Our Ducks: What Scares Me Most

Posted: 09/20/2010 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

All the fortune tellers are predicting another out of the playoffs season for our Ducks. Oddly, none see what I fear. Maybe that’s why you’re here…

Penalties, especially stupid penalties killed us last season. Often a penalty took away the momentum. There is only one situation when leaving your team shorthanded is smart hockey. Excuse the shouting:

IF THE ONLY WAY TO PREVENT A SCORING OPPORTUNITY IS TO TAKE A PENALTY. DO IT.

Otherwise, every other penalty that puts your team down a man is a bad penalty. The vast majority of bad penalties fall into 3 categories.

1.) You’re already beat on the play and hook, hold, trip or interfere to catch up.

2.) You’re ticked and you retaliate.

3.) Sending a message.

A quick look at the PIMS of our Ducks strongly suggests we’ll again be among the NHL’s most penalized teams.

That, in and of itself, wouldn’t necessarily be a bad thing. Our Ducks were among the most penalized teams when they won the Cup. We also had two Norris Trophy winning D-men, a Frank Selke candidate as well as one of the NHL’s top 5 goal tenders.

Which leads me straight to the second thing about our Ducks that scares the beejeebers out of me. Who’s left to PK? Do you see any Norris Trophy or Franke Selke candidates on the roster?

Among our least penalized players are Saku Koivu, Todd Marchant and Matt Belesky? Sure. Toss ’em out there.

What about our other least penalized guys, Teemu Selanne, Lubomir Visnovsky, Jason Blake? In the immortal words of young girls everywhere, “OMG!!! Not on the PK.”

Is it any wonder our Ducks found themselves in backbreaking 5 on 3’s so often? Some of our most penalized guys were also on the PK. Expect more of the same this season. Because…

The third source of my tossing and turning at night is that Randy Carlyle is back for another season or part of a season. It doesn’t matter what’s wrong with our Ducks. A veteran not performing, too many penalties, a poor PK or systems that aren’t working.

The one thing you can count on from Randy Carlyle is he’ll be slow to react.

So let MSM beat the blue line to death. Really, that’s not what scares me the most. Our so-called weak D doesn’t even make my top3 things that scare me most list.

You don’t even need to look at the stats to know this:

When our Ducks stay out of the box, they win. When they don’t, they lose.

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Comments
  1. czhokej says:

    I expect again that the Ducks will be one of the most penalized teams. But if we play zone (box defense), and if we can win some of the face-offs (which Sammy used to do better than anybody on the current team), we may get decent % on PK. Neither Chipchura nor Marchant are even close, they have to improve. Nevertheless, I believe we can have solid PK, if it is better organized. As I said before, I have seen many times solid defense played by average players. Actually it was not that long ago, at the World Championship in Germany (May 2010). And it was not only the winner of the tournament, but also Denmark, Switzerland and Germany showed good defensive system, executed with precision by players of less than NHL level of skills.

  2. bbdux93 says:

    You two will have the names and the game for this post – I only have a picture in my head.

    During the ’07 Cup run, in a game that was pretty intense, Pronger and Rob combined to take out an opponent against the far boards and Chris got suspended for the hit. It was scary, but thinking of playing – I think it was 5 games withour Pronger was -the bigger scare.

    What happened during that suspension is what has to happen to this year’s group or they won’t make the play-offs again.

    IMO that group was a team in every sense of the word, everyone stepped up during that suspension and the rest – as they say – is history.

    Who was instrumental in making that group truly a team… was it Burke and his off the ice fun stuff for the guys, was it a special chemistry among those players…

    We can load our blue line with the best, we can have an amazing group scoring – but as CZ points out – it won’t be enough unless our guys truly become a team

  3. BackCheck says:

    Pronger received two suspensions during that Cup run. Each was for one game.

    The first was for the hit on Wings Tomas Holmstrom. He and Rob Niedermayer made Homer hockey’s first Swedish sandwich.

    Pronger also received a one game suspension for elbowing Ottawa’s Dean McAmmond in the head during game 3 of the Stanley Cup Final.

    As to who made that group a team? The players do. It’s always the players who are responsible for a team coming together or not.

    It doesn’t happen overnight. Even with mostly the same group of guys returning, it doesn’t happen from season to season either.

    Sometimes a team comes together around an event. The guys respond to some slight, some perceived unfairness, an injury, a bad break causes the team to pick up the intensity, rededicate themselves.

    Other times it builds over the course of the season. Team unity grows as a result of hundreds of little things. A guy takes a hit to make a pass. Another guy draws a penalty. A goalie makes timely saves. It spreads from one sacrifice or great play building on another.

    Winning always brings a team together. Winning cures all ills.

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