Takes and trash talk from both ALL sides of the NHL's most obscure PATHETIC* rivalry

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Wednesday, January 03, 2007

Reports of my demise have been greatly exaggerated

No, Sleek is not dead. Sorry for the unannounced hiatus, but after slicing my foot, pulling my groin twice, straining my abdomen, rupturing my spleen, and breaking my other foot, I suppose I needed a few days off.

Oh wait a second, those things didn’t happen to me; those happened to Sean O’Donnell, Ilya Bryzgalov, J.S. Giguere, Todd Marchant, Francois Beauchemin, and Chris Pronger. If you’re napkin-scoring at home, that’s roughly $15.5 million in salary that’s on the mend (O’Donnell and Bryzgalov have returned already, though).

And as for Ducks you’re not recognizing, Kent Huskins (#40) was brought in to replace O’Donnell, and then stayed on to replace Beauchemin. Then Aaron Rome (#34) was brought in to replace Pronger. Travis Green (#39) has been trying to mimic Marchant, while Michael Wall (#31), David McKee (#41), and newly-acquired Sebastien Caron (#29) have been Anaheim’s netminding options (although Wall was the only one to actually step on the ice). Oh, and some breaking news? Ducks have traded a conditional pick to Florida for D Ric “Don’t call me Rick” Jackman to replace the fall of Rome.

Actually, I’m kidding. Scott Niedermayer has tripled his ice time and is replacing everyone.

And as for the results? Overall, the Ducks have lost 8 times in regulation in 42 games this year, but half those losses have come in the last 5 games. Yup, it’s vulnerable time for these Ducks.

And yet, do I panic? Hell, no! I’m having trouble even caring. You see, other than the damage it’s doing to my fantasy teams, Ducks are doing too damn well for me to fret through rough patches like this:

  • Anaheim has 62 points, a whopping number that wasn’t achieved until February 10th last year. It would have to be a record-setting effort to miss the playoffs with that start. President’s Trophy to me has been overrated, especially the last several postseasons. What matters is making the playoffs and playing well at the end of the season; what doesn’t matter is winning in January when you’re 20 points ahead of 9th place.
  • Hey, we’ve lost 4 of 5, but despite the laughable lineup, there hasn’t been a game where we’ve been out of it. This AHL-NHL joint venture is still pretty good (especially now that we have an NHL goalie again), or at least within a goal of being pretty good.
  • Plus, shifting your perspective can always be a nice thing. Ducks have just finished a 17-game stretch that involved 13 games on the road, with a more-than-OK record of 11-6.
  • And probably most importantly, there’s still plenty of time to heal for the postseason. And it’s not a bad opportunity for these kids are getting a chance to show whether or not they deserve to be NHLers.
So beat ‘em while you can, these part-Pirates part-Ducks.
p.s. Everyone’s probably read it already, but Christy at BTJ has some awesome stuff from the Stevie Y. retirement night. Hey, say what you will about the Red Wing winning machine, but at least they leave your spleen alone (exception: employees of Chris Chelios).


VeryProudofYa said...

Any idea what the new pairings are going to be?

Since jackman has SOME NHL exp, I imagine he'd line up with nieds, and OB would drop down with OD, then have Dipenta and Huskins handling the rest.

By the by, I've noticed an infuriating amount of fowl-ups with play-by-play guys calling o'donnel and o'b. If you insist on using a players first name, it'd be nice if you could actually say the name. Sean O'Brien and Shane O'Donnel seem to be the order of the day, recently for fumbling playcallers.

Earl Sleek said...

I like either O'B or O'D with SNieds, and the other one gets Jackman. I don't know much about Jackman, but I'd assume he's a 3/4 guy on a good day. Huskins hasn't looked bad in a 6th man role, really, though certainly he is getting easy minutes.

I noticed last game that Hayward flat-out made a reference to the team as the "Mighty Ducks" and never flinched and corrected it. Game 42, Hazy.

VeryProudofYa said...

Recently, with all the road games, I've been getting different broadcast teams, and it makes it a lot more obvious when you correct yourself and call attention to it. Maybe he's just resigned himself to the fact that he'll slip up, so he just ignores it to keep the flow of whatever he's saying going.

Anonymous said...

People are saying Sean O'Brien and Shane O'Donnell?! Poor Sean... been in the league how long and the announcers still can't get his name right? That's like last post-season when Joffrey Lupul scored four goals in the game against the Avs and they still couldn't get his name right... "Goal by... JEFFREY LUPUL."


Defensive pairings? I haven't even thought of it yet.

Good to see Sleek alive and well, and providing the blogosphere with a calming voice after my (typical) spazzing out. W/B, Sleek. Hope your New Years was a good one.

Anonymous said...

oh, um, that's like last post-season only cuz... they kept getting his name wrong... not that O'D and Loops are on the same level, or have been in the league for the same amount of time (obviously not)... but you know... forget it, I'm tired, it's late. Goodnight everyone. I hope you get what I meant.

Anonymous said...

All the injuries, plus the long stretches of road games over the past 17 games? Hell, I'll take 11-6. You had to figure the Ducks would cool off a bit after such an amazing start.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how the whole Pacific is banged up. Sharks are losing and send down two good players to the AHL. Dallas has Mike Mo and Morrow hurt, and now the Ducks. And the Kings and Coyotes are banged up by definition.

Anonymous said...

Interesting how the whole Pacific is banged up. Sharks are losing and send down two good players to the AHL. Dallas has Mike Mo and Morrow hurt, and now the Ducks. And the Kings and Coyotes are banged up by definition. The Pacific title may end up going to the team that can stop the bleeding the quickest.

Earl Sleek said...

BTW, Ric Jackman was not very expensive, it seems. Per the L.A. times, the conditional pick is a 7th round pick that becomes a 6th round pick should Anaheim reach the Stanley Cup Finals.

For all the teams clamoring for some defensive help, I would have thought the price would have been higher, but maybe I'm also overestimating who Ric Jackman is.

Anonymous said...

So the pegleg replaces Pronger's foot, lol. Nice!!!