There’s simply no arguing with success. Ducks are 3-1-1 with a .700 P%. while it’s totally unrealistic to expect our guys to maintain that torrid pace, it isn’t too early for some point form impressions:

Even Strength Dominance:

Ducks have earned a noticeable territorial advantage in play, eve including the humiliating 5-0 bad joke performance in the home opener. Primary reasons include a surprisingly 50.3 in FO%. Hockey is easier when start with the puck more often.
Another is the guys are buying into Coach Boudreau’s system. The forwards are coming back in support of the D. This makes for an all important shorter gap between the forwards and D. This helps in a couple-few areas; (1) match or outnumber the opposition at the puck more often, (2) We’re picking up more loose pucks, (3) Shorter passes in transition from defense to offense, (4) in the o-zone, we’re playing and executing 3rd man. Notice the more ticks on the clock between the departure of Randy Carlyle and the arrival of Bruce Boudreau that cz posts less often about us putting 3 guys below red line in the o-zone? This is why! we’re playing 3rd man high. It’s also why we have a guy coming back in support when we commit a turnover.
The team is making the transition from Randy Carlyle to Bruce Boudreau.
This isn’t to suggest you won’t see a Hail Mary pass or one of the Big D stepping up in the neutral and rocking the world of oncoming opposition rusher or even attempts at pressuring the puck carrier. The difference between RC and BB is we don’t try to manufacture those long shot plays. How we pressure and support the puck is radically different. Frankly, Gabby’s is the more traditional approach.

We’re bigger faster stronger than our Ducks of last season. Daniel Winnick is the closest thing to Sammy Pahlsson or Rob Neidermayer we’ve had in Anaheim since they departed. BTW, Pahlsson signed a 3 year contract with MODO of the Swedish Elite League last June. Winnick is exactly what we hoped for in Brad Winchester. Souray and Allen have put the snarl back on the blue line.

Individual efforts:

Ryan Getzlaf is moving his feet and dominating slot to slot.

Viktor Fasth, for one game at least, provided the solid backup goalkeeping missing last season.

Rickard Rakell looks like a keeper and may move up the depth chart or earn more TOI as the season rolls along.

We may have a Kid Line, which are always fun, in Rakell-Palmieri-Etem.

Matt Beleskey is looking more and more like the complete hockey player I hoped he’d become. Like Winnick and Kunitz, Homey’s game doesn’t change regardless of where he’s put in the lineup.

While the results aren’t showing yet, Corey Perry is buzzing around the opposition net and making things happen in the 0-zone. It’s only a matter of time.

Another in the not seeing the results show up in his offensive stats department is the steady play of Cam Fowler. We’ll take plus/minus 0 as a huge improvement.

Speaking of Cam, give some credit to the quietly and less noticeably effective play of Bryan Allen.

Between the individual efforts and more traditional positional structure we can count on most of the above impressions to be a staple of this condensed season.

  1. czhokej says:

    How do you explain that huge transformation of the team from 0-5 against Vancouver and dominating the Sharks most of the game?
    Good points about the puck support.
    And you were right bc about DSP. He did not play that well when I saw him. What happened to him?
    Etem looks promising. Bonino and Palmieri need to show us more, before we can give them the nod of approval.

    • bc says:

      First cz, I’ve been grinning because near the time you’re posting about our Ducks sending 3 guys in deep, I’m posting “when was the last time cz posted about 3 guys deep below the opposition red line.” 2phunny, eh.

      The difference between the 5-zip loss to Van and the SO loss in San Jose. Jeez, don’t make it tough or anything Bud. We did kind of bounce back in the Nashville game. That had to be a confidence builder. We’re five games in and the guys should be showing some knowledge and building some chemistry out there. Gabby called it our best game of the season by far. He added that the key is can they do that 4-5 games in a row? We’ll get the next 3 Fri. against the Wild, Sat. against the Princesses and Mon. a re-visit with the Guppies.

      DSP? Big head maybe? That’s what killed Brandon McMIllan. The pros still want the kid around. I’m just speculating but it wouldn’t be too surprising if DSP thought he’d already made the team. ‘Cept we all know hockey players are only as good as their last shift.
      Maybe it’s the sophomore jinx. History teaches that power forwards take longer to fully develop. Maybe DSP is taking a step back after that big step forward last season?

      The video isn’t available, at least I couldn’t find it to link it for you but…a week or so ago Bobby Ryan was interviewed. He shared that he and ‘Tee’ had talked about their need to go to the net. He added that Bonino was playing well but that he and Tee needed to do more.
      Could be Ryan just sticking up for a teammate, it could be partially or all true.
      We do know that the ‘Ryan Line’ isn’t producing what is expected of them.

  2. czhokej says:

    bb also mentioned 3 guys below the goal line ( in her report from Nashville game). I know that Bruce Boudreau wants to play aggressive style, and forechecking and backchecking were impressive, but when you have 3 or even 4 players deep by the backboards in the offensive zone, that’s scary. Against the Nucks, I have noticed that twice we had 4 guys battling behind Schneider.
    I agree that’s not only Bonino who is not playing as we expected. It’s a big difference when one watches the third line and Koivu with a great puck handling and intelligent passes. Both Ryan and Teemu must do much more. The same applies to Getz and Corey.

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