Are you starved for Ducks chat too?

Posted: 09/06/2012 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Eric “Ice” Stephens version of the Bobby Ryan “Trade me”  Story is a twist on Shakes’ Much Ado About Nothing. It works nicely by Ice telling. To retell it in a “me too” piece from Jeff Miller is a yawn. It’s okay to rip a story from Ice but jeez Louise in the same week? Just shows Ducks bloggers and corporate media are desperate for stories.

HockeyBuzz Hotstove: Projecting the Pacific Division is as good as it gets. and worse the message board is way better than the Travis Yost blog on it.

It’s okay Travis, I know exactly what it’s like to follow the so-called followers, but I digress.

Most have our Ducks do in the heretofore referenced blog is 4th and missing the playoffs. One guy, Troutback has our guys finishing 3rd in the Pacific because, “Perry, Getzlaf, Ryan combo can only be better.”

My take is (1) the team D will be better. The combination of Souray and Allen could give us something approximating Chris Pronger. Sheldon Souray is the flat-out nastiest competitor to arrive in the slot since Richard Matvichuk called it a career. What Souray does while not getting caught is complimented by Bryan Allen’s playing well within the written and unwritten rules of the game. Toss in an improved Luca Sbisa, a healthy Toni Lydman and the effectively abrasive Francois Beauchemin and you got a D that will bring a wry to the mug of Jonas Hiller. Add to that Daniel Winnick and Saku Koivu bring the smarts and high Hockey IQ.

Your Ducks 2012-13 edition is one tough and smart team to play against.

In Perry, Ryan, Selanne and Getzlaf our Ducks should be able to spread 145 goals across two lines. If Coach finds the right mix, sophomores and rookies Nick Bonino, Devante Smith-Pelly, Kyle Palmieri, Emerson Etem and/or Pete Holland all could shine in the right role with the right vet support around them.

Consider Ducks at ES:

Getzlaf 20-Smith-Pelly 15-Perry 45/Beauchemin 5-Fowler 10 (95 goals)
Holland 15-Ryan 40-Selanne 25/Allen 5 – Sbisa 5(90 goals)
Koivu 15-Winnick 10 -Palmieri 15/Lydman – Souray (55 goals)
Bonino-Belleskey-Staubitz. (10-15 goals)

You can toss the stats when it comes to goalies. Three things matter, (1) Does teh goalie consistently make saves at key moments during the game, (2) Does the goalie give the team a chance to win most nights. Actually, 1& 2 are about the same thing. If Hiller and Fasth are making the timely saves, they’ll give our Ducks a chance to win most nights, (3) Can the goalie steal two points a time or two throughout the season.

For stat lovers, if Hiller plays more than 60 games, 75% of the minutes and his SP is north of .915, pretty much all of the above is more likely than not.

In this lineup, Etem is the odd man out but he’s first call-up to replace a Top 6 forward. He may also cause Devante to be demoted and Palmieri to Norfolk. Patrick Maroon and/or Rickard Rakell could surprise as well. Cory Elkins is a solid insurance addition.

The D and goaltending is set. The openings up top are wing alongside Getz & Pears. Bobby Ryan’s center and 4th line center. The two positions to watch when camp opens are wing alongside the Twins and Silver’s center. Once those positions are won, the rest falls into place.

The key to the above lineup is that each rookie and sophomore is playing with vets around him. Likewise no vet is asked to carry a rookie and a sophomore.

If this team can come together it could match what the 2010-11 Ducks achieved. H0pefully, they’ll go deeper than a six game 1st round series. I’m not saying it will but it could, if most things go right.

  1. czhokej says:

    In the OC Register, both articles (by Eric and Jeff) about BR appeared on the same day (ridiculous). Both authors focus on BR’s mistake, when he too openly talked about his trade rumors, aiming his frustration against the management. However, neither of them puts any blame on our GM. Maybe those trade gossips started with somebody else, but then Bob Murray should have put an end to these false speculations. But he certainly did not. I would like to bring up the past again, when our GM was willing to trade every player who was disagreeable (especially when it came to criticism of Randy Carlyle – his one-trick-pony), and eventually all these critics were vindicated and the embarrassment should have fallen on Bob M., because he had to fire RC. It took him 3 years to recognize the problem.
    Would you rather have Rick Nash for 7.6 mil, or Doan (I guess for the same amount) or Bobby Ryan for 5.1 mil. ? ( I am just talking about players of comparable qualities). BR’s steady scoring for last 4 seasons (31, 35, 34, 31 goals), is among the 20 top goal scorers in the league.
    So why those trade rumors? Was it related to Shea Weber deal, or something else?

    • bc says:

      LOL cz, the articles appeared only two hours apart. Too often mainstream media has become little more than extension of corporate PR departments. It’s fluff on a no news day. Unlike us, mainstream media needs content to separate the advertisements.
      Your Q’s, were they intended as rhetorical?
      The short story is Bobby Ryan misspoke.
      The longer story is that 4 years into the career of a proven consistent 30+ goal scorer who has shown himself adept at making the guys around him more successful, the light finally went on among a Ducks’ coaching staff that we could build a line around this guy. Aside from the goals, Ryan has always been the guy who gets moved to help get other players going. Is there a 30+ goal scorer in the NHL, KHL, Swedish Elite League, AHL, Major Junior A and NCAA Div. 1 who gets less PP TOI than Bobby Ryan?
      Ryan doesn’t fit alongside The Twins. He can be successful there but there simply isn’t enough puck to go around, especially between Getz and Ryan.
      So now we finally have a Coach intent on giving Ryan a more defined role alongside consistent line mates. Jeez, that only took 4 years.
      So yeah, I get Ryan’s frustration.

      • czhokej says:

        My questions were of course only rhetorical, except maybe a Weber deal. So why so many people focus on Bobby Ryan, with his 31 goals and limited PP time (including some presumed negative attention by our GM). Yes, Bobby should be (could be) a little bit better, but a trade considerations? He has talent, skills, physical ability, and solid hockey judgment. As you well said it, bc, let us hope that under BB’s coaching he will do better. I have stated many times before, BR is not our problem, he is an asset. We both know very well, where our Achilles’ heel is (actually there are 2 of them).

  2. czhokej says:

    Comment #2: We do not know what kind of line combos and D-pairing BB will come up with, but I also like to speculate. bc, according to your calculations our scoring would ( or should) be at 250-255 goals next season. That would put us approximately at 4th place in the league (GF). That’s sounds really nice. What about projecting GA (goals against), and predicting D and goalie efficiency. Last year the Ducks were at 19th place with 224 GA. Going back to previous seasons, it was 20th place with 233 GA, 22nd place with 243 GA (2009-2010 season), and 18th in the league in 2008-2009 (235 GA). These numbers are obviously too high. Compare that with 198 GA in 2007 (the Ducks).

    • bc says:

      Last season our Ducks gave up 231 GA. We need to cut that number to by 20-25 goals.
      You’re going to get your checking line cz. It won’t be as belligerent as the Pahlsson-Niedermayer-Moen line but Koivu-Winnick-Smith-Pelly could be as effective. If not Devante, Kyle Palmieri or Matt Belleskey.
      Saku Koivu does tie up bigger men. He doesn’t knock bigger men off the puck like Sammy Pahlsson did, Saku does create loose pucks though.
      Bryan Allen is a huge upgrade on Sheldon Brookbank and/or Nate Guenin.
      (((DOH))) just noticed I didn’t include Andrew Cogliano in the conversation. Well, I still like him on the top line. He could also center Ryan/Selanne. IIRC, he did see PK time. When Cogs is out there we seem to spend more time in the offensive zone.
      In Viktor Fasth, Ducks hope to have a steady backup to spell Jonas Hiller. A fresher Hiller could well propel our Ducks goaltender back into the conversation about Top 5 NHL goalies. Fasth doesn’t need to re-write any record books. He just needs to be competent and give us 17-22 games or about 20-25% of the available regular season minutes.
      Our Ducks will be more physical and tougher to play against. The PK will be better with the addition of Winnick. Defined roles should lead to more opportunities. For example, ideally you only want Perry, Ryan or Getzlaf out there for the final 10-15 seconds of a PK.
      Still, all of the above isn’t enough and shouldn’t be relied upon to shave 20-25 goals off the GA. Defense is a team effort. It’s absolutely critical that the forwards take as much pride in their backchecking as they do other parts of the game.
      Can Bruce Boudreau do for Cam Fowler what he did for Mike Green in Washington? Did Luca Sbisa improve the little things such that he can be successful against the best players on opposing teams? Will Toni Lydman enjoy a bounce back season?
      Finally, improving play without the puck is built upon organization and leadership. It’s great how this team has taken pride in shot blocking and eating the puck the past few seasons. Those however are examples of individual effort and sacrifice.
      This team will need to execute sacrifice more tactically and opportunistically. Will Cam Fowler tie up an on-rushing forward and ride him off the puck so that Beauchemin can scoop up the loose biscuit and turn the play back up ice? Will Ryan Getzlaf focus more on winning than on making the cute play? Will the young guys prove themselves reliable?
      Put all that together and these Ducks will shave 20 or so goals off the GA, score 40-50 times more often and get back into the playoffs.

  3. czhokej says:

    As much as I like Saku Koivu, I am afraid that he is too small (and aging) for demanding physical task (Sammy used to be amazingly strong, with his stick, on his skates, with his shoulders).
    Cogliano is a good player, and he has great speed. He should be on the second line.

    I thing that you gave us a very good assessment of our team. I have enjoyed every word of it.

    • bc says:

      You’re right Bud. Cogs is not Top 3 and closer to being a Top 9 forward than even Top Six or second line. The reason he’s alongside the Twins is the complimentary skill sets. He’ll get in the forecheck while Perry and Getzlaf are still in the neutral zone. When he gets possession, he’ll dangle on the puck until the Calvary arrives. When Cogliano crosses the blueline with the puck he’ll force Getz to serve as the trailer and hopefully shoot more often.
      The Frank Selke award went to Patrice
      Bergeron, who is not physically imposing. Koivu isn’t physical either but he wouldn’t have to be while centering Winnick and DSP.
      It’s also likely that Bryan Allen will be out there on D as well. maybe I was just being a tad lazy suggesting that Sak can compete physically. Maybe he’s the 2nd guy in scooping up loose biscuits and turning the play back toward the opposition net.
      What we can trust is Saku’s high Hockey IQ. We need his line on the plus side of +/- while contributing 35-45 timely goals.
      I’m not predicting all these good things will happen. Merely pointing out it’s what is needed for our Ducks to be successful.

  4. czhokej says:

    I just lost a long comment, which I wrote. So just briefly: I see your point bc in both cases (Cogliano on the top line and Koivu on the checking line). Whoever is going to play there with the Twins, the most important thing is that Getz needs to change his game. He leaves too many voids on the ice, and it looks like he needs a linemate (a serf, a laborer ) to fill them. I agree that Koivu has some very good defensive skills, and his hockey intelligence, anticipation, ability to hold on the puck and his talent to create some space will be desirable. However, it would almost mean to take him off the list of our scorers.

    • bc says:

      Oh man, hate losing a post. And likewise, your points are equally valid cz. Koivu will never dominate physically. It always amazed me back on the OC blog people didn’t pick up on how often we see things differently. Seeing something differently doesn’t make either of us right or does it diminish my respect, appreciation and affection for you.
      About Koivu, Coach has said he will play on the 3rd line. While Saku’s primary role won’t be scoring he should be expected to score in double digits and reach 35+ points.
      As to Andrew Cogliano, Coach has said we are one forward short. So I don’t think he sees Cogs as Getzlaf’s caddy.
      As to your point about Getz changing his game, I don’t see how he can lead unless he does change his game. Nobody will talk, except Ryan did hint at least, but players know that Getz is not a team guy. He’s out there doing his own thing and to heck with the results. He’ll sacrifice but on his own time and terms. We all know that self-serving sacrifice isn’t sacrifice.
      So yeah cz, unless Ryan Getzlaf mans up leads, nothing else will matter. Frankly, I don’t think he has it in him, which is why I advocate trading him while his value is still high.
      Is this our 5th year of disagreeing agreeably? It’s still fun and still fresh!

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