One on one with Coach

Posted: 08/16/2012 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , ,

Note: Today is the 17th of August. We’re about a week away from when the guys start showing up for what Chris Pronger described as “dipsy doodle stuff.”  Prongs hated that week or two before camp which is essentially pond or no contact hockey. If players are slow coming in, expect a lockout on the 15th.

CSNWashington caught up with Gabby at his hockey school in St. Catherines. Here’s the link if you want to skip my babble and get straight to it.

Here are the hilites:


BB: Well, I love our goalie [Jonas Hiller]. We have some good youth on defense along with some good veterans. We’ve gotten bigger and we’ve also gotten a little deeper [with the additions of Sheldon Souray and Bryan Allen this offseason] so it will be easier to adjust to injuries.

Up front we’ve still got Bobby Ryan, Teemu [Selanne], Corey [Perry] and [Ryan] Getzlaf. What we’ve also done [this offseason] is we’ve added veteran third and fourth liners [Daniel Winnick and Brad Staubitz] which we never had last year so now we’ve got some pretty good depth. When you add all of those things together, hopefully we’ll make some noise in the West.

Yes our Ducks could make some noise because this roster is much closer to resembling the roster that earned 4th seed and home ice advantage in the 2011 playoff. We’re tougher and as Gabby notes, we have depth.


BB: Well, they’re different kinds of players. For the most part the Anaheim [No.1] line is missing a piece. Bobby Ryan I didn’t play as much with Perry and Getzlaf so that top line isn’t as complete as it maybe was in Washington with a Semin or a [Troy] Brouwer or [two or three seasons ago] a Mike Knuble playing with Alex and Nicky.

But whether they play together or not, [Perry, Getzlaf and Ryan] are all gamers, they come to play every night, they play both ends of the ice and they’re all really good players. There’s a reason why Corey Perry won the Hart [Trophy as league MVP in 2010-11] and there’s a reason why Getzlaf is a captain and why he’s wanted by everybody even though he didn’t score a lot of goals last year (a career-low 11 goals in 82 games). But he’s similar to Nicky- a fabulous passer and a little bit of a bigger centerman.

Is Coach saying Getz is what he is and don’t expect him to change his game?

Corey Perry doesn’t have the charisma that Ovi has, but he certainly has the compete level so I think [in Washington and Anaheim] we’re both searching right now for that other winger to complete a top line.

That we haven’t found a consistent spot and role for Bobby Ryan in his four years with the team is just wrong. Regardless Silver has done everything asked of him. Now, finally, he’ll be expected to anchor a line and the 2nd unit PP. This is about 2 years overdue but better late than never.
The decision opens up 3 roster spots. First is LW on the top line and two vying to be Bobby Ryan’s line mates.
Coach has lots of options:
Look for one of Andrew Cogliano, Devante Smith-Pelly, Emerson Etem, Kyle Palmieri or Patrick Maroon alongside Getz/Pears. Holland or Bonino and one of the above wingers will lineup alongside Silver.
If the kids can’t hang with Ryan, look for him to step in with Koivu/Selanne while we create a checking line on Bonino/Winnick.


BB: We have depth up the middle and that’s important. I like our centermen a lot and we have options for next season. [Last year’s No.2 center] Saku Koivu is going to be our third line center next year and he’ll be a solid checking center that can score. It’s an important position, and an important position to have options. Like I said, we still want to find a winger, but I like our centers, for sure.

The two keys up the middle are Holland and McMillan. Bones is ready as a checking line center at minimum. Is Holland ready to step in on the Ryan line? If not, Bonino centers Ryan, Holland starts in Norfolk and a hopefully humble McMillan or perhaps Cogliano will center a line.
Winnick and Cogliano are the usual leading suspects to line up with the Finn Twins.
A notion I find intriguing is pairing Cogs with Getz/Pears. A couple-3 years ago RC tried Dan Sexton there in training camp and the results raised eyebrows. It could work if Getzlaf played more of a slot to slot game while Cogliano is the guy who chases down the pucks and buys time on the perimeter.
For a kinder look at Getzlaf go here. I disagree with the premise but not the facts, most good players rebound from off years, especially in a contract year. I was kind of surprised Joe Sakic didn’t make that list. If Getz gets back to 25 goals and 82 points, I’ll forgive the face offs, giveaways and stupid penalties.

  1. czhokej says:

    Good and enjoyable reading. I hope that BB gives all the negatives and some hard coaching to Getz privately. Perry may have the same impact on the game as Ovechkin, if he tries harder (assuming that Getz also tries, and that DSP (or a similar type of player) playes well on our first line. It will be interesting to see what line combos will BB put together. I hope that we have a strong shut-down line.

  2. bc says:

    Honestly cz, it may take 20 games or more to settle on ES lines. Odd man units are pretty much set. Coach said, “Saku Koivu is going to be our third line center next year and he’ll be a solid checking center that can score.”
    You could well see a checking line of say Koivu-Winnick with either DSP or Beleskey or even Selanne if that line gets about 16-18 ES minutes a game. My sense though is that Selanne will play on the Ryan line with either Bonino or Holland or maybe Pears moves to LW and Flash skates on the top line.
    OTOH, Coach could give Ryan a couple young guys from among Bonino, Holland, DSP, Palmieri or Etem. Coach could also move Silver to RW with Cogliano on LW.
    But yeah, it seems that Gabby has penciled in Koivu/Winnick as the 3rd line pairing.

    He also sees the need for another winger. My Shane Doan dreams have faded but what about Stars Brenden Morrow? He’s been the subject of Gossip Girl chatter all summer. He skated alongside The Twins in the 2010 Olympics. It won’t be easy for Dallas GM Nieuwendyk to him to a Pacific Division rival. If somebody doesn’t step up and take the top line opening, Morrow would be a solid choice. Even if do have to overpay a bit.

  3. czhokej says:

    At 33 Morrow still have several good years ahead of him. His nagging injuries could be a problem. That man needs to be healthy to be worth of the money.
    To get him would require a trade – for whom? However, I agree that we would definitely need one more piece to our offense. As I have said before, the top line performance rises and falls with Getz’s work ethics, vigor, judgment and ability to read the game. Why I see our captain’s accomplishments so crucial for the Ducks? Because he is the captain, because he gets a lot of ES ice time, and PP time, and because he plays with Perry (and RG’s giveaways, poor FOs, laziness squander his line-mates’ TOI). So even with healthy Morrow, we could be in the same situation.
    What I would like to see is this: 2 scoring lines, shut-down line and an energy line. It just depends on the youngsters- to work hard and perform. Would it work?

    • bc says:

      Fair market value Morrow would be what, a 2nd round Entry Draft pick? If they wanted a roster player, Andrew Cogliano is our surplus forward. Maybe Cogs and a 4th or 5th round pick?
      The thing is like you posted cz; is Morrow today the banged up 11 goal scorer of last season or the 33 goal scorer of the season before last?

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