Special teams play dictating series outcome

Posted: 05/05/2013 by bc in Uncategorized
Tags: , , , , , , , ,

Special teams continue to be the story as our Ducks scored one shorthanded and two power play goals while dismantling the Red Wings during a 4-0 road win Saturday night.

The Wings went 0 for 7 on the PP including a 5 on 3 for fifty seconds.

Even the beneficiary of the officials largess was unappreciative. Following the game Coach Babcock talked about how the calls disrupt the game. He mentioned that his top players had all played over eight minutes in the first period.

If ever there is a signal to the NHL that the quality of the officiating must improve it is when the team apparently benefiting is the one complaining.

Our Ducks have earned a decided lead in special teams play. In their two losses the Wings are 1 for 11 with the man advantage. Our Ducks PP efficiency is 33.3%.

At the outset of the playoffs the Red Wings were said to be better in net and were the hot team going in. Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard is 1-2 with a SP of just .885 and a GAA of 3.33. Ducks goalie Jonas Hiller has a GAA of 1.99, SP of .922 and a shutout.

Of concern to Coach Babcock is that our Ducks have scored 4 times even strength. Four of the Wings six goals in this have come with the man advantage. Ducks are beating the Wings in all phases of the game.

Down 2 games to 1 in a 7 game series, Detroit find themselves in a must win situation. Their only win coming as a result of one-sided officiating.

Babcock said the game (and perhaps this series) turned on Ryan Getzlaf‘s shorthanded goal. Wings fans began to abandoned their team midway through the third when Emerson Etem put our Ducks by 3. The Joe virtually emptied out five minutes later when Matt Beleskey put us up 4-zip.

Abandoned by their fans. Unable to benefit from one-sided officiating. Our Ducks are clearly inside the mind of their goalie. These Wings are clearly on the ropes. They now represent a challenge our ducks have risen to infrequently through this season.

Do they have the killer instinct? Finding it now will elevate our Ducks to another level.

  1. yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

    Hiller, Penalty Killing, and Getzlaf come up big in Game 3 victory…Hiller was solid and made 23 saves…this was his third career playoff shutout (he bailed us out of the first period). The adjustment BB made on the penalty kill was very effective. Getzlaf’s shorthanded goal was definitely a highlight reel and was the turning point in the game. Bonino, Etem (first career playoff goal…well deserved) and Beleskey also scored…solid team effort.

    Detroit’s Abdelkader’s, in an attempt to spark his team ended up harming his team and our defenseman Lydman. Abdelkader received a five-minute penalty and an ejection in for charging. He should receive 2/3 additional games. However, I anticipate nothing/1 game from this inconsistent league. Lydman has been very effective in shutting down the Red wings efforts… It would be a significant blow if can’t play Game 4.

    Coahes Thoughts on the hit:

    BB: “I would like to see him back on the ice tomorrow, but I don’t think that is going to happen, From what I gather, the league has done a pretty good job with these things, and I’m not going to say anything, Mr. Shanahan can look at it.”

    Babcock: “He’s a big guy, and he hit him hard, His shoulder hit his shoulder, and the kid went down hard. They called it a major. I’m not involved in the next part of the process; I didn’t think he was up. I didn’t think his arms were up or anything.”

    I also found it intresting when the fans decided to bailout so quickley…that is sad.

    • bc says:

      Do you think the one-sided officiating encouraged Abdelkader? We’ll never know of course. The league won’t investigate that part of the story.
      This hit is actually very similar to the one former Duck James Wisniewski delivered on Chicago’s Brent Seabrook. Wisniewski while a Duck, drew an 8 game suspension because it was determined that he targeted Seabrook and came in from the blue line.
      The Red Wing Abdelkader is likely to receive a two game suspension at most even though Abdelkader also targeted his opponent and came in from about 30 feet away.

      • yougetoutwhatyouputin says:

        Just in…he is out for two

      • bc says:

        Two games was the consensus the moment the league announced it was a telephone hearing.

        Via Twitter, Quacked dug this one up. Seems the so-called ever vigilant NHL Safety Committee isn’t so vigilant to have let this intentional elbow to the head go. This would of course be the same league that said it will review plays even when no on ice call is made.

        Abdelkader is earning a rep as a cheap and chippy player.

  2. czhokej says:

    Yes, special team decided the game. (And the goalie was out best PK player.) There were some questionable calls, some marginal calls, they went both ways, but more against us. However, the final score looked much better than our performance on the ice. Do not be mistaken, it was not the Ducks’ dominance. We cannot be overly optimistic. Our game did not have the flow, the Ducks appeared to be slower, especially when backchecking, We allowed several outnumbered counterattacks even on our PP. Passes were not connecting, the receivers were standing still, even on our PP we played a lot of dump and chase, and quite often the PP looked stationary. Everybody is praising Getzlaf, but with the exception of his beautiful goal, he did not play well. He looked slow. His FO numbers were disastrous. And one shot each on the goal for Perry and Getzlaf is not enough. Hiller made the crucial and amazing saves, and he won the game. I liked the speed and positioning of Beleskey, Bonino, Cogliano and Palmieri, Koivu’s intelligence, and their hard work. Actually, most of our guys worked hard. They deserve the credit for that. That’s our strength. Winnik doesn’t score but he does a lot of good things on the ice. BB wants him to shoot more and he did. He had 5 SOG, but some of them were low % shots. I feel really bad for Toni, and his concussion. He played quite well recently.
    Now, some positives: we were the better team. Perry did a good job of getting into Howard’s head.
    Etem is now almost a complete player. His goal was a piece of art. The same applies to Teemu’s pass. Beleskey, Bonino and Palmieri go to the net, and our veterans should learn from their positioning.
    This is not a comment you would expect after 4-0 victory, but I believe that we have to be realistic.

    • bc says:

      As to the bad passes cz, the puck handling was pretty sloppy generally. After Getzlaf’s goal though the Wings got unhinged from their mental faculties and we did dominate. Prior to that, during the first half of the game it looked as though our Ducks played tentatively. As though they were afraid to make mistake.
      Is Winnick the most snake bit hard luck player we’ve seen? Totally agree that he does many good things but can’t seem to finish.
      Etem, on the other hand, looks like Teemu’s ketchup bottle. That goal was brilliant in how Etem got Howard to pull off the post and tucked it high short side against the flow.
      Yes we need more from Corey Perry, but her right there badgering Howard on Bonino’s goal.

      Unless the Wings get a lot more help from the officials, they’re done. The only question now is do we put them away quickly or not.

      • czhokej says:

        You are right bc. After the second goal, the Wings got really nervous, had some shaky moments and started making strategic mistakes. After Beleskey’s goal, they were undone, and we were happy maintaining score as it was, and preserving the shutout for Jonas.

  3. czhokej says:

    OC Register posted a photo of the hit on Lydman, and you can clearly see how high the Detroit player jumped up.

    • bc says:

      And you’re right too cz. I’ve never seen this as a who’s right though. More like what are we seeing and chatting about it.

  4. bbdux93 says:

    For me the most disappointing part of the game came after our goal – in the 5 minute major PP. It looked like our guys took a deep breath and coasted through the end of that period. They had the opportunity to put the game out of reach at that point and it seems they chose not to. ? ? ?

    • bc says:

      Jeez ain’t that the truth bb. This team has shown it can come from behind and win. It can protect one goal leads and win. It just doesn’t seem to be able to put a team away when it is handed the chance. They did eventually of course when Getz put us up by two and Etem scored his beauty.

      It’s really not lack of a killer instinct. These Ducks just don’t quit. But you only get so many opportunities. I haven’t seen a game this year where I wan’t wondering if they’re going to blow the opportunities. It’s almost as though they don’t grab opportunities that are handed to them. These Ducks seem to have to make their breaks during the course of the game. As U might say, we don’t carpe diem.

      In baseball if a guy hits once in every three trips to the plate he’s a phenom. In hockey, if a guy gets his shooting percentage into double digits, it’s incredible. Wayne Gretzky who knew a thing or two about scoring said said, “Scoring a goal in hockey is the single hardest thing to do in sport.”

      Maybe it’s because these Ducks don’t quit. They continue manufacturing scoring chances and/or flat out shut down the opposition that they win. But yeah, these Ducks are anything but predictable.

  5. bbdux93 says:

    I would like to know why there aren’t more instigator penalties. Does there have to be a fight? Are the refs just late to the scene? Do they really expect a guy to take several hits after the play and just skate away?
    The call on Souray at the end of the game the other night was unwarranted. He got hit several times before he responded and when he did – he got the penalty – Very frustrating.

    • bc says:

      I passed your question along to Kerry Fraser at tsn.com. It’s a great question bb and I don’t have an answer for you. I’ll pass it along to others until we get some answers.

  6. czhokej says:

    bb was right on the point. We scored 18 seconds into 5 minute PP, but after that goal, we were most of the time defending. Desperately trying not to get scored against. (5 on 4).

    • czhokej says:

      Wings coach Mike Babcock said that Abdelkader’s hit was ” a hard check” and clean. Even though I respect Mike B., this was not a very smart thing to say.

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