What we learned of Gabby

Posted: 12/03/2011 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , ,

In a word, fearless.
The System: Gabby’s Ducks will play a puck possession game. We will see more plays at the opposition blue line as opposed to the chip and chase. North/South hockey is back. In execution Coach Boudreau is much closer to the brand of hockey Brian Burke talks about than is Randy Carlyle.This doesn’t mean the grind and cycle game is out. It means our Ducks will set it up differently. Look for the chip along the boards and into the corner to become a 3rd – 4th option rather than the first.
Without the puck, very traditional Old School hockey is back. Clog the passing lanes, box out hockey is back. In a word patience. Our Ducks will tend to their housekeeping duties and wait for mistakes rather than trying to force the play. Last night we were a bit sloppy in our end. In the neutral zone and in the offensive zone our guys showed a lot of puck support. Not so much in the D zone. When the Flyers went to two fore checkers in the second period we were often outnumbered at the puck; especially behind the red line. We must give that first guy on the puck more support than we did last night. In terms of our play in each zone, this change will be Coach Boudreau’s single biggest challenge.
As a group our guys were 27 of 51 off the puck drops. The difference was Getz, who went 11 for 17. The difference there was that he used his body more often but he also got more support from his wing mates. Perry and Ryan went quicker and harder on the puck. I’ve always advocated that face offs are primarily a team stat. Last night the RPG line showed us how and why that is so.
Overall, our Ducks have the talent to play a puck possession game. Getzlaf, Ryan and Selanne should benefit significantly from the adjustment. One observation Coach Boudreau noted following the game is that he was surprised by the skill level of this team.  as had been often noted by this blog and others the precious system didn’t suit the talent and skill of the roster.

The Players: Guys who were given more prominent roles include;

  • Bobby Ryan who found himself reunited with The Twins and was put on the first unit PP.
  • Matt Beleskey skated alongside the Finn Twins and at times looked like an orphan who just found a home.
  • Francois Beauchemin played over 30 minutes. Frankie gave a real heart and soul performance.
  • The depth forwards were trusted with more TOI prior to the penalty parade;
    • Andrew Gordon scored his first goal of the season,
    • Andrew Cogliano opened the scoring potting a PP goal,
    • Maxine Macenaeur, Ben Maxwell got on the scoreboard assisting on Gordo’s goal.
    • Luca Sbisa saw his TOI increase to 20:50 and he wast at times stunning.
    • Sheldon Brookbank didn’t stand out at all which is a compliment to a D-man who saw almost half of TOI on the  PK unit.

Technically, Brookbank missed his check on the winning goal but I won’t fault any of our guys considering the officiating that created that Flyer PP.
The single most surprising moves were Beleskey to the 2nd line and the creation of a new 3rd line of Cogliano-Hagman-Smith-Pelley. Skating alongside the Finns, Homey really put his speed on display. I for one didn’t think he had those wheels. Belly does bring some much sandpaper to the line and might be a nice fit.
Gabby showed some gutsy decisions and he marshaled his assets with creativity and faith. It was in the least an interesting, if not fascinating, first effort.

  1. czhokej says:

    I blame 1 goal on Bobby Ryan, he did not cover his player. What I liked was our guys talking on the bench, being emotionally involved both on and off the ice.

    Jeff Miller was trying to justify his past support for RC with another column in OC Register. I must say he never paid any attention to critical comments we discussed at the OCR blog. He probably did not see any RC’s shortcomings (and they very many). Then there must be some doubts about his knowledge of the game. However, Murray did not see it either for a long time. Was it his friendship making him blind, or was it a lack of abstract and analytical thinking?
    I still remember my passionate arguments with bloggers named “Fish” and “maketheadjustment”, strong defenders of Carlyle’s competence.

    • BackCheck says:

      Cry me a river Jeff Miller. I read the first line and the last two cz. I could care less for berating and challenging players because a guy got fired. Many behave, Jeff Miller among them, that Randy Carlyle’s contract came with an entitlement provision. Who do they think he is, a federal judge? A college professor?
      Eric Stephens captured Randy Carlyle at is entitlement best:
      “Players are going to say what they say,” he said. “It’s up to them. Their comments are what they want. I know how hard we worked and I know the kind of effort that was put in and the passion that was brought to the rink every day by the coaching staff.
      “I never once felt the room was lost. It was frustrating that we weren’t able to execute to the level that was required.”
      Randy Carlyle mistakes effort for results.
      Going forward, I’m glad Miller has assumed the mantle of house organ grinder. One of the long standing complaints about Bob Murray is that he ignores local media.
      Ken Campbell, the Hockey News, draws a great contrast and comparison between Gabby in Washington and RC here. In each case players stopped responding to coaches with opposite approaches. In each the respective team replaced the coach with his opposite. Maybe one day a couple creative GM’s will figure out how to trade coaches.
      Bruce Boudreau is exactly what this team needs right now and IMO has needed for at least the last 3 seasons.

  2. czhokej says:

    You are right, bc. I like Gabby the “people person”. However, I do not think that RC’s personality was the main problem, it was just one of the problems.

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