. etc etc". As the year went on the Preds players have become more and more stagnant. Stagnant players are easy to defend against because the shooting and passing lanes also don't move so penalty killers don't have to move much to kill off a power play like that. After analyzing the power play of the Sharks, I know Trotz had the right idea, but for some reason it was never executed and the team has reverted to old patterns of trying to play on the power play like traffic cones. I don't know what Trotz's "player movement" strategy was lacking, but it needs to be revisited before it is too late.

Oh, and before someone mentions it: The Sharks did use the dump and chase to get the puck into the zone so they could set up.

This FanPost was written by an OTF reader, and does not represent the views of the editorial staff. Got something you'd like to share? <a href="" target="new">Post your own</a>!

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