Post Game PostUp: Phoenix 5 Anaheim 2

Posted: 03/14/2011 by bc in Uncategorized

What’s all this talk about the Phoenix game being a 4 point game? Everybody, from the Daily News to the OCR to Todd Marchant is wrong. It was a six point game as explained in the PreGame PostUp. Entering this game our Ducks held a GIH on the Sharks, Kings, Blackhawks, Stars, Predators, Wild and 3 GIH over the Flames.
“We didn’t have a very good start to the hockey game,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle in the media scrum following the game. The following quote was captured by Adam Brady of

“That was the biggest issue I have as a coach. We didn’t come out of the gate firing like we normally do. We have had great starts here before. Tonight, it just seemed like we were a half of a step behind. We got our game going in the second period and we did a lot of good things.”

Finding fault is always a fairly easy task. The difference last night was Ilya Bryzgalov. When our guys made a mistake the puck ended up in the back of our net. When Coyotes executed a bonehead play, most times Breezy made the save.

Bryzgalov was so good it took an absolutely sick play by Bobby Ryan who took a pass from Ryan Getzlaf just inside the ‘Yotes blue line, deked a Coyote defender, drew another two to him before sliding the biscuit to a wide open Corey Perry who tucked that puppy in behind the Phoenix goaltender.

Perry would find the twine again when he deflected a Cam Fowler blast that knotted it up at 2 apiece with 4:14 to go in the second. It was our Ducks 2nd PP goal in 19 attempts during the six game series. The Pacific Division rivals played the series to a sister kisser, each team gaining three regulation time victories.

Phoenix answered a minute later to retake the lead and went up by two late in the second. This game belonged to Bryzgalov though. He made 2-3 eye-popping stops on Visnovsky. Former Duck Andrew Ebbett pitched in to make a game changing save on Pears bid for the hat trick.

Ducks had an opportunity handed to them late in the third. With Ryan and Fiddler off for coincidental minors, Radim Vrbata was called for delay of game giving our Ducks a 4 on 3 advantage. Carlyle chose that moment to pull Ray Emery and go with the extra attacker. Our Ducks couldn’t capitalize while attempting to set up Teemu Selanne form the low face off circle to Bryzgalov’s right.

The well telegraphed and predictable PP was easily defended by Phoenix.

Shane Doan, as if we needed the hockey gods to mock us at this point, scored into an empty Ducks net making the 5-2. A score that in no way reflected the Ducks dominance and territorial advantage throughout. Doan and the Coyotes kept the celebration toned down on their 5th goal of the evening.

It was the eleventh time this season the so-called offensively challenged ‘Yotes potted 5 or more goals in a single game. It was the second time they did it against our Ducks.

Immediately following the game I tweeted that the season and the playoffs now rests on how our Ducks respond to this defeat. No sooner did Twitter publish when Brian Hayward said, “The Ducks may want to bring in a psychiatrist after this one.”

This was one tough loss. The entire org, the players and us fans really did deserve a better result. In a league built for parity it’s a tough loss that maybe didn’t have to be had we been were more successful in October and November.

Blame starts at the top. Just like the military where the jar-heads pay the ultimate price for managerial incompetence; our Ducks present and immediate is none too bright under present management.

I’m not throwing in the towel by any means. The point is that IF we miss the playoffs, this was a pivotal game.

Oh yeah forgot this tidbit. Eric Stephens tweeted the reported attendance at 14,326. Seems low for a team competing for a playoff spot. Most blame fans for not supporting the team which tickles my funny bone. Where else but sports and politics do you get away with blaming the customer?

We all know that live sporting events compete for discretionary entertainment dollars. I suspect live sporting events also compete with 60″ HDTV and the comfort of my media room. Recently I’ve added Twitter to my game experience, communicating with hundreds of fans who are also enjoying the game.

It will take a better mind than mine to figure out how to sell tickets to live events in this new media age. The old cliche, “you see more live” just doesn’t hold up against HDTV.

  1. ffe155 says:

    A tough loss, but certainly not time to fold the tent. 13 games left, with 11 against teams that are in front of the Ducks in the standings and 7 against Pacific Division teams. Time for a gut check.

    Sorry, BC but I don’t buy the military analogy. This team has the talent to win the Pacific Division. Losing Hiller to a mystery ailment hurt, but after watching SJ scratch out a point against NY on Sat, I don’t buy that the talent isn’t present on the Duck’s roster to succeed. I like the moves that BM has made and can’t complain too much about RC’s recent coaching with minor exceptions.

    I would like to see Marchant on a fourth vice third line roll. Blake doesn’t look like his old self yet, but if/when he regains his form I’d like to see Macmillian replace Marchant on the 3rd line. I like the fact that Fowler/Lilja are seeing less minutes and Sbisa/Beach have increased ES minutes.

    Bottomline, if the Ducks don’t make the play-offs IMHO the players only need to look in the mirror to see the reason why.

    • BackCheck says:

      Hey ffe155 never a need to apologize for seeing it differently and having a mind of your own. If I wanted parrots I’d buy some and train ’em 😉 So the metaphor didn’t work for ya? For me, it’s not so much about who’s more right or wrong. It’s all about the quality of our chat and what the couple hundred Ducks fans who are reading this are getting from it.

      Management and coaching is a difficult issue to discuss. It’s a topic that tends to involve us personally because it also relates in significant part to how we respond to authority. for most of us, this is a deeply personal issue. In my world dissent is not only encouraged; dissent is constitutionally mandated and protected.

      You post above, “I don’t buy that the talent isn’t present on the Duck’s roster to succeed.” And you conclude, “….if the Ducks don’t make the play-offs IMHO the players only need to look in the mirror to see the reason why.”

      I was disappointed when RC started Marchant on the 3rd line and only went to McMillan when we fell behind 2 goals. Little Mac and Big Sexy seemed to be developing some chemistry and have had some offensive success together of late. As a fan I hate to breakup the Masterton Line. As a hockey person, the skill sets of Koivu-Winchester-Selanne and McMillan-Blake-Sexton makes enough sense to try it for more than a shift or two.

      This is where it gets tricky criticizing the coach. Even though you and I, seem to agree on the lines, how do we know the result would have been different had RC set his lines more to our liking? We’ll never know of course because it didn’t happen.

      I look at Dave Tippett in Phoenix, Barry Trotz in Nashville, Jacque Lemaire in Minnesota/New Jersey, John Tortorella Tampa Bay/NY and see guys who have consistently accomplished more with less than Randy Carlyle.

  2. ffe155 says:

    I don’t think anyone will ever confuse RC for Scotty Bowman or Toe Blake and I concur that he’s not of the caliber of the top coaches in the league. I do think he does an adequate job with the talent that the Ducks have. Sure, there are changes that I would like to see, but I also know that I don’t have all the inside scoop on what’s happening in the bodies or minds of the players.

    The Ducks have truly had some weird injuries this year. First Lydman, then Hiller with mystery aliments. Now, Blake cutting himself on his own stick – that never would have happened with Northland or Sherwood PMP lumber. BTW – never did hear if Lydman’s tossed stick in the last game was actually broken – could you tell on HDTV?

    Hopefully, the Ducks will get back in the W column against the Blues. The big games against Pacific Division rivals are coming soon. The Queens and Stars are due for a slump and SJ’s has already started with the Chicago hammering they took tonight. Yokes are going to be tough to catch with their remaining schedule- they only have 5 PD games remaining, but 3 are against SJ.

    • BackCheck says:

      Depends where you post. There are many who do confuse RC for Scotty Bowman or Toe Blake, radio analyst Dan Wood among them. Lydman’s stick didn’t look broken from my seat.

      Hopefully, Monday’s “Lady Ducks Fashion Show” was exactly the kind of goof the guys needed.

      What If Sports is doing an incredible job calculating the odds to make the playoffs. This link takes you to their Ducks page. Mark Whicker is doing a fine job translating the numbers into a compelling narrative.

  3. bbdux93 says:

    Gentlemen, I saw a “folding of the tent” in October/November. Why, ? ? ?. Is it the players, coach or ??? This team, IMO, has the talent but I don’t think it is properly inspired and/or used = coaching.

    I would never put Carlyle in the same category as the coaches you’ve mentioned here. And, that is not from my vast knowledge of great coaches, it is from their results. It is what I always look for. Just as how much time a team has to spend defending their own net which often is reflected in the final score.

    As for the constant mixing of the lines – that just doesn’t make sense. In many things I read that are quoting great plays and players, there is often the comment about not having to look for your line mate – you just know where he will be. RC takes that away and until or unless that changes I can’t see our team becoming a consistent winner.

    As for winning “The Cup” again – even if we were to make it to the play-offs this year, I don’t see that happening. This team and this coach are simply not in sync (sp?) I am often frustrated by the emphasis on simply making the play-offs – it is NOT what this is all about. It reminds me too much of the comment about a goalie giving you a chance – that’s all he can do and if you don’t do the rest of it, score goals and effectively defend your net – it really means nothing in the end.

    A change in mind set needs to start with the very first game next season. You don’t become a real contender if you wait to play your best games in the 2nd 1/2 of the season.

    • BackCheck says:

      Hey bbdux93, “is it the horses or the trainer” is always a fascinating question. Here are some, I hope valid issues even Carlyle’s more ardent supporters would consider reasonable. Note none of these require inside information.

      – The depth lines have been a challenge all season. RC has never really established what he wants from that all important third line. He says that when he puts puts a lien together that he (1) establishes a twosome, The Twins and The Finns, (2) uses that 3rd player for favorable match ups. Little Mac – Big Sexy and Chipchura – Parros have been the consistent and productive twosomes on the depth lines but Carlyle won’t give it to them. The mitigating factor is injuries. Even so, he hasn’t followed through on his stated process with respect to the depth lines.

      – Bobby Ryan has put up incredible numbers considering how he’s been used. He really never knows from one shift to the next what position he’ll be asked to play and with whom. How do you justify NOT using your leading goal scorer on the first PP Unit. I don’t understand that at all.

      – RC is quick to change things that do work, IE. the aforementioned depth line twosomes and stays too long with things that obviously aren’t working IE. dressing 7 D-men.

      – Finding the best fit for Francois Beauchemin has not been as seamless as either Bob Murray or Randy Carlyle predicted when we acquired him.

      – Attention to detail. When a team fails to improve in specific areas of the game, it’s the coach not the players. FO% is the best example. The difference between a winning and losing FO% is often which team recovers those loose pucks. There are specific drills that can improve a team in this and other areas yet there is no evidence of improvement.

      Overall, I give Randy Carlyle a passing grade as a Coach. You can’t deny that he was a winning record as our Ducks head coach. Not enough of a passing grade that I wouldn’t be looking to improve in this area. IMO our Ducks have underachieved since winning the Cup.

  4. czhokej says:

    I would like to add to this interesting discussion. I used to be one of the most vocal critics of RC, especially from the beginning of the season, when our team looked really disorganized and confused on the ice. There were so many obvious tactical mistakes, that it was hard to understand that RC couldn’t correct them (and our GM ignored that). Now, it looks like many of the most noticeable problems were eliminated, and we play better hockey, but we rely too much on our first line to score. However, even our top line is not dominant enough, as I would expect them to be, given their skills and size. Offensively, Perry seems to be always in the right place at the right time, Bobby quite often (but not always) and Getzlaf seldom. That also explains the difference in scoring (36G, 32G, 17G). +/- numbers of the top line are not impressive.
    Getzlaf definitely needs more coaching.

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