The Toronto Maple Leafs have a dominant power play. There’s no question about it. Here are few things that happen on this play that show the dynamics of why they can be so good.
First off, Marner is a magician with the puck. Between his entry pass to Tavares, and then his finding Kadri’s stick on the goal…he is a special player. Mark Hunter certainly knew what he was getting when he drafted him out of London.
On this goal, both Tavares and Kadri do a good job of protecting the puck. On the entry, Tavares shields the puck before releasing it up top. Kadri brings the PKer all the way over to him, protects the puck, and then dishes a nice behind-the-back pass up to the point.
And about that…this behind-the-back pass is the right play. All the people that talk about always “keeping it simple…” this is not a flashy play. It’s the right play. Kadri showed poise, recognized that the open ice was behind him, and made a great play.
In terms of setup…this wasn’t a robotic power play like we sometimes see. What I like here is that Matthews and Kadri switch spots after the entry. So many players like to automatically go to their spots, but these two guys read the play. And with that little switch, Kadri gets lost in the middle of the ice which made him so available to Marner.
These little hockey-sense plays make the Toronto Power Play lethal. I’m looking forward to watching them more throughout the year.