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How can the Vancouver Canucks fix their power play?: Canucks Conversation

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Photo credit:© Christopher Hanewinckel-USA TODAY Sports
Clarke Corsan
19 days ago
On today’s episode of Canucks Conversation, David Quadrelli and Harman Dayal discussed the latest point of concern for the Canucks: their struggling power play.
Vancouver is coming off a 3-1 defeat to the Stars on Thursday, marking their second straight loss. Their power play has been a rollercoaster most of the season – starting hot, plunging to near the bottom of the league, and now once again struggling at just 13.8% over the last 20 games.
The guys started with a clip from Tocchet on his thoughts on the issue:
“Sometimes the power play, you gotta get those gritty things,” Tocchet said. “Too many set plays that I think sometimes burn us. We’re trying to get guys to understand that – we gotta get the puck to the net. There’s gotta be gritty goals on power plays, can’t all be pretty.”
The guys noted how the bumper spot has been a big question mark for the first power play unit. With teams having almost a full season to scout the Canucks, Hughes, Miller, and Pettersson are facing pressure, leaving Pius Suter open – but his shot has yet to prove a major threat.
“That was another look that Bo Horvat gave them – the ability to move it right back. If those guys were cheating too much on Bo, he could move it back out,” Quads said. “Yes, they miss him. Can they overcome it and still be a really good power play? Yeah, they can. They might not have the answer in-house right now, but they could have an upgrade on Pius Suter. Ultimately, it’s a combination of many things. I think they have to change the personnel, and once they do that, they also have to change what they’re doing and listen to what Tocchet is saying about getting in and too many set plays. Look at Alex Ovechkin – for years on the Washington Capitals power play, it’s never been just ‘cheat to Ovechkin and you’ll stop the Capitals from scoring’. There’s a reason he’s scored so many goals from the exact same spot on the ice for all these years – it’s because they have other options. Right now, the Canucks don’t have a ton of other options.”
“Looking at Hoglander as a potential fit in the bumper, the two concerns I’d have are: one, if you look back on the tape of the goals he’s scored in the NHL, he’s not beating goalies very often with a snipe of a shot from the high slot,” Harm said. “A lot of them are chances right around the blue paint – tips, deflections, rebounds, backhands. I don’t know if he has the shot from that spot. The second aspect is, Hoglander does so many things well – he’s got the unbelievable motor, he’s tenacious, wins inside body position, has quick hands – but one weakness he has is that he doesn’t have the highest offensive IQ. In the bumper spot, you need to be really smart and understand angles really well, when to sag off and go to the high slot, when to creep down a little bit. You have to be really smart about positioning yourself and actually getting open – it requires a lot of quick reads and that’s a lot to put on a player.”
“In a conversation I had with Bo a few years ago about playing in the bumper, he said the only way to get good was by getting reps in there,” said Quads. “You need a lot to learn when to sag off, when to make those subtle movements. Boeser is someone we’ve seen evolve in that role, but they need to have a left shot for it to be effective for Miller. Brock’s probably not the answer in the bumper spot, but he’s a guy who does have that offensive IQ. I don’t know what the answer is.”
You can watch the full replay of today’s show below.

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