Ideas To Fix the Wild's Power Play

Photo Credit: Isaiah J. Downing (USA TODAY Sports)

We’re over halfway through the 2021 season, and the Minnesota Wild’s lackluster power play has been a huge issue. With just nine power-play goals on 97 man-advantage opportunities (9.2%), they have the worst power-play unit in the NHL.

Despite the Wild’s success at 5-on-5 this season — they boast the ninth-most goals scored in the league with 65 — they still have yet to master the man advantage, which makes the situation even more frustrating.

Here are some ideas, both conventional and unconventional, to help jump-start their power-play:

Move To a 4F/1D or 5F Power-Play Unit

Dean Evason still prefers to use three forwards and two defensemen on the power-play units. The defense will consist of a combination of Ryan Suter, Jared Spurgeon, Matt Dumba, and Jonas Brodin.

Perhaps it’s time for the Wild to join most of the league and go with a four- or even five-forward approach on the power play to help generate more offense. Spurgeon only has one point in over 84 minutes of ice time with the man advantage, and none of their blueliners have more than two.

That’s a tough sell considering how highly the Wild value their defensemen, but at this point nothing is getting done and a change needs to happen. This might be the most effective option.

Use Taxi Squad Players Who Have Previous PP Experience In the Minors

The Wild have been able to instantly call up players on their taxi squad to fill in for injured players. Some of those players like Gerry Mayhew and Kyle Rau have been stalwarts on the Iowa power play the past couple of years and could warrant a look with the man advantage. Last season alone, Mayhew and Luke Johnson tied for second in the AHL with 13 power-play goals, and Rau was fifth in the AHL with 18 assists during the man advantage.

The Wild have players who have put up power-play numbers in the minors, so they might as well take a look at them on the power play in the NHL to try and generate offense with the man advantage.

Draw Names Out of a Hat 

Billy Martin did this with the New York Yankees in the 1970s to help get his lineup going and produce runs. He would simply draw nine names out of a hat to pick the lineup for that day. So why not have Evason draw five names out of a hat and toss them out there on the power play to see what happens? It literally cannot get any worse than it already is.

Add More Rookies to the Power-Play Lineup

Soon Matt Boldy’s season at Boston College will be finished, depending on how far they go in the NCAA tournament. Alexander Khovanov’s lone season in Russia has come to an end. Both of those players could make an appearance on the roster if the Wild wanted, and both certainly are creative enough offensively to warrant a shot on the power play.

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