Detroit Red Wings: Power(-less) Play Preventing, Stalling Prospects’ Progress

Octopus Thrower

Down by a goal in the final stages of Sunday’s matchup against the defending Stanley Cup champions, the Detroit Red Wings lined up to start a full two-minute, 5-on-3 situation.

Center Sam Gagner won the draw cleanly. One snap pass from the point later and defenseman Filip Hronek steadied himself for a one-timer.

But the hard slap shot sailed wide of the net and slid out of the offensive zone and down the Little Caesars Arena ice.

Wasted time.

Wasted effort.

Wasted opportunity.

As polarizing as the Red Wings’ goaltending has been the past several weeks, the power play has conversely been as puzzling.

Red Wings’ Puzzling Power Play

The Red Wings have not scored on their past 21 man-advantage situations and are 1-for-26 since Filip Zadina scored against the Carolina Hurricanes on April 12.

The power(-less) play was amplified with three failed man-advantage situations during the final 7:44 of Sunday’s 2-1 loss. They finished 0-for-4 against the Lightning.

“We had the game there, five-on-three.”

-Red Wings Goalie Jonathan Bernier

In the third period and up by a goal, a trio from the Lightning uncharacteristically lost its discipline and committed three straight penalties.

The last two provided the NHL’s No. 30-ranked power play two minutes with a two-man advantage.

The result?

One shot on goal.

‘We Just Couldn’t Capitalize’

“We had the game there, five-on-three,” goalie Jonathan Bernier said after the loss via Red Wings TV. “You got to find a way to get more shots and create chaos and we just couldn’t capitalize.”

Blashill attributed the lack of execution to young skaters being in unfamiliar roles.

One setback to the condensed schedule is the lack of early-week workouts.

“We’ve had almost no practice time, haven’t practiced five-on-three,” Blashill said after the game. “We have new players in who weren’t originally in those spots. We just didn’t execute.

“Ultimately, we didn’t get enough chaos around (the net). (A lot) of times on five-on-threes, you’re shooting and getting it back and that’s where the chaos happens.”

At least that’s where chaos should happen.

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