A win to build on & Opening Day roster taking shape

Posted: 09/29/2011 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Our Ducks are feeling pretty good themselves after beating the Vancouver Canucks mostly ‘A’ Team 3-2 last night. Ryan Getzlaf said, “We had a tough start to the preseason, but we have things going now. We have to continue that on and continue to build.” Well yeah the guys should feel about themselves after any win. Let’s also note though that our Ducks have earned a P% of .625 from these mostly same Canucks over the past two seasons. While the Nucks have skated among the NHL’s elite the past two seasons, it’s been our Ducks who have given them fits.

So yeah guys do as Coach says, “Enjoy the win for ten minutes then get back to work.” Getting back to work following game means starting the process of preparing for the next game. Job 1 is hydration and beer doesn’t count. Alcohol will dehydrate so stick to the two beer limit. Yeah, try and enforce that rule, lol.

Coach Carlyle liked what he saw last night, noting that (1) Hiller gave them a chance to win, (2) the PK units blocked shots, cleared some pucks and (3)the structure and execution is getting better when compared to the first 3 games but RC added, “We have lots of room for improvement.” For more check out Ducks TV presented by Time Warner.

Andrew Cogliano’s spot seems settled for the moment at least.  As reported by the OCR’s Eric “Iceman” Stephens, “His speed is his number one asset,” Carlyle said. “We have to find a way to help him to get that speed to be noticeable. And it was very noticeable in the last game we played him at center. We practiced with him a couple of times on the wing and I don’t think it’s as effective. I told him that we’re probably going to stay with him as a center iceman and see how that goes.”

Some noteworthy observations worth mentioning in no particular order:

Jonas Hiller played well in his second consecutive game. He went two periods Sunday against Nucks ‘B’ team, pulling himself out after the second period when he felts his tighten up. Last night he went all the way.

Rookie Devante Smith-Pelly was sent over the boards in the final minute of a one goal game. That’s some confidence RC put in him.

With Cogliano nailing down a center spot, attention shifts to the wings where six players, Andrew Gordon, Devante Smith-Pelly, Brandon McMillan, Jason Blake, Maxime Macenauer and Patrick Maroon are competing for the four remaining spots. Open is RW alongside Cogs and 2nd through 4th line LW.

Ducks aren’t exactly shopping Jason Blake but…..if he isn’t moved don’t be surprised if Blake is waived before the season starts. Kind of a shame to breakup the Masterton Line but hockey teams don’t run on sentiment.

Matt Belesky is anxious to return and RC is anxious to see how he does now that he’s finally healthy. Belly played with a bum wing most of last season and he’s a guy in whom the Brain Trust feels can produce in the NHL. The Windsor, Ontario native could be in the lineup Friday night against the party boys.

Toni Lydman will make the trip to Helsinki. I sense RC is looking to get him in one of the games, even if it means dressing seven D-men. No doubt Toni wants to play in front of his homeys. If there’s any chance at all, he’ll go.

  1. duckfan22 says:

    I was extremely impressed by the play of the players from the 3rd, 4th and PK lines last night. Maxime Macenauer, Patrick Maroon and even Brian McGrattan stood out for me. At the beginning of pre-season I thought it was a no brainer that Maroon and McGrattan would start the season in the AHL, but after what they have shown this pre-season has made me feel like they deserve to make the team. They were great last night.

    Last night also showed that our young sophomore Cam Fowler and 3rd year pro Luca Sbisa, might have a promising year this year. They both skated and played with confidence and controlled the play at times.

    • BackCheck says:

      Hey T-bone, Sbisa is entering his third year. In 2008-09 he played 39 games with the Flyers which qualified him as a rookie in that season. Would you like me to edit your post for accuracy, lol? Paybacks are a narly witch, ain’t they Bud?

      Can’t comment on individual players because I didn’t see the game, only the hi-lights.

      • duckfan22 says:

        I gotta take what I can dish. I do appreciate the correction, because you are correct. You definitely can edit the post for accuracy but its more about the correct information being told than anything.

      • BackCheck says:

        Hey duckfan22, you’re a good sport. Besides, mistakes just prove we’re both human. In the grand scheme of things that kinda takes the pressure off, no?

  2. bbdux93 says:

    The young player that still concerns me is Smith-Pelly. I know RC placed some “show me pressure” on him at the end of the game – but – from where I sat, the young man needs to improve before he’s NHL ready.

    • BackCheck says:

      There’s a few thousand Duck fans who agree with you bbdux93. I see that sentiment everywhere. The most common adjective used to describe Smith-Pelly is ‘raw.’ The common denominator among the three remaining rookie forwards, DSP, Maroon & Macenaeur is size and physicality.

      I don’t know that Smith-Pelly and Maroon are the closest to NHL ready among our prospects. Each is closer to the prototype RC wants though. Could be there’s a bit of, “Smaller guys (Palmieri, Etem, Sexton) have to prove they can. Big guys (Macenauer, DSP, Maroon) have to prove they can’t” going on.

  3. I liked what I saw from Hiller in the limited amount of time. He looked solid and agile out there. A good win for the Ducks heading into the season.

  4. czhokej says:

    RPG line did not show too much, except too many giveaways. We will be losing games until they play better.

    There are five new forwards on the roster, Cogliano is guaranteed, and beside him Macenauer, Gordon, DSP, McGrattan. Maroon was reassigned and needs more experience. Macenauer can read the game well, his positioning is very good,
    but he is not a strong or a fast player. I think that he will go to Syracuse.
    DSP is much stronger, and his abrasive style of play, good forechecking, and willingness to battle in front of the net would give him the advantage.
    Gordon has to prove himself in the regular season games. McGrattan can provide a physical presence in the lineup, and I like that. He is one of the league’s elite heavyweight enforcers. With all the due respect to George P. , Brian is a much better fighter. I hope that RC uses some of the big bodies to create havoc in front of the net (it always has been a weak point for RC), the way Chicago used Dustin Byfuglien.

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