Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

The Jets' effective penalty kill

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SETTING THE SCENE:

  • The Jets are tied 2-2 halfway through the third period of Monday's 3-2 overtime loss to the Colorado Avalanche in Denver, a game in which they killed off all six power-play chances against. In this instance, Dustin Byfuglien is in the penalty box.


THE PENALTY-KILLERS' ROLES:

  •  Frolik (67) is the 'runner' and his job is to direct the opposition puck carrier to one side or the other and then apply back pressure.
  • Jokinen (12) has the task of not letting anyone through the middle on the power-play entry.
  •  Enstrom (39) steps up to protect the blue-line and force a dump from the puck carrier; separate the player from the puck.
  •  Bogosian (44) protects the opposite side and, once the puck is chipped in, moves to the front of the net.


WHAT HAPPENS NEXT:

  • Just as Paul Maurice & Co. would draw it up, the Avs player Gabriel Landeskog (92) is forced to the side by Frolik and with Jokinen preventing him from attacking the middle and Enstrom protecting the blue-line, opts to chip the puck into the corner of the Jets' zone.

Jokinen then slows him up in the chase, Enstrom gets to the puck first and then dumps it the length of the ice.

J.P.'S KEYS TO A GOOD PK:

  •  Box out in front of the net so the goalie can clearly see the puck.
  •  When one man pressures the puck, all pressure. This forces the power play to make two to three good passes before they can set up.
  •  Active sticks take away passing lanes.
  •  Knowing where the threats and one-timers are.

 

J.P. SAYS:

"The Jets have become a lot more aggressive in their penalty kill of late, especially in the opposition's zone entries. The hardest time for a power play to set up is in the first five to seven seconds because they are spread out. That's when you want to attack.

"What I like with the Jets is how the penalty killers are pushing the power play to be cautious and play more defence. You see more of players like Blake Wheeler and Evander Kane attacking when they get the puck, using their speed and tiring down the power play. Coach Maurice is using more of his star players in penalty-kill roles and it's a big part of why they have the best penalty-kill unit on the road in the NHL and fifth-best overall."

 

J.P. Vigier is a former NHL winger (Atlanta Thrashers, 2000-07) who finished his career in the Swiss league. He does Jets analysis for both TSN 1290 and Radio Canada and teaches power skating and skill development for kids of all ages (jeanvigier11@gmail.com).

Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition March 14, 2014 0

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