What to do when you’re in a slump

Posted: 11/07/2011 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , ,

If you’re the St. Louis Blues you end your Payne and hire a veteran coach. If you’re the Anaheim Ducks you might make a headline, (1) Float a rumor that you’re talking to Scott Niedermeyer about a comeback, (2) Send the GM into the room for his annual F-bomb laced rant, though early November is just a tad early for that now annual ritual, (3) Bench an almost a star player, (4) Give everybody in Syracuse a shift in the NHL.
Actually our Ducks have gone the benching route of sorts demoting top pair D-men Lubomir Visnovsky and Toni Lydman to second pairing duty. Everybody in Syracuse is getting at least a shift in the NHL.

What our Ducks haven’t done is anything significant. When I was in a slump my solution was to get on my wheels and get in on the puck. Never think beyond what was immediately in front of you. I do the same thing today. When overwhelmed by work, I take it one file at time. I don’t look at the pile of files, just the file in front of me. Skills are transferable, no?

Our Ducks are 3-2 at home heading into a string tat finds them playing the next 11 of 13 games at the Honda Center. I haven’t checked Ducks media and blogs but assume somebody is opining that our  Ducks will turn it around because “match-up Coach” Randy Carlyle will get the last change.

Never mind the fact that these Ducks are again mired in an identity crisis. Are they a puck possession team? A strong fore-checking puck management team? Are they a grind team? A finesse team? Of course we shouldn’t ever ask about the game preparation and process of being ready to go at peak performance at a scheduled time.  God forbid we should ask if  the Coach getting the most from his assets? Or, if the GM has assembled a playoff quality hockey team?

In St. Louis they trade some star players and fire a coach when the team under performs. In Anaheim they extend the Coaches contract and give the guys a princess day. The Blues are 14th in the Western Conference. Our Ducks are 13th. Which team do you think will advance up the standings sooner?

  1. duckfan22 says:

    To me, the Ducks play their best when they control the boards and are able to get the cycle going, especially the top line with Perry, Getzlaf, and Ryan. The top line is not having as much success at controlling the puck as they did last year and I feel like this is one of the big reasons to why they are in a slump.

    While shot blocking is dangerous, I find it needed with this team because it’s a way of creating passion and focused on one thing, keeping that puck from getting by them. I hope the Ducks can find that same passion and determination at blocking shots as they did at the end of last season.

    Selanne has been impressive this year with his scoring, play making and passion. At the age of 41 he definitely is showing his other teammates how embarrassing their play has been so far. He is also showing if you work hard, play with passion and determination then you will see results. Selanne is more than a forward on this team, he is the team.

    • BackCheck says:

      Personally ducksfan22, I was never a fan of pushing the puck to the safe areas. If there’s nothing there or you need a change then yeah okay dump it off. For me it’s always the last option though. Most often I’d eat the biscuit first. You can usually buy a few seconds even outnumbered and it shows some battle. I just don’t ever recall even one time getting a tap on the pads and a, “Hey nice chip up the boards Thrash.”

      Two things RPG need to do much more of is earn and hold inside position down low and with all the skill on that line they should be able to create more odd man advantages. Even down low they pass when you know each of RPG can deke that first defender out of his shorts.

      I’m not disagreeing with ya ducksfan22. More like adding a bit behind why guys don’t like making those safe plays all the time. The shortest distance to the net is a straight line.

      • duckfan22 says:

        You are right and I do agree with you, but the main point I was getting at was that at least when they cycled they had control of the puck. Now it seems like they have the puck on their sticks for like 3 seconds and then lose it to an opposing player and the play starts going the other way. This line use to be able to keep the puck in the opponetnt’s zone a lot longer than what they have been.

  2. czhokej says:

    I am back from Europe, and I haven’t seen any games since October 17. However, from what I have read here and at some other pages, my first idea would be to blame the coach. The players should know the system by now, but the last time I saw the Ducks, there was no organized system.

  3. czhokej says:

    Too often in the past our top line took the play to the corners to cycle. We kept the puck in the offensive zone, but the transition to the scoring opportunity was not there, until Perry started to attack the net.
    So much talent, and it’s not showing.

  4. BackCheck says:

    @ducksfan22 Sometimes I don’t ‘splain myself well. What I was trying to get at is that you don’t need guys on the wall to cycle and maintain possession of the puck. If you have 3 guys wheeling or circling inside a zone you can still cycle. You set up the triangle, get up on your wheels or if you can let the puck do the work. Duh@me for not just sayin’ it the first time.

    And yeah, we weren’t disagreeing so much as I’m little frustrated for not being as clear as necessary. I know you get it df22 but there are casual fans and young beginners who visit here so I’m always conscious of them as well. Besides effective communication is simple, no?

    Welcome back czhokej!!! You didn’t miss anything we haven’t seen before except that RC is taking more responsibility for the slump now. Otherwise the guys aren’t ready to go when the puck drops and it goes downhill from there. We earned points from the Blackhawks, Wild (only win), Caps and Rags. Road trip P% = .357!!! Keep that up and we’ll battle the Blue Jackets for the #1 draft pick.

    In 14 games our Ducks haven’t won a game by more than 2 goals. We just haven’t gone out, dominated and imposed our will on anyone. The team is totally disorganized and worse, it is uncommitted because it is so disorganized. Individually there is effort, I mean collectively. There is just no effort to playing as a unit.

  5. czhokej says:

    RC said: “We did not have energy, we did not have an execution”. I have a feeling he blamed the players.
    I still remember an argument at OC Register Ducks blog – you said that some players whom RC did not give a chance flourished with other teams. You were nastily attacked by RC admirers.
    Now I see, among others, Lupul scoring for Toronto, with 17 points and +8.

    • BackCheck says:

      Yeah, people take cheap shots when they don’t have a substantive argument. I left the OCR board because I was getting trolled. In fairness to the OCR I never complained or asked them to do anything about it.

      Earlier in the season, maybe it was the Preds game? RC stood up and took responsibility for not having the team ready to go. On Tuesday Matt Vevoda of AnaheimDucks.com reported,
      “We are going to focus on our start,” Carlyle said. “That is an area where we haven’t done a very good job.” Well yeah okay, but I’d say focus on the process of going from game to game. First you cool down, hydrate, increase and decrease the intensity of your workouts according to the time distance between games. With travel through time zones you have to adjust the body clock. Seems to me you want to focus on the process and not one aspect of getting game ready.

      Nick Kypreos posted an awesome critique of the old school my way or the highway coaching style. He used Ken Hitchcock as his example but he could have been speaking about Randy Carlyle.

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