PreGame PostUp: Anaheim @ San Jose

Posted: 11/09/2010 by bc in Uncategorized

Our Ducks leave their comfort zone where they have built an impressive 5-1-1 record. This isn’t just a road game for “Away from Mama Nervous Nellie” hockey team is a dismal  2-6-0 this season. This is a road game in the Shark Tank where our Ducks are a perfect 0-4-0 and have been outscored 17-6.

For fun with numbers people, that is a GFA of 1.5 and a GAA of 4.25. And the OCR’s Eric Stephens reports, Ducks go into San Jose motivated, confident. In the immortal words of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady, “Well isn’t that special.”

Maybe our Ducks are confident because the Sharks are Joe-less. Thornton is sitting out the second of a two game suspension after being found guilty convicted of Rule 48.1 violation. Like any other Lindsay Lohan type prima donna Thornton did launch a “Justice for Joe” appeal but was summarily denied.

Jeez, it’s not like Joe had to wear an ankle bracelet or go into an anger management program for his, “blind side hit to David Perron where Perron’s head was targeted.”

If Joe had assaulted Perron on the street in a similar manner he might have received considerable jail time. Both Joe and the Sharks are whining about him missing two hockey games.

Is hockey a game played by sportsmen or merely a turf war conducted by highly paid, G-Rated gang bangers? Joe Thornton and the conduct of the San Jose Sharks beg this question.

Our Ducks do enter the game riding the game a modest 3 game win streak. A win tonight would mean more than those three wins combined. Such is the imposing dominance represented by the San Jose Sharks.

A win tonight would give our Ducks justification to say, “We’re back.” Beating a Stanley Cup contender, in their barn, while snapping a four game losing streak and creating a four game win streak has its own bragging rights.

I’m happy with a 60 minute hard-fought effort. As I posted on the OCR’s Ducks page, “Losing well is sometimes something you can build on too.”

Go Ducks!

  1. czhokej says:

    Prediction? Any roster changes? Any tactical innovations?
    Question for you bc. Several times I was criticizing vertical passes into and through the neutral zone, especially along the boards, because I have seen again and again, that most of the time it doesn’t work. First, it’s so difficult to receive a pass from behind, and at the same time to skate forward, to have some speed to enter the offensive zone, and to avoid the Ds. If you take a look back, you maybe plastered against the boards, or be on a receiving side of a nasty hit. If you slow down, one would be a sitting duck (Duck). In one game I was counting these passes, and there was consecutive 6 of them, resulting in a take-away. Against the Bolts and the Pens, we played differently, but the game against Nashville was the same old stuff. Could you give me your opinion about this – or am I wrong?

  2. BackCheck says:

    Hey cz, we just flat didn’t adapt to Nashville’s short gap, smothering tight triangle trap. We passed or skated into the convergence point of the trap too often. We didn’t use that lateral short pass to the outlet guy at all. In other words we didn’t have a guy in a support position. The initial puck carrier felt the pressure of the forechecker and took the only lane open, up the boards.

    How’s that for a very smart coach, Barry Trotz, gaming a team into playing its system and nearly beating them with it. Exposing that predictability pattern that you’ve pointed out so often.

    The Bolts and Pens play a longer gap so Teemu especially, was able to find a skating lane through the neutral zone. We were able to hit him with the vertical or stretch pass because the long gap opened up the passing lane. Against the Bolts our top line went lateral then vertical to pressure the weak side of the 1-3-1.

    The difference is with the initial puck carrier and the support or outlet guy. Against the short gap set, a puck carrier looks up, sees a forechecker and behind him bodies clogging the passing and skating lanes. Except of course the one open lane up the boards, which is exactly where they want you to go and where the trap is set.

    Against the wide or long gap set a puck carrier looks up and sees skating and passing lanes everywhere. There’s no pressure even against the initial forechecker who isn’t supported because of the gap and is outnumbered if the support or outlet guy is there.

    Two ways to beat short gap pressure is for the puck carrier to get rid it quickly to either to his supporting D partner or a forward cutting back across the middle. That forward really has to keep his head up though because he’s in a vulnerable position.

    Taking a pass from behind is mostly the responsibility of the passer. It it isn’t tape to tape, the passer has to lead the skater a bit, so the forward skates into the pass. Again, anytime you’re accepting a pass in open ice, you’re vulnerable to getting clocked big time. Which is partly why a guy like Teemu is so special. You can’t hit what you can’t catch.

  3. czhokej says:

    Thanks, again I feel like an amateur talking to a pro. But I do not mind, I like to learn. There is a lot of thinks I do not fully understand, but I usually can see the tactical mistakes.
    And this brings me to another issue – how come Carlyle so often doesn’t see it, doesn’t correct it, and doesn’t change the strategy when something is not working?

  4. czhokej says:

    Sorry about the typo.

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