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

* Thanks, Kevin Lowe!

Friday, February 01, 2008

Ducks Gameday—Attention: Deficit Disorder!

Anaheim Ducks (27-21-6, t-5th in west) at St. Louis Blues (23-19-7, 12th in west)

Boy, I can't wait for this Anaheim team to get good, or at least stop sabotaging their results with awful starts. It's been two weeks since the Ducks picked up any standings points, having lost four straight by a combined score of 15-5. I noted it in the last GDP comments, but here's how they've started those four games:

  • @DAL: Dallas scores the first 3 goals, wins 5-2.
  • DET: Detroit scores the first 2 goals, wins 2-1.
  • @LAK: Los Angeles scores the first 3 goals, wins 3-1.
  • @MIN: Minnesota scores the first 3 goals, wins 5-1.
It's really not the return I like to see for a team that plays a $5M+ defenseman nearly every minute of every game in front of a $6M goaltender. I'm not even that troubled that the Ducks don't score first (although this is getting reminiscent of earlier this year when the Ducks gave up the first goal in nine consecutive games), but it's really how the team has been playing afterwards that's killing me. Trying so hard to tie up the score that they give up another, and another, and the game's pretty much over well before the clock expires (except for some goonery, which becomes twice as stupid).

I guess if there's a bright spot, these awful starts might be the impetus that Teemu Selanne and Sammy Pahlsson need to accelerate their comebacks, and both are missed. I have no idea when either is going to hit the ice, but it might be a strange game if Selanne plays. He's liable to pass the puck to Paul Kariya or Andy McDonald just out of habit.

Even so, there's only so much each player can bring; there's got to be improvement by other guys on the ice, that's for damn sure.

Prediction: This is the first game between the Ducks and Blues since the McDonald/Weight trade. Andy Mac has improved to point-a-game since joining St. Louis. Weight? Not so much. But hey, it's a new month, let's try some optimism. Ducks 5, Blues 2. Goals by Pronger, Kunitz, Perry, one of Pahlsson/Selanne, and Parros.

Go Ducks (before it's 3-0 this time!).


Earl Sleek said...

Addendum: Here's who's been on the ice over the last four games for the 5 GF, 15 GA (all situations combined).

Giguere: 3 GF, 12 GA (-9)
Scott N: 2 GF, 9 GA (-7)
Carter: 0 GF, 6 GA (-6)
Moen: 0 GF, 6 GA (-6)
Beauchemin: 4 GF, 9 GA (-5)
Pronger: 1 GF, 6 GA (-5)
Rob N: 1 GF, 6 GA (-5)
Marchant: 0 GF, 3 GA (-3)
Kunitz: 2 GF, 4 GA (-2)
O'Donnell: 0 GF, 2 GA (-2)
Weight: 3 GF, 4 GA (-1)
Perry: 3 GF, 4 GA (-1)
Getzlaf: 2 GF, 3 GA (-1)
Bertuzzi: 2 GF, 3 GA (-1)
Schneider: 2 GF, 3 GA (-1)
Bochenski: 1 GF, 2 GA (-1)
Hiller: 2 GF, 2 GA (even)
Huskins: 1 GF, 1 GA (even)
May: 0 GF, 0 GA (even)
Parros: 0 GF, 0 GA (even)

Anonymous said...

Only thing the "shut down" line is doing is shutting down their own offense. Ducks need the pink cheeked one back, ASAP.

But the biggest problem is just lack of effort. Before they went on the little run when Nieds returned, they were playing the same way, like they have no energy or urgency on the ice.

Earl Sleek said...

Yeah, I really liked the way Carter started in the Pahlsson role, but lately I see a lot more errors coming from the kid. Strangely, I notice them more in the offensive end -- he used to be a guy who shot the puck as soon as he got it (Pahlsson-style), but maybe he's trying too hard to score that first NHL goal.

Now he seems to wait a second, or stick-handle a second, and neither of these things do him any good. Shot gets blocked, and it's off to the races the other way.

Simplify, Carter. I never cared how many goals Pahlssson scores, so I don't care about your goal total either. Throw the puck at the net, sure, but let the other lines make the pretty plays.

VeryProudofYa said...

Burke was on the NHL hour yesterday, and said he thought Teemu would play against Philly.

Maybe the draw of the Kariya twins will bring him back, though.

Anonymous said...

Wow, can't argue with stats.
I can not wait to see this team with both Teemu and Sammy back.

Plus now I am seeing Anaheim mentioned in the Forsberg running. If it's 1, and 1.4 million over the next 2 seasons, I guess everyone would be interested in him. Thats a bargin in the cap era for sure. I guess we just wait to see where HE wants to play.

Marie said...

Here's the conversation between my Ducks loving boss and I:

boss: "We're playing the midget tonight?"
me: "Who?"
boss: "Kariya. Little fucker."
me: "Oh right. AND ANDY MAC!!!"
boss: (puts head in hands) "Oh shiiiit. I forgot about him. Oh no, they're each going to have a hat trick and assist on each other's goals and we're going to lose 6-0!"
me: (smiling)

VeryProudofYa said...

Well that was probably twice as disheartening as when they played terribly and lost.

This time, they completely dominated and lost.


Earl Sleek said...

I'm not even at the end of this game yet, but I figured as much. I pretty much decided this game was lost when the Ducks failed to score in the first period--it's the same formula, wait to be scored on before doing anything useful.

I don't even think they've dominated, at least not in any useful way. There were some semi-breakaways, but I have yet to see much develop from being in the offensive zone. The Getzlaf line in particular is being way way too cute with the puck. They aren't driving the net, or throwing it back to the point, just dangling until the puck gets given up.

It comes down to this, Ducks. I want to see a first period goal. Before I die.

Earl Sleek said...

Well, now that I've seen the whole game, that actually went better than I thought -- at least the Ducks got a standings point. But still, I think only two Ducks had impressive games tonight to my eye. Bochenski looked really good, like he wants a job post-Selanne. And Marchant was a step up over Carter.

5 goals scored in their last 5 games. I don't care what Selanne says in the booth -- he needs to get on the ice. He can't possibly detract from Anaheim's scoring, and apparently 20 guys have decided to wait for his offense.