More on the PP
Tarik has a bit on the Caps’ power play in today’s Post, but this is another one of those instances where much more was said than would fit in the paper. So here’s the rest:
Caps coach Glen Hanlon started out talking about last season’s unit:
“If you look at personnel, for us to finish at over 16%, I thought it was fairly decent. That’s why we weren’t overly upset at times. We weren’t good enough to have that 3-for-5 night. We just seemed a lot of nights to get one goal, which was pretty good. But now we have options. We want to be like the teams that we feel are hard to defend against, the ones with two really even power play groups. We think the group that we could put out there … we could really, really stack one and then have a drop-off on the other. But we want to make sure we have two groups. And we liked the fact that lots of times these guys are playing with each other [at even strength]. So it sort of makes it easier on your line rotations and your changes.”
Although Tomas Fleischmann is currently slotted on the right side of a line with Alex Ovechkin and Viktor Kozlov, Clark will play alongside that duo in power play formation.
“We really like Clarkie on that group,” says Hanlon, “because he is sort of the [Tomas] Holmstrom type of player who can be right in front and create some havoc and create some problems. If you don’t occupy yourself with him, he’ll score on tips and he’s really good at pursuing pucks. So I think that really makes it nice.
Hanlon also likes wht he has seen from former Islander teammates Kozlov and Tom Poti.
“Right now you’ve got Tommy [Poti] back there with [Kozlov],” he says. “And Kozzie has done a good job with those guys. We watched it first-hand; they scored three power play goals against us last year with [Marc-Andre] Bergeron on the off side. So Kozzie is with Poti. That really helps, that extra stick in there for some interaction and some playing and some moving. I think the one thing with Ovechkin and Kozlov and the way that they can come off the wall and shoot the puck and Tommy getting to the middle of the ice, it really lends itself to having [success]. I don’t want to go too much into tactics, but the strength of the other power play group with Nylander and Semin is that we can set it up on either side. Semin is as good on the half-wall as Nylander is. We can work it off of Semin’s side, and we can work it off of Nylander’s side. So it becomes a difficult power play to defend in that regard.”
And that’s a good thing.