Post game: San Jose 1 Anaheim 2

Posted: 02/04/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , ,

A bounce. A rocket. A great goal-tending performance from Viktor Fasth. Ducks beat the Sharks 2-1 in regulation time.

For two periods our Ducks outshot, outhit and earned a noticeable territorial advantage in play. As happened last Monday in San Jose they simply weren’t getting rewarded for their effort. Demers gets a stick on an Andrew Cogliano snap shot. Greiss tips a Souray blast just over the net.

I was feeling that if we got one we might a couple-3 more in succession. It wasn’t to be though. Our Ducks showed tremendous discipline in gutting one out they might have thrown away as recently as just a couple of weeks ago.

Bryan Allen was the marked man again tonight taking 3 minor penalties, the first two of which were bad calls.  Give the Sharks credit. Adam Burrish faked a trip. The hold on Wingells was called very quickly. I’ll give the Refs the right call for the cross-check Couture. Teh problem for guys like Allen is that you don’t notice them until the make a mistake. Quick and don’t look, how many shots did Allen block tonight? How many good first passes did he make?

What is really impressing me is that not so long ago a couple of bad calls like those on Allen and our guys would have started whining to be followed by a penalty parade to the sin bin. Not with this Ducks team though. This team is not giving up on themselves. This team is sucking it up and continues playing their hearts out. And finding ways to win.

When was the last time you saw a Ducks team win a Coach’s nightmare 7-4 and come back and win the next game 2-1? This speaks volumes for what this team might accomplish this year.

Emerson Etem took 3-4 shifts on the top line in the third period. He looked like he belonged.

Bobby Ryan didn’t get on the scoreboard. He made some great defensive plays from the center position.

Nick Bonino followed up his hat trick performance by taking key defensive face offs against the Sharks PP late in the third.

Ryan Getzlaf didn’t score but he finished the game tied with Sheldon Souray for shot leader with 4 apiece. This will pay dividends as Getz becomes less predictable.

Sticking with Getz, I saw something tonight absent since we traded Pronger. The Captain drifted back from the face off dot for a quick chat with Sheldon Souray. Usually guys are confirming assignments. It was good to see Ryan Getzlaf having somebody he check off with.

Enjoy the win. Enjoy that our Ducks took 3 of 4 points from the Sharks in two games. Let’s remember that Sharks played each game without their top two D-men, Dan Boyle and Brent Burns. Sharks will be better when those two guys get healthy.

If somebody had told you that our Ducks would start the season 6-1-1 but that Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan would total just 3 goals between them, would you have called them crazy or asked them to share?

The next test  for our Ducks is a 6 game road swing. Ducks begin in Colorado on Wednesday. The trip then includes stops in Dallas, St. Louis, Chicago, Detroit and Nashville.

With 3 days between the Chicago (2/12) and Detroit (2/15) games and that Chicago will be our twelfth game of the season, look for a quarter pole report at that time.

  1. czhokej says:

    I agree bc, EE looked good on the top line and I hope BB gives him a little bit more time there, and puts Winnik back with Koivu.
    I am still not too eager to say too much positives about our top line. As I expected, Winnik did not change the way the Twins play. Yes there was a lot of shots, some nice scoring opportunities…. I am glad that Souray is respected even by Getzlaf, We needed better balance in the locker room.
    Just before the end of the game, I was afraid of OT. Especially when the Sharks had PP.
    It was a lucky win, and a kind of nervous performance from the Ducks, terrible PP 5 on 3. We lost too many one-on-one battles. Passing was not sharp. Some stupid penalties. Bad day for Getz and Koivu in the FO circle.
    Fasth was amazing. Both, Todd McLellan and Bruce Boudreau are good coaches.
    Perry, Ryan and Cogliano, and also Getz and Teemu are due for some goals.

  2. czhokej says:

    Beauch adjusted well playing on the right side. He is much better player now than he was a few years ago.
    Going back to the past: We had some discussions here about the accomplishments of Brian Burke and Randy Carlyle. Brian Burke did not improve the Leafs and was fired as a GM. Randy Carlyle doesn’t have too much success with the team either. I did not like them too much after the Cup season, but they deserve the credit for putting together one of the best hockey squads ever.
    I do not miss Burke nor Carlyle, but I miss many of those players, who made hockey an artistic experience. We had only three lines back then, but the top line was the top line, and shutdown trio could shut down most of the opposition on regular basis. Right now, I am happy that our Ds play much better, that we have two good goalies, and that we are improving in many areas.

  3. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    Like what I have been seeing…still room for improvement (i.e Power Play and 4 on 4) but we are making it happen. Fasth is solid…I love the pokecheck, and he was successfully. Sheldon was a great pickup…I wanted him back when the Oilers put the for sale sign up. Every night someone new is contributing…this group is coming together nicely. Love how Gabby is open mined to integrate our youth. All signs look positive!

  4. bc says:

    Hard to argue with 6-1-1, no? We can always speculate as to whether they’re playing over their heads or not.

  5. zseller says:

    I have been meaning to send a response for some time and I have now found the time to offer up some feedback on the Ducks and their fast start.
    I know that that Bellestifsky is one of your homies and it now appears that Mr. Allen is as well based on your glowing reports of his adventures on the frozen water.
    As much as I would like to see the Stiffler succeed, I think that at best he is destined to fourth line status. As soon as one of the kids (Smith Pelley, Rackell, Etem) is viewed as being seasoned enough I think that Stiffler is history. As critical as I have been of him in the past, I have nothing bad to say this year other than he for whatever reason can not put the biscuit in the ocean if he were knee deep at high tide. If he had the scorers knack that confident scorers have, he would have at least 4 goals by now. Heck if Bonino can pot 3 in a game, than the Stiffler should be able to get one at least every other week..
    His hustle and willingness to defend his teamates is admirable but if he is going to be on a topline he has to produce.
    It does not appear to me that Getz or Perry have confidence in him when he is on their line.
    I hope that he finds a fit as he is certainly putting out a 110% effort whenever he is out there.
    Now on to Mr. Allen. I do not know where to begin with this guy. Everytime he is out there I am waiting while holding my breath for him to make a Getz type behind the back pass that does not get out of the zone or take a penalty that has you wondering why he has not already been dispatched to Norfolk. I was lucky enough to be at both the WIld and King games and in both games he made plays that boneheaded as a description is complimentary.
    While a pair of last nights penalties may or may not have been solid calls, he too often gets himself in a position where he ends up creating the situation that has him going to the box muttering, “I cant believe I am this stupid”.
    I am hoping that he becomes the guy who sets out more than he plays until he shows me that he is not on a conveyor belt with the first stop being the penalty box.
    As for the play of the team, it has been lights out. I did not get to see the Vancouver game and based on how many teams lost their home openers and looked bad doing so (Nucks) I am going to say that the hype for the opener did them in as opposed to thinking that the Ducks played to their abilities that evening.
    They have jump in their step, they are forcing the action and the game against the Wild sent a message that caused the Wild to have to try to find someone with size as they found out that they do not have what it takes to play with the big boys of the west.
    Hiller has been shaky and that is of concern if he does not snap out of it.
    Fasth has been a bit luckier than good in the first two but had a feel to the game last night that smelled of confidence. I am still not ready to be a bandwagon jumper as Hiller is going to have to take the team as far as it is going to go, but Fasth is a far better backup option than the likes of some of the Hoovers we have had in the recent past.
    I am excited to see where this team will go, we shall see what the story is after this trip. Anything 3 & 3 or better is a succesful trip in my book.
    As a fan of the game I am not happy with the condensed schedule as I have always hated back to backs. The worst is when you have a visiting team waiting for the home team to travel back and then play the second game of the B2B.
    I fear that by the end of the season that the players are going to be gassed and the playoffs will not be to the level of the recent years as far as intensity. The game against the Kings and the Sharks had the very feel of a playoff game and I do not think that this pace can be kept up of 99 days and then into another 6 weeks of SC playoffs.
    The Cup is the hardest trophy to win in sports. A normal season is 82 games long and then the playoffs can go another 28 if you max out 4 series. These 28 games can happen in about 7 weeks.
    We are now faced with 48 games in 99 days and then the possibility of another 28 in the same 7 weeks.
    With teams facing this schedule the deepest, most injury free are likely to have the best chance to hoist Stanley come late June. I would have hoped that the NHL would have allowed for expanded rosters to help keep the fatigue factor to a minimum. Guess that has as much chance as me being name the commish.
    Keep up the writing and I will try not to be away for so long before my next reply.

  6. czhokej says:

    You have made some good points zseller. I am also afraid that we cannot maintain the same high intensity pace, with two man forechecking and aggressive backchecking. Our coach doesn’t hesitate to change line combos and replace the guys who do not perform. It may happen to Beleskey. However, I have also previously criticized Bonino and Palmieri, and suddenly they surprised me and started scoring. I hope that Beleskey will become more productive. The Twins themselves did not play well and even Winnik did not improve their game. Allen makes mistakes (too many giveaways, problematic positioning), but I would say we need his size. We cannot afford to go small.

    • bc says:

      Should anybody realistically expect our Ducks to maintain their current P% of .813? No way.
      I don’t want to giveaway too much of the quarter-pole report but these Ducks are far and away the most complete since the one that beat the Sharks and battled the Red Wings to 7 games in 2008-09.
      A hockey team is never about one guy or one type of player. It’s about a group of men with different skill sets who can organize themselves into a cohesive unit.
      I could care less if Matt Beleskey doesn’t score 10 goals. Why the focus on Matty? Andrew Cogliano hasn’t scored a goal yet either and nobody in Ducks Nation is even talking about him. Cogs role is much more defined than Beleskey’s.
      z smacks Allen for wearing his emotions on his sleeve, z describes it as skating to the box, “I can’t believe I was that stupid.” Look at the other side of that though. He takes a fight he can’t win but performs admirably. he blocks shots. He moves bodies out from the slot. And he makes far good passes that result in us clearing the zone than bad passes. Allen is one of the reasons our Ducks are earning the all important territorial advantage in play in almost every game. And cz notes we need his size?
      We need much more than Allen’s size. We need his willingness to sacrifice for his teammates. What I like about Allen is the genuine joy he takes in performing sacrifice. And that’s why you see him muttering to himself after the occasional boneheaded play or when he’s called for tripping as a Burish or other great actor takes a dive.

      How ’bout using your hockey eye to address something real like the fact Coach still has to hide Luca Sbisa on the 3rd unit and use him sparingly.
      The other night 38 year-old Sheldon Souray played over 26 minutes and is out there in all situations? Is that sustainable?
      Those are two very real concerns that will impact this team as the season rolls along.

  7. bc says:

    hey z, kinda funny that DSP was sent back to Norfolk today while Matt Beleskey sticks with the big club. Rakell hasn’t dressed in three games because the team can’t quite figure out what to do with him. If Rakell was ore valuable than Beleskey one would think he’d be playing, no?
    Etem is getting his chance now and we’ll see. I hope he does stick with The Twins. You’re entitled to your opinion z but the facts indicate you’re just flat wrong wrong. Two of the three guys you say are better than Beleskey are behind him on the depth chart. I’ll stick with Gabby’s opinion, but thanks for yours.

    Likewise with Bryan Allen. Yes he’s made some bonehead plays. Such is to be expected when breaking in a new player. But the chorus to send him packing isn’t looking at the entire picture. What you and others are ignoring about Allen is that he’s among the team leaders in hits and blocked shots. Allen is doing a fine job clearing out traffic in the low slot. He’s also doing yeoman’s work manning the blue line while his partner plays rover.
    The thing about a stay@home D-man like Allen is that you tend not to notice him unless he does make a mistake. It’s very short-sighted to judge any player on his moments while ignoring his contributions.
    I’ve heard fans all over criticize his fight with Nolan. Never mind that our Ducks were sagging when he accepted that fight, took the worst of it and the team picked up immediately afterward. Likewise with Matt Beleskey who accepts fights he has no business taking when doing so gives his team a lift.

    If either Allen’s penalties or Beleskey’s lack of scoring were hurting the team, you MIGHT have a point. It’s hard to argue with 6-1-1 though not sure why you’re trying.

  8. czhokej says:

    zseller, do not get discouraged and keep contributing. Every comment may offer a different point of view, sometimes we disagree, and sometimes we argue. Our disputes are then more stimulating, and challenging. And we all can learn from others.

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