The Detroit Red Wings are switching up their power play units in an attempt to get their struggling special teams working again.
Head coach Jeff Blashill said that he was unhappy with the efforts put forth by Anthony Mantha and Gustav Nyquist during Tuesday night's 4-3 loss to the New Jersey Devils, and has taken them off the power play unit during practice. In their place, he inserted Dylan Larkin and Riley Sheahan.
“I took a couple guys off the power play today because I was unhappy with a choice they made on a track, on a backcheck that ended up in our net,” Blashill said after practice. “Will they be on the power play (Friday vs. the Islanders)? They certainly might be. We’ll see…..what they did was open up the door to see if I like those guys better.”
Nyquist later shared his thoughts on the move.
“We talked about that,” Nyquist said. “We have to make sure we do the little things right and we didn’t do that on that play. Coach makes the decisions on the power play and, right now, we’re off it. I’ll be ready if I get called again.”
When asked why Sheahan and his zero goals are getting a shot on the power play unit, Blashill expressed confidence in the maligned forward, and also said that he was regularly on the powerplay unit when it was ranked tops in the league just two years ago.
“The decision I make on a nightly basis is who gives us our best chance to win,” Blashill said. “I actually think Riley does tons of good stuff.”