Power-play time works to Zamula’s advantage

Egor Zamula

      PHILADELPHIA – Desperate times on the power play call for just about every option available, which is how young defenseman Egor Zamula wound up quarterbacking the Flyers’ struggling unit.

      Coach John Tortorella noticed the Russian backliner was pretty handy with the puck on the point, so he decided to give it a try.

      Voila! In Saturday afternoon’s 3-2 win against Calgary, the Flyers finally broke a four-game/0-for-15 slump with the man advantage as Zamula picked up an assist on the play.

      Tortorella believes Zamula’s time on the power play should help his overall game. He does have a hard, accurate shot and sees the ice well.

      “It’s not so much the shot mentality, it’s the calming down of the power play,” Tortorella said at Monday morning’s skate at the Flyers Training Center in Voorhees, N.J. “I think his vision. I haven’t worked with him on that, that’s him, that’s what he showed us, that’s why he’s getting the opportunity there.

      “I watched the tape after the last game and I was even more encouraged. Just subtle little plays that he does make and the calmness with it. That’s a huge part of him being there.”

      Zamula is no stranger to the power play. He was on it at lower levels of hockey and it seems to just come natural to him.

      “He’s always shown us that he’s good with the puck,” Tortorella said. “Still gets beat one-on-one (at even strength). Defensemen just can’t get beat one-on-one. So we still have some work to do with him. But we’ve always been encouraged when he has the puck. How he sees the ice.

      “The bigest improvement I think he’s made is he’s more decisive when he sees a play. He’s not slow-moving the puck. And he’s more competitive.”

      It’s Tortorella’s hope that success on the power play will carry over to even-strength play for Zamula.

      “He continues to grow,” the coach said. “I think added responsibility, a little bit of success on it – I mean we had a ton of chances (vs. Calgary). I think that’s how offensive people feel better about themselves when they see these offensive plays happen. I hope it happens with him.”

      Zamula, signed as an undrafted free agent way back in 2018, takes nothing for granted. He’s seen NHL action in parts of several seasons and now he wants to stick around.

      “We haven’t scored a lot on the power plays but we’ve gotten some good looks,” he said. “Just working on the power play, I think we will get better and better.

      “I’ve played on the power play my whole life.”

      Informed of Tortorella’s comments about calming things down on the power play, Zamula nodded in agreement.

      “It’s power play but with five-on-five, I need to play every shift hard,” he said. “I look at how I play defense first. Power play is just a bonus. I need to play even-strength well, win battles.”

      Zamula started Monday night’s game tied with Nick Seeler at plus-13, one notch below Travis Konecny’s plus-14.

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About Wayne Fish 2471 Articles
Wayne Fish has been covering the Flyers since 1976, a stint which includes 18 Stanley Cup Finals, four Winter Olympics and numerous other international events.