PostGame PostUp: Blues 2 Ducks 4

Posted: 10/17/2011 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

Ducks Fab Four, Bobby Ryan, Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf and Teemu Selanne  exploded for seven points on three goals and four assists as the Ducks earned a scary but in the end solid win over St. Louis.

It was an intriguing match up as the Blues looked more like the bash, crash, smash and trash Ducks of old. Our Ducks have definitely moved on from Brian Burke’s Big Bad Bodacious Ducks that won a Stanley Cup championship. These Ducks are still tough enough, see Brandon McMillan take a hit from Dave Backes, but oh man do these guys fly in transition.

What the Blues discovered tonight, and this is the message NHL scouts will carry back to their teams, is that either Lubomir Visnovsky or Cam Fowler will beat a one man forecheck pretty much every time. Ducks Flash & Dash Bros. will beat two-man forechecks most of the time. Blues coach David Payne was forced to direct his that his charges back out of the Ducks zone and clog the neutral zone. The only sustained success the Blues achieved they executed off the neutral zone trap. You can bet Randy Carlyle, Dave Farrish and Mike Foligno will review the video from this game.

Jonas Hiller wasn’t called upon to be great, though he was frustratingly sound all game. The shots Jonas didn’t absorb and smother, the guys cleared and turned back the other way. In short, our Ducks didn’t give up those second, third and fourth chances. Can we get the Sabres back here please? We deserve another shot at those guys.

On the Fab Four exploding for 7 points, “They have had their fair share of chances and tonight they were rewarded for some of the hard work that they have put in,” said Ducks coach Randy Carlyle. “Hopefully, it just continues a trend for us. They are not going to get any easy assignments because they are going to draw all the top lines and top defensive pairs that the others teams have. Their work has just begun.”

What we witnessed tonight is a template on how our Ducks will get it done this season. Successful hockey begins with transition from the back line. It’s the transition game, whether built around great passing, great puck carriers or both that allows teams to carry the play to the opposition.

OCR’s Eric Stephens posted what I’ll a companion piece on the improved defense. Ice quotes Beauchemin who credits familiarity, “It obviously helps when you got all the guys back and we all know each other.”

The Lakers of the 1980’s called it ShowTime. Purists in hoops call it the fast break. Our Ducks PR department should brand this lightening quick breakout. Or maybe we do it for them?

One of this blog’s Twitter buds, Shadow of the Bat noted vast improvements in the passing game. Another, GoDucksGM observed how our Ducks controlled the puck, especially on the PP.

The one critical aspect of all this is that have you noticed we haven’t discussed the forecheck? That’s because we didn’t establish the forecheck off the dump. True, we head manned the biscuit to a safe area a few times. For the most part though, we skated the puck into Halak’s kitchen. When the puck rolled deep our guys followed the play and forechecked at the point of the puck. But it’s now done incidentally rather than intentionally. Or in other words, as our Bud czhokej has often penned, you score by going to the net not by going to the corner.

Then again, maybe tonight’s win had nothing to do with hockey and everything to do with pleasing the hockey gods. When Girls Love Hockey bloggers Jenelyn Russo and Suz Broughton were both in barn tonight. Our Ducks are near perfect with the Lucky Charms in attendance.

This is going to a fun year gang.

  1. duckfan22 says:

    Hiller played great last night. It’s great to see Hiller making non-believers believe in him again. The only regret I see him having from last night was the second goal he gave up. It’s tough to give up a goal from that severe of angle, especially since the puck seemed to go either under the pad or between the arm and body.

  2. czhokej says:

    I was in the barn last night, and here is my report (I know, most of you saw the game). First, the positives – we won, Hiller was good, defense was OK, RC did not change the line combos (except for necessary replacement of Blake). Ryan and Perry are getting their legs and hands back. We scored more than one goal, we created some chances, Beauch remembered that he can shoot, Fowler, Sbisa, Lydman and Brookbank looked good. Now the negatives – it was a close game, against the tired Blues. McMillan couldn’t replace Blake. Beauch and Getzlaf had several terrible giveaways. Getz is still quite slow and he lost too many crucial face-offs (PP). New players (Gordon, DSP, Macenauer , Beleskey) did not show too much, only Cogliano looked well. Both Eric Stephens and Mark Whicker commend the improved defense (which I agree with) but we have to ask why some obvious problems were not corrected before (this is one reason why I was so unhappy about RC). We have been discussing this issue here for a long time.

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