Quick Ups

Posted: 01/16/2012 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , ,

Gabby called last night’s game in Vancouver a measuring stick for how far the team had come in two weeks. So let’s do just that…Jonas Hiller is making saves that he wasn’t making all year.
During this 5-0-1 run it’s been a different offensive star every night.
Over the past six games our Ducks are 5-0-1, GF 25 GA 14, P% .920 GFA 4.17 GAA 2.33.
Our Ducks are now 8-10-2 since Bruce Boudreau took over as head coach in what feels like 19 nervous breakdowns ago.

Maybe the best news of all is that this run hasn’t been about one guy. It isn’t dependent on the PP, or just the goaltending or the PK or transition or out shooting and out chancing the opposition. Our Ducks are finding a different way to win every night. That is smart hockey.
We’ve all heard the cliché the other way. Teams find a different way to lose every game. And that’s why I believe this run is real. Some may recall that when our Ducks opened the season 4-1, this was the only Ducks blog that issued a note of caution;

In a glass half empty, 60% of our scoring is coming from 3 players, the only D-man to find the back of the net this season, Nate Guenin, is now Syracuse, the depth lines have produced just two goals, our FO% is just 44.7 and the PP is operating at 10% efficiency.
Our Ducks will be severely challenged to break even, let alone make the playoffs with a 2.00 GFA. That projects to 164 goals on the season. This is exactly why five games is not a great start. It’s a winning streak.

And therein lies the difference between a winning a streak and going on a run. A short winning streak is winning with mirrors. It’s a couple-3-4 guys having big games. This streak has the appearance of containing much more than a handful of guys having good games.  This streak is about 23 guys playing for their jobs. It began when Bob Murray announced to the press that the only untouchables were two guys with no movement in their contracts.

The really fun part for bloggers, fans and mainstream reporters alike is the run and the impact it will have on Bob Murray going forward. Does the GM buy, stand pat or sell? Stay tuned. It’s going to be a heck of a show.

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Comments
  1. czhokej says:

    I have always believed that the Ducks possessed enough skills and experience to play an exciting hockey. I do not want to get my hopes flying too high, but so far the changes of the system and confidence of the players were amazing. I am convinced that this improvement is real and will bring many more victories to coach Boudreau and his team.
    At the same time, this should be a strong criticism of OC Register columnists and our GM who, over the period of last three years, mostly praised coach RC for his accomplishments. Very rarely they saw anything wrong with our previous boss. It’s a credit (and a vindication) to this blog and his author, originator and producer, that he noticed and pointed out the flaws of the old strategy, which were discussed here in depth many times.
    So many good players had to leave the team, because they did not like what was preached to them.
    For those who do not remember: (2009) : “Randy’s not going anywhere,” Murray declared in a very public vote of confidence. “If our players are thinking they’re going to use that as an excuse – because you know that’s what happens – well, the heck with that. There are going to be a lot of players out of here before he’s out of here. He’s done a heck of a job . . . he’s not the problem.”

    • BackCheck says:

      Thanks cz. Have you read Eric Stephens’ Tighter defense now paying dividends? Ice really brought it all home for us, in the player’s own words, in that post. I added the pertinent parts to A fun question for all.
      And don’t ever forget that this blog grew out of our conversation. And yeah vindication is always sweet. And no I don’t miss any of those yahoo’s who used to flame over at the OCR blog.

      I’m still overwhelmed by non-hockey related commitments but will really try to do at least one post per day. Sorry you didn’t get a post game thread up yesterday. I actually missed the past 3 games. Hopefully it will ease up sometime this week.

  2. bbdux93 says:

    I’ll start where CZ left off. RC was the problem and the revolving door of good players was the obvious prrof of that and yet Murray in his less than stellar wisdom refused to see it. Rant done – damage done and we move on.

    Last night’s game was the first one I have watched from beginning to end. Even some of our recent wins had too many mistakes and with a book to read – I did both. Last night I counted no more than a handfull of mistakes our guys made. Even when they made a mistake – someone usually stepped in to cover that.

    What a night Blake and Cogliano had. Their speed is certainly going to give other teams something to be concerned about. And, we were worried what BB would do when Blake came back. 🙂

    I too am hopeful that this was the beginning of good hockey, played by a talented group of guys, with a system that makes watching fun again.

    • BackCheck says:

      Amazing what a team 3 scoring lines deep can accomplish. Kind of fitting that our Ducks turnaround coincides with the day we honor MLK’s, “I have seen the mountaintop.”

  3. bbdux93 says:

    While our climb up the “mountain” will no doubt be filled with challenges – as has been true of the people MLK was speaking to – if our guys continue as they have been there will be the reward of self and team respect. Since The Cup is not possible this year “the dream” is different but attainable.

    And as for the 3 scoring lines – Way To Go – keeping ‘um worried and guessing!

  4. zseller says:

    Last nights game was enjoyable as the boys seemed to have a jump in their step.
    Dont want to throw any water on it but the Nucks did have a few days off after having just returned home from their last road trip.
    Hopefully the Ducks do not fall prey to this same condition when they get home and face the Yotes on Wednesday.
    The sad part of this is that the Ducks have dug themselves such a deep hole that no matter how optimistic I could attempt to be the playoffs are not likely at the end of the season.
    Based on last years final playoff slot in the west having 97 points the Ducks would need to go 30-8 in their remaining games to acheieve this total. Not like they have to win them all but I think that we have a better chance of Bellestiffsky netting 50 goals this year with the Ducks then seeing this record being achieved.
    Hopefully Murray will realize that no matter what you plan for sometimes some years do not work out. And because of this there is no need to dismantle. I have called for Getz to get traded and would continue to do so if he can not be convinced that he needs to put forth his best effort for at least 90 percent of the games he plays. (Provided the return is at least equal)
    Hopefully we will be entertained with some enjoyable hockey for the balance of the season but realistically I think we are too far out to think that we can make the playoffs.
    Here’s hoping I am proved wrong.

    • BackCheck says:

      To reach 97 points our Ducks need to take 60 of the remaining 76 points available. With 38 games to go our Ducks need to go 30-8 or something like 28-4-4.. That’s a P% of .789. Statistically it’s not impossible, but realistically the probability is 0.03. This would rank among the greatest turnarounds of all time.
      zseller is right that the playoffs aren’t the story this season. There are some compelling stories though. What Bob Murray does as the trade deadline approaches is at the top of my list. Will planning for next season remain the priority? What if circumstances change and Ducks are positioned to make a realistic challenge for a playoff spot?
      With the recent win streak our Ducks have fairly well established that we’re the best among the league’s worst. The next challenge is to see where we rank among the playoff also rans.
      Wednesday’s game against the 11th place Phoenix Coyotes is a good place to begin the next challenge. We’ll also play the 9th place Avs, 10th place Stars and close the month in Phoenix.

  5. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    The three game road trip defined:

    Milestones:

    1) As BC indicated our Ducks have found a new way to win as a team.
    2) Hiller has become solid…can I have what your taking, LOL!
    3) Team is embracing BB style.
    4) Scoring from more than one line
    5) Team continues to skate/work until the final whistle.
    6) They are covering for each other (mistakes, passes, etc…), and
    7) We are staying out of the penalty box.

    Issues of concern:

    1) Getz has played over 60 minutes of hockey with only 5 shots (why is this continuing?).
    2) Our team will relapse if we fail to pick-up a strong leader on defense. I don’t believe we can keep up this tempo of hockey (injury, etc…)…we are firing on all cylinders.
    3) Hiller remains a concern…we should consider/continue a search for a solid goalie (#1or#2).
    4) GM, playing half a season year after year is unacceptable…need to treat the root of the problem.
    5) Team needs a vocal/clear leader that shares the teams and managements philosophy and that leads by example (competing every night is what we deserve).

    I’m glad we are wining. However, it has been a nail biting roller coaster until now (last season was the same). We need to keep it in perspective as this is our chance to build for the future and make some worthy moves that fills our weaknesses.

    BC/Fans what do you think? Am I off base? Or should I just enjoy the ride?

  6. BackCheck says:

    Area of concern No. 4, inconsistency is a puzzle. I’d like to be wrong but I don’t see how we change it without a change in on ice leadership and restructuring how the team is built.

    • yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

      Puzzling is a perfect way to define it …its like they are able too turn the switch on and off, as they see fit???? We are in agreement with the on ice leadership. Hope management does not become complacent to the root of the problem.

      czhokej, we definitely need to find some leadership on defense that can find the back of the net. Good points on Detroit…hence why they compete season after season.

  7. czhokej says:

    We do not get enough scoring from our Ds (13 goals total, Detroit has 29, Vancouver 25 – these are just quick numbers from the current roster). So often when there is a chance to shoot from the point, there is no screen. During the last game against the Nucks, Getz did not make any attempts to get closer to the goal on at least three of these occasions, Perry was behind the goal, and Ryan was there in front, but on the side, not screening.

    • BackCheck says:

      Good eye cz, the D hasn’t really registered a lot of points on this run. Overall scoring form the backside is down considerably this season. The way different guys are stepping up every night, it may only be a matter of time before Lubo,Cam &Co. start lighting it up.
      Pears is always down & dirty in the low slot. Another guy who doesn’t get enough credit for getting in the kitchen of opposing goalies is Saku Koivu.Do you think Ryan positions himself to one side because he’s looking for the tip in?

  8. czhokej says:

    I do not have too many problems with Perry and Ryan. They have to adjust to Getz, when he dictates the plays. But Bobby is sometimes too passive. There are games, when he is almost invisible (no passion). Perry goes in front of the net, but the problem is rotation around the crease. If Getz would go there, they would create twice as many chances. What I mean is that so often Perry or BR are in perfect position to pass the puck to the area in front of the goal or to somebody in the low slot (in other words in primary scoring spots), but Getz is stationed at the half- boards.

    • BackCheck says:

      Bobby Ryan does seem to play too passive at times. He does seem to get knocked off the puck more easily than we might expect for a big guy. I wonder if that has something to do with where the radius or rocker is set on his skates. Forwards who move the radius forward gain speed but sacrifice strength. You just can’t plant or be as strong in the skates when the rocker is set forward.
      I’ve pretty much given up hope that Ryan Getzlaf will ever be more than a soft, wildly inconsistent perimeter player totally unwilling or unable to pay the price.

  9. czhokej says:

    bc, we as bloggers here, and especially you, are so much ahead of OC Register columnist, in terms of depth analysis and understanding hockey.
    This morning I have read Mr. Randy Youngman’s column about the improving Ducks. I remember my e-mail discussion with him (several years back), and at his website, about the shortcomings of our previous coach (of course I was the one with a lot criticism, he was defending RC) . What I missed in today’s article was at least some acknowledgement of Bruce Boudreau. What I would like to suggest to you, is to write to these guys, e-mail them, display your knowledge, increase your visibility. Write to Fox Sports, they have a website, and others. There must be somebody somewhere who would appreciate your experience, your point of view, your penetrating and dissecting opinions.

    • BackCheck says:

      Thanks cz, it’s always nice to be appreciated. I was going to wait until we had a formal announcement but…this site is being looked at by a local newspaper group. I have spoken with the publisher. He passed the info along to the sports editor and another person in the org. They know I want a media credential. That’s all I’ve asked for to this point. I was told to expect a call from the sports editor this week. We don’t know where this is going yet. It may not go anywhere.

      I enjoy Randy Youngman when he writes about the slice of life or human side of the game. He is quite a talented story teller.

      • czhokej says:

        Good luck to you. I am glad that you have already started. But do not limit yourself to only one place. Leave no stone unturned and trow your net wide and far.

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