Through 42 games the Milwaukee Admirals sit in the second spot in the Western Conference, having accumulated 24 wins and 54 points. Therefore all is well in Milwaukee, right? When the Admirals skate five aside life is good, but the special teams remain a glaring issue as Milwaukee currently owns a seven goal deficit during special teams play.
“Five-on-five were pretty good, (but) its an ongoing process to try to get our special teams better,” Admirals coach Lane Lambert said. “We have to look at both the power play and the penalty kill.”
Lets start with the power play, which sits in 19th place in the AHL. Milwaukee is effective 15.8% of the time, scoring 27 goals on 171 chances while allowing six shorthanded goals against.
What can the Admirals do to improve the power play?
“I think we just need to keep working on it,” Milwaukee defenseman Scott Ford said. “We don’t a lot of guys other than Linus Klasen and Chris Mueller, who is up with Nashville, that put up big offensive numbers so we have to score by committee on the power play. If we do the right things, the puck will start finding the back of the net.”
Here are my three solutions to improve the power play:
1) More movement out of everyone on the power play. Whenever a power play goes south scoring-wise, this is usually the number one culprit. All players on Milwaukee need to move their feet more to create more shooting and passing lanes. More open lanes means more shots on goal and more scoring opportunities.
2) Stop watching Linus Klasen. With a player like Linus Klasen out on the power play, it is easy to get caught watching him and not moving to get open for him. Klasen is an amazing special teams weapon, but he needs help. Klasen can draw opposing defenses to him creating openings for other options.
3) Blast more point shots. The Admirals best weapon is the talent of their defensemen, and Roman Josi, Aaron Johnson, Jonathon Blum and Teemu Laakso are all potential scoring weapons. By moving more on the power play, shooting lanes for the points open up, creating opportunities for Milwaukee’s garbage goal hunters to find rebounds and tips around the net. Another way to create offense from the point is to have a good cycle down low that pulls the opposing defense lower in the zone, opening up plays and shots from up high.
Next week…I will tackle the Penalty Kill. Stay tuned.
So Roundtable, What are your Power Play Solutions?