In addition to the gloomy Derek Boogaard status report, which I have under a separate entry here, coach John Tortorella in his pre-game media session discussed the struggling power play and possible changes, which I wrote extensively about here yesterday. (Was that the sound of slapping myself on the back? Well, yeah).
The lack of a potent shooter on the blueline is a concern, as has been discussed here, on Twitter and our live chats. "We don't have an ideal point man. that's very important, Marc's (Staal) trying to develop into one, we've tried Step (Derek Stepan), at times he was decent, I don't think he was ever really good at it. I think he'll be better served upfront. Gabby's a big reason why our power play worked last year (14 goals). Him not totally dead-on, losing Vinny Prospal from the get-go, it's a number of things...our puck movement hasn't been quick enough."
The PP and faceofffs, he said, are the major issues.
"I don't want you to think we're looking to tic-tac-toe, we want people in front of the net," said Tortorella, but in response to a question, accurately ruled out putting Wolski there. "I'd like to see him with the puck. I look at him as a guy who's going to be able to make some plays, not stand in front of the net," Tortorella said, and suggested that Ruslan Fedotenko and Brian Boyle would be candidates for that role.
On Gaborik: "It can’t be one of those years, because this team will not succeed if it continues. And I think he’s close, his legs are moving. That’s the most important thing with Gabby. Not letting the play get caught up to him, gliding and looking for plays. More and more, he’s trying to beat people through the neutral zone with speed. I know he wants to do it, it’s just a matter of getting through it, maybe it’s a little mental block.”