New Jersey Devils: 3 Ways To Try And Fix Penalty Kill

New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (76): Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports
New Jersey Devils defenseman P.K. Subban (76): Jerome Miron-USA TODAY Sports /
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New Jersey Devils
New Jersey Devils center Pavel Zacha (37): (Timothy T. Ludwig-USA TODAY Sports) /

Try going with three forwards on one unit

This one must sound insane. It’s probably something that sounds a lot better on paper than it does in real life, but it’s worth a shot. Now, this would only be for one unit on the power play. Again, this is to get Severson off the penalty kill and get him more time at even strength.

The Devils could put out one unit that looks like:

Pavel Zacha-Yegor Sharangovich
Ryan Murray-P.K. Subban

And then the other unit could look some combination of Michael McLeod, Nathan Bastian, Jesper Bratt, Kyle Palmieri (when he returns), Travis Zajac (same), and Nico Hischier (also same) paired with Dmitry Kulikov.

It’s asking a lot of the forwards to play this kind of defense, but it might help the defensemen understand their role better. The Devils have had major trouble with the man in front of the net. With this kind of setup, Kulikov is the lone man in charge of keeping the front of the net clear. With a clear role, Kulikov can execute it even better.

As far as using three forwards, it would put a lot more speed on the Devils penalty kill. They have more options in the neutral zone to keep the puck out of the zone. They would keep moving around the zone. It would be a high-flying unit. Maybe it’s a bad idea, but could the penalty kill be any worse? It’s worth a try, right?