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New role for Drouin and Kotkaniemi could boost the power play

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Since the departure of Andrei Markov, the Montreal Canadiens’ power play has been in trouble. Let’s hope that this year, the Tricolore coach has finally found a formula that will work. This morning, the special units were doing drills before the Canadiens’ practice session. Here’s what Claude Julien’s combinations looks like.

Jonathan DrouinNick SuzukiTyler Toffoli
Shea WeberJeff Petry
1st power play unit at training camp
Tomas TatarBrendan GallagherJesperi Kotkaniemi
Josh Anderson / Corey PerryAlexander Romanov
2nd power play unit at training camp

A change of role for Jonathan Drouin could make a splash on the power play!

Jonathan Drouin’s role on the power play is well known. Drouin stands along the boards and distributes the puck to his teammates. But in fulfilling this role, Drouin cannot exploit a part of his game that is very underestimated and unknown: his one-timer. The Quebecker possesses a weapon that is unfortunately almost never used. Now that Nick Suzuki is with the CH, Drouin is no longer the only elite game maker. Suzuki could therefore take the place of Jonathan Drouin along the boards and the blue line and feed Shea Weber on one side, and Jonathan Drouin on the other.

I invite you to watch the video at 1:45 and you will see an example of what I am saying.

Jonathan Drouin defeats Jake Allen with a blistering shot

Jesperi Kotkaniemi could follow the lead

On the second wave of power play, Josh Anderson and Jesperi Kotkaniemi both have excellent shots. In fact Jake Allen took the time to praise KK’s shot this week. At the blue line, an explosive player like Alexander Romanov could very well distribute the puck from both sides, giving KK and Anderson the opportunity to let a cannonball go towards the goalie, who will already have his vision compromised by Brendan Gallagher.

By the way, we already have a small glimpse of Romanov feeding Kotkaniemi.

Translated by Michel-Alexandre Broekaert

Alexander Romanov and Jesperi Kotkaniemi at training camp

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