FF Telestrator: Game 51 vs. Islanders
When Dan Bylsma’s power-play is clicking, it’s a thing of beauty. Last night, Kris Letangs goal at 17:44 of the second frame showed just how this system is supposed to work and how deadly it can be.
I realize there is a lot going on in the above diagram, but it’s a concise breakdown of what the Penguins want to do on the man-advantage.
They play a hybrid “Umbrella” type system. The main difference you’ll see in this system is that the F2 (James Neal) plays the role of a “Rover” in the slot.
This serves two purposes. It allows Neal to try to find open space to snipe shots from high percentage areas, and it also serves as a distraction to open up cross-ice passing lanes between the two off-wingers.
We saw a lot of this last night.
James Neal is in action. The puck is on the stick of Sidney Crosby. The Islanders know that Kunitz is already wreaking havoc in front of the net, and the premise of a traditional Umbrella would tell you that Neal is going to make a run for it there as well.
Neal’s entire job here is to serve as a distraction. He’s going to sneak into the play and open up space for Crosby to dish this puck to Kris Letang. The goaltender is about to be forced side to side in a hurry.
Also, look at the attention Crosby demands. Nearly every Islanders player has their eyes focused towards him.
Neal cuts into the lower portion of the ice and takes an Islander with him. Kunitz already has a man tied up in front. It’s essentially two on three here for Crosby.
Neilsen doesn’t have his stick in the lane at all, and the red sea parts for Crosby to give this puck cross-ice to Letang.
Take a look at the giant yawning net that Tanger has to aim at here.
Pretty much a picture perfect play from the Penguins.