DetroitRedWings.com’s Dana Wakiji spoke with Red Wings coach Jeff Blashill on Thursday, discussing the Red Wings’ mediocre power play:
Having [Mike] Green back could help the power play, which is 22nd in the league at 18.5 percent.
“I think he just has that element of the big shot,” Blashill said. “He can shoot it in the net. The more weapons you have on the power play the better chance you’re going to score on a more consistent basis.”
The power play only had two opportunities Wednesday night in St. Louis and failed to convert on either. Obviously that could have made the difference in a 2-1 game.
“Our first, we had entries where we actually structurally we were fine, but we didn’t execute,” Blashill said. “We got in, we were OK and then we turned it over. The second power play, we actually did have some chances, some play around the net, and then (Gustav) Nyquist had the real chance where he hit the goalie in the head. If that goes in we’re not talking about it. And then we pulled the goalie late and I actually thought we had an opportunity to have the looks, but we didn’t execute. So we gotta execute better.”
During Thursday’s practice, Frans Nielsen took Henrik Zetterberg’s spot on the unit with Martin Frk, Nyquist, Justin Abdelkader and Niklas Kronwall as Zetterberg took a maintenance day. Blashill said Zetterberg is expected to play Friday against the Jets.
Frk has been accustomed to setting up in the left circle to deliver his stinging one-timer but has been shifted out of that spot for now.
“I’ve moved Frky a little bit at different times,” Blashill said. “It’s nice to have a righty in that bumper spot in the middle of the ice. The one disadvantage we have is having tons of lefties. When you bring it down to the goal line, you can’t really pop it for that one timer like (Boston’s Patrice) Bergeron does for those one-timer goals. These guys (Winnipeg) have that. They have a lot of righties but they have the net front guy who’s a lefty and he can pop it up to the middle as well. Sometimes it takes a little bit to get adjusted to that spot and we’ll see if Frky can do it, or if he’s better off hitting the one-timer.”
The other unit was comprised of Andreas Athanasiou, Dylan Larkin, Anthony Mantha, Tyler Bertuzzi and Green.