It’s no secret that The Senators Power Play struggled last year. Without the likes of star players: Jason Spezza, Erik Karlsson and Milan Michalek for much of the season, the Power Play was rather “power less” in 2012/13. The Senators finished 20th overall in Power Play percentage last year at 15.9 pct, capitalizing on just 25 of 157 opportunities. With a healthy squad moving forward (hopefully) and the off season acquisition of Bobby Ryan, what might The Senators power play achieve this season?
The top unit looks as though it has potential to be a serious threat to the opposition on any given night, with 4 potential all stars on the line, on paper this unit could easily contend with the best but, it’s the 5th player that I believe will do the most damage. Star forwards: Spezza, Ryan and Michalek will grab enough attention on their own, toss in 2012 Norris Trophy winner Erik Karlsson on the left point and the opposing teams penalty kill will be forced to play tight to these four but wait, someone’s open. That someone will likely be young stud, Patrick Wiercioch. Wiercioch will show many teams this season why he too is a threat offensively. With an excellent first pass, sure Wiercioch can find the open man in transition but it’s his blistering shot that could give teams fits this season. Wiercioch recorded 19 points (5G/14A) in 42 games played last year and remember he was playing on an injury riddled Ottawa team without their greatest offensive weapons. If Wiercioch gets the opportunity to play on the top power play unit consistently this up-coming season, I won’t be surprised if he nets 20+ goals making him “a secret weapon.” Shhh
Here is some of what Wiercioch had to say yesterday when asked about the opportunity of playing on the top power play line this season: “Those 4 guys obviously draw a lot of attention out there, so you just got to be able to shoot and find a way to get open.” Wiercioch also mentioned treating this training camp as an audition, someone fighting for a position rather than being a “shoe in” It is however very unlikely Wiercioch isn’t on the final roster come October.
To have a dangerous power play as a team, you can’t just have one great unit, the top needs to be complimented by the second line man advantage. Here is what I project that second unit to look like. And yes, I am putting Zibanejad on the wing, if they really want him at C even on the PP then Turris can play the left side for the man advantage. Also note: I realize MaCarthur is a lefty and Turris/Zibanejad are right handed, typically coaches switch sides for their wingers so that their sticks see more of the net and enable a one timer.
With the return of healthy stars + one new finisher (Ryan) and an under-rated young defenseman in Wiercioch, complimented by the second line unit that features a good point shot (Corvo) mixed with speed from all 3 forwards and size in Cowen I ask you this: