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Devils' power play reason for concern

Mar 15, 2010, 12:57 PM EDT

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Every team has weaknesses and every team has points they’ve focused
on to improve. As the playoffs draw near, coaches will start harping on
the smallest details as they work to improve their team. With the Devils
just 2-3-0 in their last five games, coach Jacques Lemaire is not happy
with the power play.

“Teams protect certains things on the penalty kill and they give you
other plays you can deal with,” Lemaire said. “You have to take what
they’re giving you and try to use it to your advantage. What we’ve been
doing is trying to do is make the plays thyat are not there.

“As an example, if you get a guy in the slot and they have a guy
protecting this and you still want to send it there, it will be hard to
have success. So, if this guy is protected, someody else is open and
that’s where you have to go.”

“I think they recognize it, but they still look for other plays,”
Lemaire said. “When you do have success it comes natural to find the
right play, the man who is open and to use what they give you to your
advantage. If you’re not scoring and not making these passes, you’re
pressing. You don’t see all the other plays you can make. It has to come
natural.”

It’s too bad that Martin Brodeur can’t help out on the power play,
right? Truth be told, it’s not the power play that’s contributed to the Devils’ success this season. They rank in the top 10 in the NHL in even strength goal differential, and have been middle of the road on the power play all season.

I thought this quote from Patrick Elias was amusing.

“I watch tapes after each game. We had a couple of good shots on the
power play last game.”

Ah, well, a couple of good shots are better than nothing, I guess.

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