‘It’s slow right now. They have to speed things up’: Ryan Huska on what the power-play needs to do to start moving in the right direction

Photo credit:Rick Osentoski-USA TODAY Sports
Jeff Middleton
6 months ago
When Darryl Sutter was fired, it was a relief to Calgary Flames fans everywhere. When Kirk Muller was fired from his post as an assistant coach and the power-play coach, it felt like Christmas day for those same fans. Finally, there was a chance to bring in a coach that was more modern in his approach. Instead of a boring power-play that didn’t use much puck or player movement to score goals, there was the possibility for much more of a threatening man-advantage. And after the hiring of Marc Savard as the head of the power-play, that plan went into effect.
We’ve seen glimpses of the kind of puck movement the Flames power-play could create in this new system, and at the beginning, it was super exciting to see all the possibilities for players up and down the roster to get back on track after a rough offensive year under Sutter and Muller. However, things have not worked out in the Flames’ favor on the power-play, and head coach Ryan Huska addressed that in his post-game media conference after the loss to the New York Islanders, where the Flames had three chances and didn’t score on any.
“It’s slow right now, so they have to speed things up. At the end of the day, speed it up, move the puck quick, shoot the puck, and get rebounds. Right now it’s slow and methodical, so we have to make some improvements there for sure.”
The Flames have plenty of talented players on both man-advantage units. However, the power-play is currently sitting 26th in the league at 12.7 percent.
So, how do you fix it? Well, Huska addressed that too:
“You show them. You talk to them a lot. You keep working on it. It’s something that we put in practice all the time as well. You have guys out there that should be power-play players and that’s the area where they want to grab hold of the game. It will come. I feel like our 5-on-5 game has gotten significantly better over the last little while, and usually the last thing to follow will be the power-play, so I assume it will start getting going here shortly.”
If the Flames want to try and recapture any semblance of hope at a playoff shot, they will need to get their special teams going. As Huska has pointed out, the 5-on-5 play has undoubtedly gotten better. The system he’s trying to instill in his players is beginning to make its presence felt. However, the special teams need to start to catch up because, if they don’t, it will continue to be an up-and-down ride for the team, the coaches, and the fans. The talent is there, but the goals must start coming in soon. Otherwise, all hope will be lost if it isn’t already.

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