GameDay: Anaheim @ Phoenix

Posted: 03/31/2012 by bc in Uncategorized

A quick and dirty GameDay drafted and posted during a break in a mediation.

Stakes: Nothing new here. Ducks are playing for pride and the bitter sweet consolation of the spoiler role. Coyotes are playing for their playoff lives and possibly for the NHL’s future in Phoenix or Quebec or Seattle or Kansas or wherever.
Skinny: While the Battle of Cali games against the Kings and Sharks have far emotional cache attached to them; from a purely hockey standpoint, this is the series I enjoy the most. Dave Tippet’s Coyotes are a well structured and organized hockey team. This is truly how defense first hockey is meant to be played. These ‘Yotes don’t give up inside position without an incredible effort. They counter-attack with numbers. Oliver Ekman-Larsson and Keith Yandle provide the flash from the back line. Rozsival, Aucoin, Klesla & Morris bring the veteran savvy and grit.
I always hated playing against teams like the ‘Yotes. They take away your time and space to the point you feel smothered. You play swivel neck hockey because you never know where the check is coming from.
Keys to the Game: For our Ducks it’s all about puck possession and avoiding turnovers.Eventually the ‘Yotes will collapse all five skaters in front of goalie Mike Smith. This is countered with quick passes. No team can keep up with swift puck movement. Ducks will send it back to the point and around the perimeter until they free up a shooter in a high percentage scoring spot. Very few teams get second shots off Mike Smith rebounds but our Ducks have two guys, Perry & Smith-Pelly expert at doing just that. Nothing deflates these ‘Yotes more than giving up a goal off a rebound.

  1. Ducks PP woes continue. Our team has gone 0 for forever of late. Things really went south when Gilbert Brule sucked Corey Perry into a fight. Not that the Refs didn’t already let all manner of hacks and slashes on Pears go. On one hand it’s easy to be critical of Perry for dropping the gloves. On the other hand a guy can and should only have to take so much. It’s not like George Parros was dressed or that Sheldon Brookbank stepped for his teammate though.
    Our Ducks came out flying out shooting Phoenix 21-7 in the first period. It was virtually total dominance with one bad turnover resulting in the only stat that matters, Phoenix scored what proved to be the winning goal.
    Ducks really did deserve a better outcome. Give Mike Smith credit in Phoenix goal. Our guys did everything I asked of them in the GameDay thread. They even got a few second shots off rebounds. Smith made a few saves that just took my breath away. The Hockey
    Gawds mocked us big time tonight. they definitely owe us.

  2. czhokej says:

    4-0 looks really bad. Not only PP was weak (the Yotes have, as you said, well organized defense), but also our PK was terrible. Phoenix, one of the worst NHL PP teams, scored 3 times with the man-advantage.

    • The numbers don’t lie cz. We went 5 for 39 on the PP in March. That’s 12.8%. The PP is something Gabby takes responsibility for as he is the PP coach. Maybe we have some passive-aggressive resistance going on?
      I stepped away for a burger when Brule sucked Pears into dropping the gloves. At that point watching the game was like hearing Stairway to Heaven one more time. So I missed two of the ‘Yotes PP goals.

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