In search of the O…

Posted: 01/08/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

Most winning hockey teams have a positive goal differential. Winning teams score more goals than they give up. Last season our Ducks overall goal differential was -22. Goal differential is such a key stat it usually dictates the standings. Test it yourself. About mid-season, every season, you’ll see the standings fall in line with overall goal differential. No need to get fancy and subtract empty netters and PP goals. Just go with the overall goal differential.

Structurally there won’t be much difference from last season. Count on our guys to lose more faceoffs than they win. Most often our Ducks have to win back possession. East/West puck movement D2D will again be less than smooth with six lefties out there.

On the upside the additions of Winnick, Allen and Souray will make the team much more physical. Losing George Parros and picking up Brad Staubitz is a push. This added toughness though will translate into increased puck possession. That doesn’t guaranty more goals necessarily but should produce more opportunities.

Last season our guys produced 201 goals, good for 23rd overall. We gave up 224 for 19th in overall GA.

This must be reversed if our Ducks are to make the postseason.

The bright spot should be a very underrated transition from defense to offense from the backline. Cam Fowler has already shown himself to be a great up and coming puck moving Dman. Underrated though, Beauchemin, Lydman, Allen & Sbisa can all make a good first pass or lug the biscuit up a lane. Sheldon Souray has a rep for making the occasional bad pass.

Coach Boudreau calls short passes or give and goes, “Shares.” Look for our Ducks to have an outlet guy near the puck. Offensively this is a significant  difference between Gabby and Coach Carlyle. One player battles for the biscuit while the next nearest is in a support position. It’s after that first share when  you’ll see the guys spread out East/West with one breaking North/South or up ice. In your mind’s eye, think of the wingers and D forming a box that expands and contracts.

Coach Boudreau likes up tempo hockey. Some pundits are asking if he’ll do for Cam Fowler what he did for Mike Green in Washington. We’ll see but as our best puck moving Dman Fowler has to return to  double-digit scoring and 40 pts on the board that he produced as a rookie.

As far as roster spots go, Coach has 3 decisions to make. (1) Who skates alongside the Twins, (2) Building a line and 2nd unit PP around Bobby Ryan opens two jobs, (3) Teemu alongside Saku Koivu is no longer a lock.

Getzlaf and Perry have to return to point a game or better players. If they do somebody other than Bobby Ryan will benefit as their new LW. Candidates include Devante Smith-Pelly, Patrick Maroon will get a look, as well as usual suspects Matt Beleskey, Daniel Winnick and Kyle Palmieri. My sleeper to land that spot is Andrew Cogliano.

With either Souray and Allen backing him up, Getz doesn’t have to the lone big guy out there. I sense he really misses Chris Pronger. With another big guy on the ice, Coach will have the opportunity to inject some much-needed speed alongside The Twins.

Three consecutive years I’ve predicted Bobby Ryan breaks the 40 goal barrier. At risk of proving Einstein’s definition of DUH, I’ll stick with it. This time out the rational is Coach builds the 2nd unit PP around and gives them enough TOI to produce.

As Ryan’s possible center Nick Bonino presents an interesting scenario. Last I checked Bones was averaging 3 pts per game in Italy. While it’s doubtful he could achieve in the ECHL, the experience should do great things for his confidence. Peter Holland will challenge Bones for the job and may win it out right at camp. If not, look for Coach to use a quick hook and rotate guys in and out.

Teemu alongside Saku Koivu isn’t a lock this season. More likely, Koivu and Winnick anchor the third line while mentoring a rookie or sophomore.  It’s an ideal spot for Kyle Palmieri.

Coach Boudreau likes to roll 4 lines. If Bonino beats out Holland look for Branden McMillan to center the line. Wingers are likely to be Matt Beleskey and Brad Staubitz.

With so many unsettled roster questions it’s hard to make even a guesstimate on our Ducks offense. If, if, if. Jeez, if the kids start popping consistently and a second scoring line and 2nd unit PP is built around Ryan, lookout, cookout.

If not and Ryan remains as streaky as ever. The Twins get smothered facing the leagues best defenders. The 1st unit PP falters and that fast we’re looking at a minus goal differential.

If you’re thinking how critical it is for the team to come together, you get it.

The good news is that with Hiller between the pipes, they’ll get a chance.

  1. hattrick545 says:

    Based on your line observations, this puts Bobby Ryan and Teemu together on the 2nd line which has some exciting potential and more balanced scoring threat.

    Under Randy Carlyle’s system, it appeared Getzlaf and Perry played more of a cycle game in the corners which often led to no shots and limited scoring opportunities. What changes do you think Boudreau will make to improve the 1st line’s scoring production? Simply force Getzlaf to drive the puck to the net and shoot more?

    It’s good to be watching hockey again!

    • bc says:

      Hey hattrick545, Coach has to get inside Getz’ head and fix a couple-3 things. (1) Shoot more, even by taking the puck to the net, (2) Keep the feet the moving, (3) Quit forcing cute plays that result in giveaways.
      Partly I’d like to see Cogs with The Twins is that he can get in the forecheck or he carry the puck in, hold the biscuit and hit either Getz or Pears in full flight as they enter the offensive zone.
      That’s kind of out the box thinking. Your Q was do I expect Coach to do? Stick with the tried and true and put another big body with them. Somebody who can muck it up and do some of the heavy lifting. Both
      Getz & Pears seemed to enjoy playing with Smith-Pelly last season.
      Are you new here hattrick545? If so welcome to the board. Hope ya have some fun.

      • hattrick545 says:

        Actually I have been follow you since you were “stirring it up” on the OC Register blog. You have been dark for a long time… good to see the recent posts! I find your comments very insightful and I have learned a lot about the game within the game.

  2. bbdux93 says:

    My only question is Cogs with the twins – IMO he’s got more speed than either of them and that won’t help Getz

  3. bbdux93 says:

    Sorry I didn’t finish my thought on the first line. I’d like DSP on that line – I think he’s a better fit than Cogs

    • bc says:

      Oh wow bb. check the answer to hattrick545. Honestly posted that before reading your post 🙂

      • bbdux93 says:

        I like DSP very much and agree the Twins seemed to like him on their line. It’s too bad he didn’t get to take advantage of a full 12-13 season. I see great potential in this young man – Love his size and physical play – given a little more time – as you would say “Look out Cook out” – or something like that.

  4. czhokej says:

    I have posted somewhere else: “Getz needs to play up to his potential, he had a disappointing season (or several of them). Sometimes he looked lazy, quite often slow, afraid to go in front of the net, with untimely angry outbursts (and penalty minutes), giveaways, very few shots and poor positioning. Did I miss anything?”
    Bobby Ryan could benefit from playing with Saku and Teemu, but these guys are getting old. That could be a problem. Then Cogliano with Ryan? And who would be on the wing there?

    Yes bb, I also would rather see DSP with the Twins, he works hard and they need that. He gets to a lot of pucks. But Bruce B. has to work on their system – less cycling!!!!
    If Getz is too slow to get to the position in time he must go to the slot and not to the corner. If he (Getz) scores 6-7 goals this season, we are in trouble. We need at least 15 or more from him. Honestly, I worry quite a bit about our scoring, even if Perry and BR get 20 -25 goals each,

  5. czhokej says:

    Isn’t it fun discussing hockey again.

    • bbdux93 says:

      cz 🙂 ’nuff said

    • bbdux93 says:

      Actually not ’nuff said. I’ve been smiling since Sunday morning. I’m always up early and always turn on the news first thing. Within 5 minutes of turning on the TV Sunday am I saw what we’ve been waiting for – for months – and I haven’t stopped smiling since. I feel like a kid waiting for Christmas – waiting for our first game

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