Duck Eggs: Is Jonas Hiller free of vertigo?

Posted: 10/24/2011 by bc in Uncategorized
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Jonas Hiller’s performance thus far this season reads like a Charles Dickens novel. After appearing in six games Jonas posted an SP above .933 in three games and .842 or lower in his other three appearances. Definitely a best of times or worst of times scenario.
Whatever happened to that “great start story” mainstream media and the blogosphere had been championing as recently as just three days and two games ago? You may not always like or agree with what’s posted here about our Ducks but you’ll get a refreshing break from the Kool-Aid drinking crowd.
Seven games into a season is a tad too soon for conclusions but there are some eyebrow raising trends developing. Where’s the offense? The third and fourth lines have combined for two goals, three assists and a minus-1 overall. No Duck is on pace for more than 46 points and only one Duck, Corey Perry is on pace for a 30 goal season.  And oh yeah, Ducks vaunted power play is 26th best while sputtering and choking along at a 10.3% efficiency rate.The back to back home losses were remarkably similar in the way  Dallas coach Glen Gultzan and Phoenix coach Dave Tippett dissected our strengths and picked us apart. First they took away the quick ups as Coach Carlyle likes to call our breakouts. Both Dallas and then Phoenix forced us to go laterally or East/West s we attempted to move the from our own end into the neutral zone. The result, most often our forwards were accepting passes in teh neutral zone while flat footed. This made them easy prey for opposing back-checking forwards and/or opposition D-men stepping up.

Carlyle countered with 3 men back but he still relied on the long gap and looking for that Hail Mary stretch pass. The stretch pass is okay if you catch a guy on the fly. If he’s standing still well, your own eyes ain’t lyin’ to ya. The solution is more reliance on puck possession played inside a smaller box with a shorter gap and smaller box. If you’re thinking short passing game, take a way2be.

Randy Carlyle has shown the willingness to change and adept. What I’ve described, essentially a small box – short gap 2D back-1C-2Wingers forward set is really as basic as positional hockey gets. The hybrid ain’t working. You can take the stretch pass and some other high risk when the opposition gives them to you. To try and force it, as we did in the previous two games is a recipe for barn stink.

Note to czhokej: Thought you’d enjoy reading how Dallas created a checking line

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