Bultman on Lucas Raymond, power play ‘bumper’

The Athletic’s Max Bultman discusses Lucas Raymond’s new-found role as a “bumper” on the Red Wings’ power play as the team attempts to break a lengthy slump that’s found the PP unit drop to 31st in the NHL:

Detroit’s power play is once again in dire straits this season, converting at 14.4 percent — which, as of Monday, was 31st in the league. That number is a marginal improvement on last season’s man-advantage misery for the Red Wings, but it’s still noticeably behind the league median (currently around 19 percent). For that reason, it certainly makes sense for Detroit to try some new alignments. But putting one of the team’s most creative playmakers right in the middle of the opposing penalty kill (where time and space can be hard to come by) was nonetheless a significant shake-up — and one that merits a closer look.

First, it’s important to know what the Red Wings feel their recipe for success is on the power play. In Detroit coach Jeff Blashill’s mind, those key pillars are quick puck movement and having bodies around the net.

That’s all simple enough: Passing the puck around quickly can force defenses to scramble, and also potentially force goalies to move within the crease, as opposed to squaring up a shot the whole way. Meanwhile, having players around the net means a better chance at getting to the puck in the most dangerous area of the ice, especially on rebounds.

From that standpoint, the player in the bumper plays a prime role in both of those objectives. It’s a key, nearby outlet for every other spot on the power play, and Raymond is smart enough to handle that responsibility, whether it means moving the puck quickly to one of the other four spots, or shooting from his dangerous station in the slot.

Continued (paywall)

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George Malik

My name is George Malik, and I'm the Malik Report's editor/blogger/poster. I have been blogging about the Red Wings since 2006, when MLive hired me to work their SlapShots blog, and I joined Kukla's Korner in 2011 as The Malik Report. I'm starting The Malik Report as a stand-alone site, hoping that having my readers fund the website is indeed the way to go to build a better community and create better content.

2 thoughts on “Bultman on Lucas Raymond, power play ‘bumper’”

  1. In watching other successful PPs. There is movement among the back three instead of a static role. Quick movement of not only the puck but the players does not allow the goalie to set up and anticipate where the shot is coming from. Watch Tampa Bay’s PP. Even Washington’s PP has Ovechkin at least moving back and forth towards the goal. You know he is going to shoot it from the left side, but where on the left side? By the time you figure that out, the puck is in the net already. Detroit’s PP is too deliberate, predictable and a failure.

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