The Athletic’s Max Bultman posted a set of five observations made over the course of training camp, framing them as questions going forward. Among them:
4. Will the power play show signs of improvement? One of the most important offseason additions Detroit made won’t play a minute on the ice for them this season. That would be assistant coach Alex Tanguay, who has the task of running the Red Wings’ power play, which last year was among the league’s worst.
Veteran Sam Gagner spoke during camp about the importance of getting some swagger back with the man advantage, noting that Tanguay had that swagger as a player. He said Tanguay the coach has been clear about what he wants.
“He’s direct about moving the puck quick, getting open fast, not dusting off pucks and being available for your teammates,” Gagner said. “I think that’s something that’s really important for us to get our swagger, is making sure that we communicate about those different types of things and there’s no question marks. It’s just: ‘This is what we want, and this is how we’re going to do it and this is how we’re going to have success.’ That’s the first step, and now we’ve got to go out and execute.”
The Red Wings have done plenty of work on the power play in camp, including during the Red-White game, but none of it really means anything until we see it with units that resemble the ones Detroit will actually use and against an opposing team’s penalty kill.