Power Play Struggles Continue To Hurt Detroit Red Wings' Offense

By Jonathan Katje
Red Wings Power Play
Rick Osentoski – USA TODAY Sports

The Detroit Red Wings have struggled to find much offense at all in their first three games, and an inability to score on the power play has hurt their chances to win games.

The Wings have had 15 power play chances in their games against the St. Louis Blues, Columbus Blue Jackets and Dallas Stars, but have failed to convert on any of their chances. Only the Boston Bruins and Los Angeles Kings have also failed to convert with the man advantage – ironically, all three were playoff teams last season with the Kings winning the Stanley Cup.

The other side of the special teams equation for Detroit is their lackluster penalty kill. Only the Vancouver Canucks and Anaheim Ducks have performed worse while playing at a disadvantage, as the three teams the Wings have faced have converted on 42.9 percent of their chances. Six goals have been scored with the Red Wings on the penalty kill, and the team also allowed a shorthanded goal against the Blues.

The retirement of Tomas Holmstrom was expected to have an impact on the Wings’ power play, but has not been as big of a factor as it was thought to be. A lack of engagement, sloppy play and a failure to generate chances has doomed the power play so far. Johan Franzen has done an acceptable job of filling Holmstrom’s spot in front of the net, but any chances past an initial shot have been minimal.

Going forward, the Red Wings need to try and get rebounds and create multiple scoring chances each time they enter the zone with the man advantage. The skill players are in place, they just need some help from the supporting role players on the team to turn things around in Hockeytown.

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