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Big Changes to the Power Play

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Nicklas Backstrom

\ “I think if we were sitting here after eight games and we were in 15th place and we weren’t happy, I think we could just tinker with it a little bit and move a player here or a player there,” Hanlon said. “I think sometimes you say, ‘OK, here is a real contrast.’ It gives them something totally different to think about than their lack of success.” \

\ Hanlon said “it doesn’t look good” on Poti, which would mean either John Erksine is in or Steve Eminger could come off IR. Also Fleischmann is probably not going to be in the lineup, but Hanlon wanted him to practice with the power play. He said one of the Big Five forwards will stay out on the ice with Backstrom and Pettinger with the second extra-man unit.\

\ As for having the Alexes be the last line of defense in a shorthanded situation:\

\ “They are the key to it. If they work hard to get the puck back when they lose it and we have some success, that is great,” Hanlon said. “But it is like I told them, I can live with the power play not helping the team — I don’t like it. But I cannot live with it hurting the team by allowing shorthanded goals.”\

\ Tonight’s game will have a little extra meaning for Backstrom, who said that he looked up to the Sedin twins while growing up in Sweden. They also played in the Swedish Elite League as 17-year-olds and Backstrom was the highest-drafted Swede since Daniel and Henrik went No. 2 and No. 3 overall in 1999. It seems a little crazy to me, but when the Sedins were 17 and playing for Modo, Backstrom was all of 10 years old. Backstrom said he played with one of the brothers in a charity game for sick children, but has never played with or against them before.\

\ — Corey Masisak

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