Ducks: is the identity crisis over?

Posted: 09/16/2010 by bc in Uncategorized

Not since the Stanley Cup win has our Ducks roster appeared so settled. Even GM Bob Murray told the OCR’s Mark Whicker…

“We’re back to having some stability,” said general manager Bob Murray. “It has been a while. I think we’re pretty much where we want to be.”

No kidding. Bobby Ryan is signed for 5 years. Getzlaf, Perry, Visnovsky, Lydman and Lupul with an asterisk have 3 years remaining on their contracts. Hiller is ours for four. Saku Koivu, Andy Sutton and ‘Stache are locked up for 2 seasons.

The core and support players, with one obvious exception, are in place beyond this season.

Can this roster play the aggressive, truculent, in your face brand of Ducks hockey Brian Burke established and many Ducks fans have come to expect?

In goal neither Jiggy or Hiller the Killer attended the Billy Smith School of performing ankle surgery and slew footing in the crease. No change between the pipes. In fact Hiller is so nice/nice he could become the first goalie to win the Lady Byng. I don’t post that in a bad way, just sayin’.

On the blue line, Sutton puts back the snarl that left with Pronger. There’s still no replacements for the twin rocks, O’Donnell and Beauchemin. At least nobody who has proven himself to bring their kind of mean and compete.

Little wonder Barstool Bob is flirting with the idea of bringing in Paul Mara.

Up front our current roster is a long way from the rambunctious bash and crash of Chris Kunitz and Ryan Shannon. The one current player who comes close is Troy Bodie.

These Ducks are willing and have heart but they don’t scrap like Shawn Thornton and Travis Moen. None of our current Ducks has made anyone forget just how tough to play against were Rob Niedermayer and Sammy Pahlsson.

While Bob Murray has accomplished much this financial season, questions remain. Who are these Ducks? Can they make every opponent pay a price for showing up?

Every team creates it’s own identity. It’s own buzz. Our Ducks PR department has described this season’s mantra as Dedication. That’s nice. Dedication isn’t an identity. Dedication is the promise before the kiss.

Show me a team that swaggers into the rink and out onto the ice. Then you know that team has discovered itself and created it’s own identity.

The swagger is special. The swagger is earned. Swagger is the result of dedication.

  1. bbdux93 says:

    How I yearn for another team that even remotely looks like our ’07 team….

    Can Marchant inspire this group the way he inspired those during the ’07 Cup run? Here’s hoping! I think it will take something like that to regain “swagger”

    • BackCheck says:

      -hey bbdux93

      Yes he can.

      You can’t win the Cup or make the playoffs in September. You can lose the Cup or miss the playoffs in September though.

      For the coaching staff, camp is all about getting the team organized. establishing a routine and making those 2-3 roster decisions that haven’t already been made.

      For the players, it’s all about focus. The mental preparation. Everything is else is supportive to the primary goal of being mentally prepared. Whether it’s establishing sleep patterns or raising the anaerobic threshold for peak performance, it all begins and ends between the ears.

      T-bone talks about dedication. Teemu doesn’t use the word but he talks about sacrifice. Every player verbalizes it differently.

      • bbdux93 says:

        Backcheck – We proved your second line last year.

        I think it will be up to our veteran players to stress the importance of starting strong. I’m not discounting the importance of good coaching – but I think that is secondary to playing for the respect of your team mates.

  2. czhokej says:

    Again, every blog is discussing the players, and only here we talk about coaching. I could be wrong, but sometimes 50% of success is coaching. Murray got us some size, which I like. However, for puck chasing defensive system it will not work. Or do you think that BM has recognized of some Carlyle’s defensive problems and wants to change it? Another thing worth mentioning: Bobby Ryan said:” Retired Scott Niedermayer brought to the chamber an overwhelming sense of calm”. Reading between the lines, it may mean that RC brought mostly tension ?? and that Scotty may want to play more important role in the Ducks organization in the future (more pressure on RC I hope??).

    • BackCheck says:

      Okay but I totally goofed on bbdux93 point and let a (((DOH))) slip into my game. This might be an off day.

      Honestly. I’m not near close enough to know Bob Murray’s inner thoughts. Murray is very emotional at times. I’m accustomed to a cool, deliberative and more objective demeanor than what Bob Murray projects.

      Are you familiar with the original Star Trek tv series? If so, I’m more comfortable following Spock than Kirk. McCoy is a total whack job.

      That said, my sense is Murray is just smart enough to pull himself out of the game when he’s ticked. More importantly, I sense he tends not make irrevocable decisions when he’s tossing bar stools angry.

      A good example is when he reportedly stormed out of the Ryan negotiations, went public in a fit of temper, announced a “don’t call me, I’ll call you” halt, regrouped and went back to the table.

      Does Murray recognize Carlyle’s defensive problems? Maybe the answer to that one is why Mike Foligno was brought in. Honestly, I don’t know so I won’t speculate.

      Choosing the next captain could be Carlyle’s single most important decision coming out of this camp.

      Do they give it to a young guy, probably Getzlaf, but limit the duties to secretarial stuff and carrying water for the coach? I hope not. Carlye needs less control, not more.

      Koivu is probably most like Niedermayer as the quiet, leads by example Gary Cooper type.

      The nod goes to Todd if they want a rah-rah guy. I don’t mean that in a bad or demeaning way either. Just being descriptive.

      Then there’s Teemu. Flash is a peacemaker. He’s also the one guy who has the respect of everyone in the room. He can out skate and score with the young studs. He’s a tad goofy in a geeky kind of way but that’s just part of his charm rather than a flaw. Selanne has that rare gift of making you feel you’re the only one who matters.

      He’s also a voice of dissent. Not in the challenging, in your face F-bomb dropping style of Chris Pronger. Selanne is more, “Houston, we have a problem.” ‘We’ is the operative word.

      What was cz’s other thing I wanted to chat about? Oh yeah, “sometimes 50% of success is coaching.” Not sure what you mean but…

      Just like players, coaches do more harm than good when they try to do too much. Every coach should take this page from the medical doctors code, “First, do no harm.”

      Carlyle’s dominate personality trait seems to be his feistiness. Even when he’s listening, he takes on a touchy, quarrelsome or frisky demeanor. Is it any wonder Carlyle’s team is among the most penalized in hockey? Is it also any surprise that our guys get feisty with the Refs more than other team in the NHL?

      Coach to player is like parent to child. Kids and players will take on a parent or coaches worst trait and magnify it 1000 times. They do that because they’re disgruntled about something. And they have the best defense in the world. “You said,” “You do,” or “You did.”

      I don’t know how to rate the coaching influence in percentage or mathematical terms cz. IMO, generally and primarily the main day to day duties of a coach are, (1) imposes a very simple system, with (2) set plays based upon reading and reacting as a 5 man unit, (3) lots of detail work addressing each player’s 5 skills focused on the one on one and game within the game,(4) organizes the team in terms of lines and special teams and expectations, and last but not least, (5) get the heck out of the way and let the players play.

      on a personal note, bbdux93 & cz, you guys worked me hard tonight. Thank you, it really feels good 🙂

  3. czhokej says:

    I am OK with Mara, he was pretty good with the Rangers, and while he was with the Yotes, he showed he could score too. The price is right, I think.

  4. BackCheck says:

    Spot on bbdux93. Sorry I got away from your point. Definitely my bad.

    “Playing for the respect of your teammates.”

    Does it get any more simple or eloquent? You lead this dance and I’ll try to stay off your toes this time ;).

    At the end of last season Scot Niedermayer questioned the leadership.

    Our Ducks roster is composed of a 40 something, a few 30 somethings, a bunch of 20 somethings and maybe even a teenager or two.

    Do you think the youngsters are ready to follow the example set by the vets? Are they ready to listen?

    Geez you are so right. The coach can’t do it. The only stick a coach has is ice time. Carlyle is really going to bench, hypothetically speaking, Getzlaf or Ryan because they didn’t listen to Marchant?

    One of hockey’s great guiding principles is, “Check your ego at the door.” Much easier said than done.

    Why should a Getzlaf or a Perry listen to, hypothetically speaking, Koivu who doesn’t have his name on the Cup or Olympic gold around his neck?

    I’m archiving, ‘Playing for the respect of your teammates.’ It will come up again. Thank you very much.

  5. […] posted on this website about playing for the respect of your team mates.That’s the real reason reason we play […]

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