One consistent problem with the Flames over the course of the past couple seasons is their brutal power play.
What can be done to fix something so basic. In essence the first thing minor coaches will tell players is that there is an extra man out there, find him! The next thing they say is don't stand still because the opposing team will box out and use active sticks to block passing lanes and apply pressure. What is really being coached is that the players are to pass a lot and be active trying to exploit the defense, watching Calgary's power play is like watching a game of pass with a dude and his son. It's unimaginative, boring and predictable, ultimately it is a failure.
What Calgary requires is not a special teams coach but a coach for the Power Play and a coach for the Penalty Kill, the reason is simple and that is that the Flames organization is full of defense first pluggers who are great P.K. guys. It comes naturally to them, fast, hard working, dedicated players, but not skilled. The skilled players get the Power Play and honestly having two coaches who get a certain amount of time to practice against each other will only elevate the game of everyone.
One guy who comes to mind is Theo Fleury, Fleury is an all offence, all the time kind of guy. If there's a guy out there who gets the players, knows the organization and can help out with offence it's Theo. A guy who has amassed the points Theo has, won a cup, been on horrible teams and great teams and knows the frustration of the skilled guys. It's Theo.
When Sutter preaches a defense first system the skilled guys like Iginla will cringe inside because they know they can help out more than they are being allowed to and that is what team players do, they cringe on the INSIDE, outwardly they will reinforce they coach and be good soldiers but on the Powerplay they can be all offence, it can be their time to shine. The problem is by the time they get there they forget how to forget all that defense stuff and just focus on "puck in the net" thinking. Fleury would be a perfect solution to this. A future hall of famer, soon to be jersey retired player who could probably still show most of the current team a few shoot out moves, hey he could even be a shoot out coach to boot! He had a near perfect record on penalty shots, that is something jarome could stand to learn, even at this stage of his career..
On the defensive side the Flames have been much better but the P.K. is also super important, who is a perfect solution to his? Craig Conroy. The guys love him, he knows his stuff and is a really intelligent guy, he's been a Selke nominee and if a guy named Peca wasn't playing would have been a winner. Look at the Flames goals against when Conroy is playing in the line up and it changes however his feet can't keep up anymore but his knowledge is still really useful.
How much better would the Flames Special teams be if every practice these guys got 30 minutes and every fourth practice they practiced Coach Theo vs. Coach Conroy 5 on 4 for 30 minutes? A lot. Theo wrote that to get his confidence up he used to go pick corners in practice, I know it sounds basic but how many times over the two seasons have you seen Jarome shoot wide? How many times have you seen guys hit the goalie in the crest?
These guys would fall under the respective coaches McGill and Lowry and be on the same level as the Goalie coach, the training coach and video coach, which might be a bitter pill but in my opinion would help out tremendously.