Buffalo got what they wanted, a split in Philadelphia. Now the series shifts back to their base of operations. Which shouldn’t worry us, because we are monsters on the road. Scary, under the bed, in the closet, coming from your dreams into reality, white masks and voice changers type of monsters. Their fans are rowdy, which of course will give them a bit of a boost. But it’s a boost we can overcome.We were in control of both games in our house. It’s no secret that the problem was our powerplay. If we managed to have even a respectable percentage, we’d be up 2-0. We have to start taking advantage of the opportunities we’re getting. Here’s how:
After fumbling the puck around in then neutral, anywhere from 15 seconds to a minute, we usually do manage to get set up. And then we start moving the puck around the perimeter. The black lines show the passes that we make 100% of the time. Eventually, we launch shots either from the point or the the circles. But because the pass always comes from someone standing close by, Miller doesn’t have to reposition himself too much. The guys in front are trying to screen him, but they can do better.
I propose that we try more diagonal passes to mix things up. Don’t force it through defenders, but take it when it’s there. The Sabres stay in a diamond shape, and once in a while they are prone to these passes. I’ve sat there screaming at the TV, because we’ve had plenty of chances to try it out, and simply haven’t. It’s not like our PP can get any worse. Might as well take a few more chances. Luck favors the bold! This isn’t even that bad of a risk, if done correctly. If the pass is tipped, then you simply don’t get off a one-timer. If the pass is stolen, both defenseman are already in position to drop back and prevent a rush going the other way.
The Sabres have managed to be aggressive when down a man because we’ve been to predictable. They know each guy has tow passing options, and they’ve been able to force us to move that puck fast than we want to, and away from where we want to. This small wrinkle will back them off a bit and make them more weary. It forces them to cave in a bit more, to try to block shots. Thus, we’ll be able to get a bit closer, so even our blasts from the point will have a bit more power on them when they get to the net. Please, Flyers, try something!
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