Population Statistic: Read. React. Repeat.
Thursday, February 11, 2021

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I’ve thought about it, and I’ve come to this conclusion: Using a forward to man the point on a power play is nothing short of a travesty.

This isn’t the first time I’ve considered this. But of late, the news of the New Jersey Devils using newly-acquired Ilya Kovalchuk up high during the man-advantage has crystallized my thinking. Of all the teams in the National Hockey League to opt for a pure offensive player in that role, the unlikeliest of all would be a Jacques Lemaire-coached squad. You’d think the overarching defense-first (and -second, and -third) philosophy would disqualify a sniper left wing during that critical gametime situation. And yet, the Devils are doing it.

I mean, what do you gain? A booming slapshot? Efficient puck distribution? A quality offensive defenseman should deliver that, and keep the puck relatively safe in a vulnerable spot.

Blame it on my own blueline bias, but I think the point is strictly the defenseman’s domain. Even the most loosey-goosey offensive d-man has more defensive responsibility than a comparably-equipped forward. When a penalty-killer pinches in, it’s a cinch that a forward is going to feel like he’s on an island, and make an ill-advised play with the puck — more than likely turning it over in the process. In my mind, resorting to a center or wing at the PP point is a sign of an incomplete roster, practically a desperation move.

by Costa Tsiokos, Thu 02/11/2021 11:46 PM
Category: Hockey
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