Red Wings Film Room Focus: Power Play Success against Vegas

Nov 7, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Lucas Raymond (23) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Nov 7, 2021; Detroit, Michigan, USA; Detroit Red Wings left wing Lucas Raymond (23) receives congratulations from teammates after scoring in the first period against the Vegas Golden Knights at Little Caesars Arena. Mandatory Credit: Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports /

The Detroit Red Wings saw two big goals on the power play Sunday, a major catalyst in Detroit’s 5-2 victory over Vegas. Heading into the game, however, the Red Wings power play had been more humdrum, recalling some of the man advantage woes of season’s past.

In this installment of the Red Wings Film Focus, I look at the power play goals from the Vegas game, how the scoring opportunities evolved, and what made it successful.

Red Wings Power Play Goal #1

Goal Scorer: Lucas Raymond
Players on Ice: Tyler Bertuzzi (Net); Dylan Larkin (Bumper); Raymond (Left Flank); Filip Zadina (Right Flank); Moritz Seider (Point)
Total Time on Power Play before goal: 51 seconds
Number of Zone Entries: 1
Total Time spent in Vegas’ Zone: 39 seconds (76.4% of PP Time)

This was probably my favorite power play goal of the season because of the efficiency and the showcase of skill amongst the unit out there. The personnel is what really should make any Wings fan salivate–it’s the potential of scorers out there that just opens up all sorts of possibilities.

Larkin as the bumper opens up opportunities everywhere on the ice, and allows Raymond to move around from the point, and into the low slot, which will eventually result in a goal.

For understanding sake, the time elapsed through timestamp is the power play itself, not the game clock.

The Power Play Opportunity by Timestamp

2:00 – 1:44 (16 seconds): The Red Wings lost the faceoff and it was cleared quickly down the ice. Vegas’ Reilly Smith corralled the puck at center ice, took it into the Wings zone, and flipped a quick shot on Thomas Greiss, who snagged it and then dropped it for Larkin who took dished to Seider.

1:44 – 1:35 (9 seconds): The 20-year-old defenseman setup behind the net, skated out and zipped a pass to Larkin who entered the zone and dumped it around on the boards. Key part here–Raymond hustled to get the puck right before he reaches the goal line. He send it back around the boards to Larkin

1:35 – 1:28 (7 seconds): Larkin wins the battle on the boards, and chips it back to Seider who moves up from the point. He backhands it ahead to a waiting Raymond who moved his way to the same side of Larkin and Seider and is just below the goal line near the left end boards.

He quickly sends a pass to Larkin in the slot who is just below the left circle. Larkin doesn’t hesitate and fires a pass to Zadina, who waits to one-time a shot in the right circle. The puck is deflected by Vegas’ Brayden McNabb, killing that chance.

1:28 – 1:19 (9 seconds): Bertuzzi retrieves the puck and curls to his right, finding Seider who has now shifted to the right side of the blue line. Seider waits and the finds Zadina who is outside the right circle beside the boards.

Zadina fires a pass to Bertuzzi, who sets up inside the upper corner of the trapezoid, just to the left of Vegas netminder. Laurent Brossoit. Raymond creeps up into the low slot, but Bertuzzi’s pass is deflected by another active stick.

1:19 – 1:09 (10 seconds): The puck dribbles back to the blue line, but Seider is there to save it with a backhand. He slides a pass to Raymond now in the left circle, who draws a Golden Knight and then returns the pass to Seider at the point. Seider then goes opposite side to Zadina who’s in the lower right circle.

Zadina finds Bertuzzi who is just outside the paint to Brossoit’s left. He takes the pass, does a quick move to his backhand and then forehand, which causes Vegas’ Alec Martinez to shift back toward the net and attempt to disrupt the pass. This allows Raymond to drop into the slot and fire the pass into a very open net as Brossoit never has a chance to defend it.

Takeaways from the Goal: This is a goal that doesn’t happen last season and its a testament to both Alex Tanguay’s scheme and the talent on the ice. The Red Wings movement and quick passing keeps Vegas on its heels throughout the 31 seconds in the zone. Though Vegas does a nice job of shutting off the passing lane in front of Brossoit, the Red Wings force them to continuously chase which eventually costs them low.

The final pass to Bertuzzi from Zadina saw three Golden Knights collapse to the front of the net, leaving Raymond all but alone. Bertuzzi made a nice move to freeze Martinez for a fraction of a second, before he finds Raymond for the goal.

Red Wings Power Play Goal #2

Goal Scorer: Robby Fabbri
Players on Ice: Tyler Bertuzzi (Net); Pius Suter (Bumper); Filip Hronek (Left Flank); Fabbri (Right Flank); Nick Leddy (Point)
Total Time on Power Play before goal: 1 minute, 32 seconds
Number of Zone Entries: 4
Time Spent in Vegas’ Zone: 42 seconds (45.6% of PP time)

This power play goal was an example of the old adage: If at first you don’t succeed, try, try again. The Red Wings were unable to really get a foothold in the Vegas zone until the fourth entry, were they were able to set up and cycle for 20 seconds before Fabbri scored.

The Power Play Opportunity by Timestamp

2:00 – 1:51 (9 seconds) – Larkin loses the faceoff and the puck is sent down the ice where it’s picked up by Seider.

1:51 – 1:37 (14 seconds) – Seider advances the puck just outside his blue line to Raymond, who mishandles the puck and it flies into the Vegas zone. After an outstanding diving effort to keep the puck in the zone by Raymond, Vegas clears again. Greiss stops the puck in the trapezoid and leaves it for Seider to reset and start again.

1:37 – 1:20 (17 seconds) – Seider starts the rush and drops it back to Larkin, who has to reach a bit while maintaining his balance to grab the puck. He finds Raymond who dumps the puck into the zone. Vegas snatches the chance before anything can start and deposit it back down the ice. Greiss retrieves the puck and sends it to Zadina who has retreated back.

1:20 – :54 (26 seconds) Zadina curls around in the right circle and then leaves the puck for Seider coming from the other side of the net. Seider hits an accelerating Zadina as he’s about to cross the Wings blue line. Zadina splits two Golden Knights as he enters the zone and makes another move past a third, the puck going to the side boards. He attempts to backhand it around the boards but it ricochets off the ref, killing the chance.

The puck gets clogged in the boards with two Knights, and Larkin and Raymond try to make a play behind the net. On an attempted clear, the puck hops to the slot and is narrowly missed by a lunging Bertuzzi, which leads to a 2-on-1 shorthand break for Vegas. Nicholas Roy skates to the left of Reilly Smith, who has Seider in front of him and Zadina chasing behind.

Smith’s shot goes wide, and the Red Wings recover possession when Seider takes Smith into the boards, and Bertuzzi gathers the loose puck and restarts behind the Detroit net.

:54 – :28 (24 seconds) – Bertuzzi gains steam in the Wings’ zone and heads to the neutral zone, where Hronek crosses center ice. He passes to the defenseman who enters the zone by chipping the puck past a defender and then chasing it into the corner. Bertuzzi joins the scrum in the corner and bumps the puck to Fabbri who glides his way to the end boards.

Fabbri grabs the puck and sends it around the boards to a waiting Suter, who calms it on the blue line closest to the benches. He snaps a shot that hits traffic and bounces into the opposite corner, where Hronek picks it up just outside the left circle. He banks the puck off the boards to Leddy, who is at the left point. Leddy finds Suter, who draws three Golden Knights before shuttling a pass to Fabbri who’s hovering near the bottom of the right circle.

Fabbri readies near the lower hash of the faceoff dot and rips a shot past a surprised Brossoit, giving Detroit a 2-1 lead.

Takeaways from the Goal: The Red Wings were denied three times before finding some sustained pressure that resulted in the goal. Two things of note: For some of the criticism that Zadina has received this season, his entry was terrific and the chance only failed because the puck bounced off the ref’s skate. Second, Bertuzzi made the goal happen as his constant motor drove him to the net, where he was able to send the board to Fabbri. They were then able to setup, and Suter’s deft move to have three Knights surround him opened up the opportunity for Fabbri to get room and send the shot from a tough angle for Brossoit to pick up the puck.

The power play has been up and down this season, but when the movement is constant and the passes quick and short, it not surprisingly results in better chances and goals. When they get too cute, or hold onto the puck for too long, lanes close as well as the opportunities.

Though there weren’t any power play goals against Edmonton, I’ll be breaking down more on the power play in future editions–including those that don’t quite work out as they should.

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