PostGame PostUp: San Jose 0 Anaheim 1

Posted: 01/09/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

After the team meeting with GM Doug Wilson, the Sharks came out fired up as predicted in the PreGame PostUp. For 45 consecutive minutes the Sharks owned our barn as they peppered Hiller with 34 of their 37 shots.

Hiller received his usual support from the Ducks skaters in the form of 21 blocked shots. Andreas Lilja led the sacrifice stat with four.

When it came to clearing rebounds our Ducks were woefully weak. The Sharks jumped all over the loose pucks and earned numerous second and third chances in the scrums.And that’s the way it went with only a few exceptions. I really should start keeping a territorial stat. It seemed as though the Sharks held a 66% advantage in territorial play. In other words the puck was in our end two minutes for every one minute played in the Sharks end.

Jonas Hiller stole another two points.

The lone goal of the game came when Bobby Ryan did something we need him to do. After receiving a pass from Toni Lydman, Ryan elected not to take the low percentage shot off the half wall. Ryan got selfish with the puck and deked two Sharks defenders out of their shorts on his way to the net. Getting into position Silver shot into Niemi’s pads, beat Marc-Eduard Vlasic to the rebound and snapped one past Niemi before the Sharks netminder could reset himself to the shooter.

I sent Bobby a tweet asking if the first shot into Niemi’s pads was intentional. Will let you know if he responds.

Hiller made the goal stand up. In the final 15 minutes it looked as though the Sharks just ran out of gas. San Jose had played Nashville the night before.

This game is a huge win to our Ducks for more than just the obvious. The obvious is of course the two points we took from a Division and Western conference rival. Just as important, our guys opened a three-point lead on the Sharks who now must win their two games in hand to catch and pass our Ducks in the standings.

The pressure is now on the Sharks.

This is the kind of win that bonds a team. This wasn’t a win against just the San Jose Sharks. Our Ducks were forced to overcome bad officiating as well. At best the crew consisting of referees Denny LaRue, Brian Pochmara and linesmen Brian Murphy, Vaughn Rody were merely negligent. In my opinion that crew was beyond merely negligent. They were biased.

How often have we seen the officiating crew confer and reverse a decision? They did on the too many men call against the Sharks. It wasn’t just the reversal though. It was the ignored calls against the Sharks and the additional bad call against Visnovsky on Thornton in the third period.

And still, with the officials and the Sharks against them, our Ducks won. It was our Ducks against the world. Meeting and overcoming that kind adversity bonds a team like no other challenge.

This was a win our Ducks can build something really special on. Occasionally in team sport Aristotle’s theory, “The whole is more than the sum of its parts” is proven. Thanks to the work of R. Buckminster Fuller adn E. J. Applewhite proved the idea in their epic “Synergetics: Explorations in the Geometry of Thinking.

In sport we’re a tad more down to earth about it. We call it playing above your heads. It’s what happens when a team really comes together. The chemistry is so right, teams do perform beyond expectations.

A couple of months ago, poster bbdux93 shared with us that we play for the respect of our teammates. Tonight by not only beating the Sharks but by overcoming bad officiating AND beating the Sharks, there isn’t one guy in that room who hasn’t earned the respect of his teammates.

Call it chemistry, synergy or playing above their heads. Together, our Ducks team is more than the sum of its parts. Tonight our Ducks did more than prove Aristotle and Fuller right.

They proved it to themselves.

  1. bbdux93 says:

    I’ve thought a lot about the inability of this team to quickly and effectively clear their defensive zone. Too often in what seems like desperation, they end up icing the puck and they’re back where they started, or worse, now they’ve got a bunch of tired guys on the ice. Is this a comment about our lack of a strong defense . . or maybe there’s more, what part of the problem may be with the play of our forwards?

    The other thing that comes to mind and this is about the Sharks. I think it may have been CZ who said about their getting to the playoffs but not making it past the first or second round, they peaked too soon. Maybe by that time they were physically and mentally worn out. I’m not a fan of the Sharks – just my thoughts on what I still believe is a team that should be a Cup contender.

  2. czhokej says:

    I think that the Sharks are a good hockey team, and I believe they will make the play-offs. The Ducks look much better lately, and if we can eliminate some errors, carelessness and mental mistakes, we should make it too. We have improved in puck support, puck possession, geometry of the game, net front presence, positioning, driving to the net, goalie screening and backchecking. Nevertheless, we still have room for upgrading our game. For example, our Ds cannot handle the aggressive forechecking by the opposition, as bb also mentioned above. Relying on Hiller too much is not good. SOGA and SOG differential (the Ducks are still the 2nd worst in the league) indicate a territorial play disadvantage against the most opponents.

  3. BackCheck says:

    Hey bbdux93,

    Breakouts, clearing the zone has been a challenge. Our inability to breakout effectively is common among puck management teams. We lack puck support. We don’t always have that short outlet pass available. We get in a wide or long gap between the D and forwards. We don’t get enough bodies involved at the point of attack or at the puck. Too often, we are outnumbered at the puck.

    These are symptoms of Randy Carlyle’s system. We are too often looking for the stretch or Hail Mary pass. This spreads the players out on the breakout, widens or lengthens the gap; takes the short or outlet pass away and causes us to be outnumbered at the puck.

    Watch, especially our slower forwards, how quickly the forwards break up ice often before we have secured possession of the puck. This is called “cheating on the play.” It is what slower skaters do, going forward and coming back.

    Absent puck support, our D is too often left to do it all themselves. Just like it in that commercial featuring Duncan Keith when all his options are taken away and takes it up ice himself. In the commercial Keith scores. That’s Hollywood for ya.

    Absent support our guys, like cz noted are vulnerable to the forecheck because they are often outnumbered.

    The website Schoolyard Puck has a great Do’s and Don’ts of Hockey Breakouts

    Also, I highly recommend this ten minute video from

    I just discovered while preparing your answer. So often a narrative just isn’t enough. I will be spending some time at their site. Hopefully Drill Draw will allow all of us to play x & o’s 🙂

  4. ffe155 says:


    Thanks for the links. The video was a great tutorial on breakout basics. looks like it has some good stuff. I looked at the cycle video and gained a better understanding of how the cycle is supposed to work with front and backside support.

  5. czhokej says:

    Long outlet passes from the defensive zone to the wingers on the offensive blue line were Carlyle’s strategy for several years – designed to create a quick counterattack.
    It worked quite well when this idea was knew and when we had Pronger and Scotty to protect the puck alone, and to make these very difficult and dangerous passes. After a while everybody expected those plays and it did not work that well anymore.
    Besides, our receivers were not moving their skates (because timing of these passes is quite challenging) and they became easy targets for the opposition. In spite of that, Randy still used the same approach at the beginning of this season.

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