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Wednesday Practice Report: Frustrations brewing over power play struggles

Bylsma taking responsibility for struggles
Southpointe _ The Pittsburgh Penguins rank 28th in the league on the power play and any fans hoping for the Penguins to fire assistant coach Mike Yeo is wishful thinking. It’s not going to happen.
On Wednesday the power play was an area of focus and head coach Dan Bylsma is taking responsibility for the teams struggles on the man-advantage.
To blame Mike Yeo is taking the easy way out. Dan Bylsma over see’s the entire power play and is in on every personnel decision, formations, ect.
The situation is nothing like the NFL where the offensive coordinator over see’s the entire offense while the head coach does not have as much involvement.
Dan Bylsma made it clear on Tuesday that Mike Yeo is going nowhere and the power play won’t be given to assistant coach Tony Granato.
While Bylsma continues to put the power play as a top priority in practice, the results are the same as they are in games.
Power Play units in practice today
1st unit: Guerin – Malkin – Crosby
Letang/Goligoski – Gonchar
2nd unit: Kennedy – Staal – Fedotenko
Letang/Goligoski – Eaton
The Penguins top unit today was Guerin – Malkin – Crosby down low with Kris Letang/Goligoski and Sergei Gonchar playing the points.
The Penguins are using Kris Letang in one formation while Alex Goligoski is used in a formation called “Dallas”.
During a full-ice power play drill for units 1 and 2, frustrations were brewing as the Penguins top unit managed to create minimal chances and on one occasion, Sidney Crosby slammed his stick on the glass.
While the coaching staff looks for answers, there continues to be no movement on both units or creativity.
The Penguins continue to run all of their formations from the right side on their top unit and even their 2nd unit. The Penguins are too predictable.
The Penguins lack of creativity though is on the coaching staff. It wouldn’t hurt for the Penguins to run some set plays from the left side but it’s still not happening. There was not one instance that either unit ran a set play from the left side today in practice.
Dan Bylsma also has to resolve the situation regarding Evgeni Malkin and Sidney Crosby. Both players want to play the same spot and it’s causing problems.
Michel Therrien resolved the problem by putting Evgeni Malkin on the left side. Not saying that’s the best option but Therrien wasn’t scared to put a player in a position that he didn’t want to play.
With such a talented group, the Penguins struggles on the power play are inexcusable. The coaches can do a better job of using different formations and give the opposition different looks but what it comes down to is execution.

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William DePaoli

TIOPS Insider

William DePaoli is the President/Founder of Inside Pittsburgh Sports LLC and can be reached at

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