Building a Dominant Power Play
Workshop 46 Recording
Last night Team Canada U20 put on a dominant offensive performance against Russia, winning 6-4 in its final tune-up game before the 2022 World Junior Championship.
Aside from dominating RUS at 5v5, CAN also showed excellent structure and execution on their 1-3-1 power play.
Canada’s first unit is composed of top NHL prospects:
#23 Mason McTavish (2021 3rd overall, ANA)
#11 Cole Perfetti (2020 10th OA, WPG)
#22 Mavrik Bourque (2020 30th OA, DAL)
#13 Kent Johnson (2021 5th OA, CBJ)
#25 Owen Power (2021 1st OA, BUF)
Power is a prototypical modern Dman, a 6’6” giant who can skate the rink, think ahead and make delicate puck plays.
McTavish and Bourque are skilled forwards who also embody the idea of functional toughness when playing down-low and in front of the net.
On his strong-side (left) flank, Perfetti is adept at shaping his body to create a dual threat, which forces PKers into split-second decisions on whether to cover shot or pass.
The quarterback of the unit is Johnson, who controls the game from the right flank much like Nikita Kuchrov does for the Tampa Bay Lightning (read about TBL86’s power play secrets in Hockey Tactics 2021).
Johnson’s success comes from his versatility. Despite being an undersized skater playing a skill position on the 1-3-1, he doesn’t mind sprinting into the corner to win pucks.
From a 50/50 duel, he is one of the best at finding a slip pass to McTavish or Power.
Then, with CAN in full control, he’s able to transition seamlessly between passer and shooter.
But building an effective PP unit is more than just uniting a team’s five best offensive creators. The best power plays also have specific and well-rehearsed plans in the following phases: