An open letter to the coaching staff of the Bridgeport Soundtigers….Since the team’s inception, our Power Play has been rather anemic at best. Some commonly heard phrases around the rink when Adam announces are power play include “The AAA piss two minutes away” power play, or “why don’t you run 2 minutes off the clock, and give the other team two more shots on goal”. There’s no reason that we should feel so despondent about our man advantage; rather it should be something to get excited about! Instead of placing blame on the current coaches, here are a few suggestions:First, it all starts at the point. The “quarterback” of the power play has typically been one of the defenseman, or in many teams’ cases, a forward. Regardless of his regular position, this “quarterback” has to be someone who handles the puck extremely well, has great on-ice vision, and can be a leader on the ice. A guy like Robert Nilsson fits this role pretty well. Why not use him on the points more often? We’ve only seen him one game, but this kid Jamie Fraser seems like he might be a better choice as well. Second, make sure that you always have two guys who are willing to grind for the puck, fight for it in the corners, but still have the hands to make plays. Jeremy Colliton, Blake Comeau, Petteri Nokelainen, Frans Nielsen and Masi Marjamaki all come to mind. Keep these names in mind for a point made a bit later. The player in front of the net has to be better than Steve Reiger. Nothing against you Steve, but you’re just not cutting it. My vote would be to use a guy like Eric Boguniecki. He’ll take the abuse in front of the net, and has better hands. Want a radical suggestion? Use Kevin Mitchell. When Reiger is in front of the net he gets pushed around too easily, doesn’t always screen the goalie effectively, and is hardly in position for a good rebound. Mitchell can probably do these things more effectively. He knows how to read the goalie’s angles, where he’ll be looking at all times. If the coaching staff still wants to use Reiger in front of the net, its their choice, but at least educate the guy a little better. Sit him down with video of Dino Ciccerelli and Phil Espositio. Those guys knew how to stand in front of the net; hell Ciccerelli made it his career. The one thing they did better than anyone is lower their center of gravity. They always stood with their stick out in front of them, hoping for deflections of low shots, and making it impossible for anyone to move them out of the way. Ciccerelli wasn’t a big guy, the only player in the league with less stature was Theo Fleury, but he found away to create a presence in front of the net. Put this type of player in place, and you’re almost guaranteed more havoc in front of the net. Next suggestion, create more action/flow on the ice. Most of the effective power plays happen because a player on the ice isn’t accounted for. Our power play has always been too stagnant and predicable. Move around a bit. Make the guys on the PK work hard. If our point guy has good on-ice vision like I’ve suggested, he’ll find an open player quickly. Hopefully it’s someone who’s in good position to take a one-timer, not someone who has to stop the puck before he shoots. If we keep things flowing well, good things WILL happen. Sooner or later we’ll isolate a shooter and be in position to take some good shots. Final suggestion, be aggressive! When we have the extra player on the ice, use him! Any time the team on the PK loses the puck, we should have two of our guys on him. Show that we want the puck! We can’t treat the puck as if we’re afraid of it! These are just a few suggestions, I think we’d all love to see a more effective power play. At least change the perception that it’s waste of two minutes.