GameDay: Anaheim @ Carolina

Posted: 02/23/2012 by bc in Uncategorized

Ducks, 4-1-2, complete a grueling 8 road games in 15 days tonight in Carolina.

The Skinny: This tilt features two hot teams looking to get back into the playoff conversation. The ‘Canes, currently 15th in the Eastern Conference could leap into a tie for 12th with a win. Likewise, our Ducks could also move into 12th in the Western Conference with a win combined with a Minnesota loss to Florida.
Strong play by each team has quieted the Gossip Girls and other trade prognosticators.

Carolina will be looking to avenge an OT loss to our Ducks on 02/08/2012.

Our Ducks looked a little tired losing 3-2 to the Lightning on Tuesday. A couple of stats worth noting are the ‘Canes 27th ranked PK and 5th in PIMS. Our Ducks PP continues to underachieve in the stat department.

Ducks would very well to leave Carolina with two points and pending UFA D-man Bryan Allen on our roster.

  1. czhokej says:

    Fatigue will be a factor. Eric Staal (-15) is struggling a little bit like Getzlaf, but he has twice as many goals. (I am so angry with our captain, low PP% is mostly his fault). Key to our PP is to win some faceoffs and go to the net! Carolina is more rested and they won 5-0 against Washington at home on Monday.

    • ‘Canes goalie Cam Ward is out. We face newbie Justin Peeters who, as you note, shutout the Caps Monday night. Another difference is that Jimmy Rutherford has signed pending UFA’s Tim Gleason and Tuummo Ruutu to long term contracts. Despite the bad year, those signings have to be having a positive effect in the room.

      Our Ducks have not last two consecutive games in regulation time this calendar year. With 3 days off until we face Chicago on Sunday two points are crucial especially given all the bubble teams are in action Friday and Saturday.

  2. czhokej says:

    We got 2 points after the fierce battle to the very end. I am glad that BB put Koivu in shootouts. We must try new faces there, the ones who take SO regularly did not have too much success.

    Now the bad news: Phoenix got Vermette (center, best season 09-10 – 27 goals), and the Kings got Jeff Carter (big strong center who can score -his best season was 08-09 – 46 goals).

    • I missed the game due to a community commitment in Crestline. Our Ducks accomplished exactly what they needed to do though. Now it’s watch as Minnesota visits Dallas and Colorado goes up against Columbus Friday night. Saturday Chicago faces off with Los Angeles, Phoenix is in Edmonton and Colorado is at the Joe.

      Jack Johnson and a 1st for Jeff Carter is a great trade for Columbus. First off Carter is a pure scorer who is going butt heads with Coach Daryl Suter almost immediately. Kings fans are already lying to themselves and anyone who will listen about how their 10th place team is suddenly a Stanley Cup contender.
      Credible reports from Bob McKenzie indicate the Kings are looking to acquire another top 6 forward and are willing to trade both Dustin Brown and Jonathan Bernier. This would suggest that Kings aren’t hopeful about getting Simon Gagne back.
      The line I find most amusing is Lombardi saying Kings could afford to trade Johnson because they have a lot of depth at D. Yeah well, if they’re depth was so good how come Johnson was in the lineup and the depth guys weren’t? In the immortal words of Dana Carvey’s Church Lady, “Isn’t that special, Hmmm?”

      On the other hand Phoenix found a perfect fit in Antoinne Vermette. His strong two way play improves the ‘Yotes down the middle and on the PK. Vermette does bring some offense but he’s better suited in a shadow or shut down role with the offense he does a bring, a bonus.

      As of right now our Ducks are 4 points out with 21 games left to play. That’s a huge deficit in this era of 3 point games. Not impossible, BUT! It isn ‘t just Dallas but also Calgary and Los Angeles with 66 points with Colorado at 64 and the Wild with 63. We still have 5 teams to beat.

  3. bbdux93 says:

    Off Topic

    I just read a good article by Kennedy of The Hockey News. A talk with Luca Sbisa had some telling comments about the coaching change. One line about the new coaching staff said it all for me – They didin’t yell at us they just told us to keep our heads up.

    In another recent comment by one of the Ducks – forget who but it was one of the young players – When you make a mistake he (Gabby) puts you back out there (my words here) to work through it. So he doesn’t punish his players – putting them back out there seems to say – mistakes happen but you’re doing fine.

    As has been said on this site many times by various people, RC’s style was a major problem – in many ways. As was said by management when they made the change – they needed a new voice. Putting all this together it seems this group of men got tired of being treated like bad children.

    • czhokej says:

      bb, finally even OC Register staff is recognizing who the culprit was. They say it indirectly usually through the quotes of players. I am still unhappy about their “yes, sir” approach to RC in the past ( and “ad nauseam” praising his 2007 Cup year), because those coaching problems were so obvious, that only inexperienced people did not see it. My guess is that some politics was involved – not to lose access to the team Ducks’ management.

    • It was Luca, bb. Eric Stephens caught it and reported it. “If you make a mistake, they put you back out there and they want you to work on that,” he said. The full post is here.

  4. czhokej says:

    I am cautiously optimistic. If Getzlaf scores as he is supposed to, we will make it. At least he started shooting the puck, a lot of misses though.
    The basis for my hopes comes from several facts: We have played even game in Detroit, and we out-shot them, and created a lot of chances against the best team in the league right now (also the best coached). To make it short, we have in essence outplayed and outchanced every team on this trip. We did not win all games, but we played well. We fought, rallied, battled, hustled. With some exceptions, we are now positionally sound team, moving the puck well, with improved backchecking, goaltending, blocking, screening, etc. DSP will give us an extra jump, I like that guy.
    About Carter – I am afraid of him, he is going to score some goals against us. Our defense is small, more technical than physical.

  5. czhokej says:

    I just watched video (BB’s interview after the game). Interesting, he is likable. What he said ( and I must agree with him) that we could have won all 8 games on this trip. According to his evaluation we have outplayed and outchanced Detroit in their fortress (I did not dare to say it, but we were closer to victory). Unfortunate shootouts.

  6. bbdux93 says:

    Based on last nights’ play – even though Hiller has struggled in the shoot outs – I think the efforts of his team mates inspired him to do better. His reaction to winning the shootout said to me he must have been thinking “Thank Heavens – made it through with incredible goal tending during regulation and OT and finally got the shoot out too”. 🙂

    For the first time this season I’m looking forward to the possibility that this team will make the playoffs.

  7. What impresses me about bb & cz’s chat (including sourcing out their references) here is that our Ducks can still be better. You read it in the player comments and see it in the interviews. I’m no longer “not believing” but am still not converted, lol. Jeez Louise guys, 5 teams between our Ducks and 8th seed. No games in hand. The tiebreakers favor Dallas. Chicago and Phoenix are hot.
    I don’t want to pop any bubbles but oh man….

  8. bbdux93 says:

    No doubt about it BC – the road ahead will be as hard, if not harder than the 8 game road trip. I’ve not said I am a believer in anything except there is a chance – didn’t think so as recently as January.

    Heart is what this group has found and that’s Huge!

  9. czhokej says:

    As I said before elsewhere, I started believing in this team. The important part is those 4 (or better to say 5) points between us and the playoff position. BB did an amazing job converting our Ducks into a disciplined competitive contender. And our guys love to play for this coach. They are now positionally sound, and still improving. It was not easy to unlearn some habits from the system of the past.
    These are the results of the last 10 games for the teams battling for the final playoff spot (SOs wins are counted as 1 goal): Dallas 4-4-2 (score 22-24), Flames 5-1-4 (score 25-25), Kings 2-6-2 (score 15-22), Avalanche 4-4-2 (score 24-27), Wild 3-5-2 (score 15-25). The Ducks are 7-1-2 in the last ten games, with the score 25-19.

  10. czhokej says:

    The only thing we need is to convert Getzlaf into a complete player. That’s work in progress, BB is praising him, but I am sure he talks to him a lot. Against carolina Getzy had game-high 6 shots OG. That’s a big change. Too bad that nothing went in. But a goal here and there from our captain could win quite a few games.

  11. Good points cz. Gabby is doing all he can as are the players. We still need changes at the top. Let’s say our Ducks complete the greatest comeback in hockey history and make the playoffs. What then? The natural inclination is to let down after an accomplishment.
    Just my 2 cents but I’d love to see Bob Murray change his messaging from “playoff contender” to “Cup contender.”
    I hate “good enough.” As if it’s good enough but it could have done right.

    • yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

      BC, that is the only way to run a organization…competing just for the playoffs is good for high school ball (maybe), but not at this level…when has this type of thinking become acceptable? We should ask the Wings what their theory is?

      Good game by the boys last night…good team building trip…lets hope things workout for the best regardless of the playoffs.

      The moves the Kings have made are desperate…

  12. czhokej says:

    bc and you, you are right. I would like to see us getting deep into the playoffs, but again, the Ducks are the small team. We would need some additional pieces – good second goalie, a big mean D, and a center who would win 55% of FOs and who would screen, disrupt the goalie, and fight with the opposition Ds in front of their net. Our GM hasn’t done anything so far. What can you expect, he was not able to recognize that our coaching stank for a long time.

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