Posts Tagged ‘Viktor Fasth’

Viktor Fasth represents the most serious challenge to Jonas Hiller since he showed management they could shed the salary of former Stanley Cup and Conn Smythe award winner J.S. Giguere.

Now it isn’t just Viktor Fasth that Hiller has to beat out. He also has to create a margin of such significance as to justify the $1.6m  difference in their salaries. The main reason Hiller has to excel is Ducks appear to have another quality backup in Frederick Anderson and a future star in John Gibson.

It’s a fascinating confluence of pressure points heightened by the fact Hillsy is entering his contract year.

Thus far in his NHL career Jonas has met every challenge from the mysterious and little understood vertigo to his 73 game iron man performance in 2011-12.

This year he’s challenged by his health, quality competition on our Ducks depth chart to a very thin market for goaltenders, despite the obvious need of many teams.

It is just as easy to imagine Hiller traded on or before the deadline or leaving as a UFA, as it is to imagining him taking on all comers and having a career year.

It isn’t wise to bet against a guy with such a track record of rising to and thriving on challenges. While this one is daunting, I still would bet against Jonas Hiller.

Just like Hiller proved and a wonky hip proved we could move on from Giggy; it’s up to Fasth, Anderson and Gibson to prove we can move on from Hiller.

This is the brutal part of the business of hockey. You come to appreciate and respect a guy, like most of us did Bobby Ryan, and there comes a time when the best interest of the team is arguably, to move on.

Note: This post was drafted and published after reading this at Pro Hockey Talk. Factual reporting errors aside, I just didn’t think the story gave Hillsy his due. Wasn’t going to link it but google alerts is hyping it.

In another example of the newly discovered organizational depth achieved under GM Bob Murray, our Ducks have announced the promotion of Dwayne Roloson from Norfolk Admirals of the AHL to goaltending consultant with the Anaheim Ducks of the NHL.

Rollie the Goalie as he was known during his 14 year playing career will replace the recently retired Pete Peeters. The pair have a history dating back to the Oilers 2006 Stanley Cup Final appearance. Roloson was the Oilers starting goalie and Peeters his coach.

Roloson joined our Ducks organization on February 13, 2013 where he became familiar with Fredrik Andersen who beat out Sergei Bobkov for the No. 1 job in Norfolk. He doesn’t have a history with either Ducks goalie, Jonas Hiller or Viktor Fasth.

During his playing career Rollie earned a reputation for clutch playoff performances. In addition to back stopping the Oilers to the SCF in 2006, Rollie was credited with carrying the Tampa Bay Lightning to the ECF in 2011. He ended his career with a playoff record of 28-18, 2 shutouts, 2.54 GAA and a .918 SP.

I’ll speculate that Pete Peeters had something to do with choosing Roloson as his successor. This is more respect than our Ducks showed Francois Allaire when he left to join Brian Burke in Toronto.

The noise is coming from fans and Gossip Girl websites so it’s not serious at this point. I get it though. Corey Perry had an off-year and playoff so we should trade Bobby Ryan. Viktor Fasth had abdominal injury so what’s the first thing folks want to do? You got it, trade Bobby Ryan.

The so-called logic here is that we’re fine at forward and need help on the back line. I love declarative statements because there’s just no ambiguity in the shortsightedness. I’m not sure any team in the NHL can afford to lose two top six forwards in the same year.

The other top six forward we’re going to lose is Teemu Selanne. Even if Flash returns he won’t be coming back as a top six, first unit PP, 25 goal scoring near point a per game player. Father time took that Teemu Selanne away from us.

If you’re seriously proposing trading Bobby Ryan you must hope that the promising but still unproven Emerson Etem and Kyle Palmieri will replace the 55-60 goals that we get from Ryan and Selanne.

Far too often teams make the mistake of weakening an area of perceived strength to improve an area adjudged to be weak. Chris Kunitz and Eric Tangradi for Ryan Whitney was such a trade. Usually this type of trade only works to the extent you get beat a little differently. The team doesn’t improve overall.

Not only are those pounding TRADE BOBBY RYAN NOW on their keyboards using flawed logic, it’s really dangerous if for whatever reason Etem and/or Palmieri don’t move forward and Teemu shows his age.

Luca Sbisa is a horse of a different color. With Vatanen and possibly Lindholm moving up the depth chart, Luca could easily slip to 7th or lower. No team wants to pay an AHL player $2.175MM.

If we move a top nine forward, the guy most likely to go is Andrew Cogliano. I think that will prove regrettable but Murray will need the cap saving if really does intend to bring Selanne and/or Koivu back.

Via Ducks Audio

Just the facts Ma’am highlights:

Coach said it was very difficult to motivate the team during the slump because of their position in the standings. The idea settled in that they weren’t catching Chicago and had too big a lead on the teams behind them.
Given how quickly they turned it around when the Kings reached striking distance, Gabby might be right.
I don’t think anybody ever knows what causes slumps. You’re sure glad when it’s over though.

Teemu has the night off against Vancouver and may or may not take it. Coach said “some of our high-profile guys will sit out.” Bobby Ryan, who’s dropped some weight with the flu, is expected to go Saturday in the season finale.I don’t know what Vancouver will do but teams tend to give out games off after wining their division.

As to who will be playoff goalie, Coach seemed to indicate that he will go with the hot hand. Hiller is the likely starter but that too is subject to change. Hilly draws the Canucks. Fasth the Coyotes. The rotation would go back to Hiller to start the playoffs.
Worthy of note, Boudreau said that the goalies are very supportive of each other and more importantly, Coach thinks it’s genuine.

Notes: Ducks also have a logjam of players competing for spots on the fourth line. Steckel will center ahead of Matthew Lombardi. Etem, Belleskey, Dvorak and Staubitz battle for the wingman spots.
Luca Sbisa is the odd man out on the blue line.  As he did earlier in the season for Cam Fowler, Bryan Allen is providing a stay@home steadying influence allowing Sami Vatanen to play a little rover D. Don’t look for Vatanen to come out unless he slumps badly.

 

Through 40 games corporate media and the blogosphere have proven beyond all doubt that they just don’t get our Ducks. The best they can do at explaining how these Ducks have produced the third best record in the NHL is to rework clichés like great goaltending, timely or depth scoring, coaching and the ever bland, “finding ways to win games.”

Our Ducks have received great goaltending from the tandem of Jonas Hiller and Viktor Fasth. Yes,  we get timely scoring from unexpected sources. Bruce Boudreau is a great coach. We don’t though, keep finding new ways to win games.

You win hockey games by scoring more goals than the opposition. There ain’t no other way to win.

Our Ducks aren’t finding new ways to score goals. Virtually every single goal that is scored, other than EN’s of course, is executed by either screening the goaltender and/or forcing the goalie to move or commit prior to the release of the shot. This is true regardless of where the shot, tip or tap is coming from.

So ignore everything you read about our Ducks, “finding new ways to win.” It’s flat-out bull-pucky.

Our Ducks are winning because they are winning the majority of the one on one battles that occur during a hockey game. They’re winning what’s called the game within the game.

Did you read the Drew Doughty comments following the Kings most recent loss to our Ducks. Doughty was whining and bloviating about how the Kings totally out-played us but they just didn’t get rewarded for their efforts. Doughty, poughty.

Our Ducks are winning because they can win any way the opposition want to play the game. Ducks can grind or free wheel with anybody. What they do better than their opponent on a given night, is that they dominate in the one area of the ice where it matters most, from the end zone face off dots to the end boards in each of the defensive and offensive zones.

This is why a Poughty Doughty can fool himself and others into thinking his Kings outplayed our Ducks. The is why many Red Wings fans will go to their graves believing the Wings outplayed our Ducks in the 2007 WCF.

They don’t get it.

If you want to beat these Ducks you have to beat them around the nets and at the moment of truth. In other words if you can’t execute a near perfect play, at both ends of the rink, you aren’t going to outscore these Ducks.

This is true in both low and high scoring games. It’s true if the opposition elects to grind it out or play a high tempo finesse game. These Ducks win 2-1 and 4-3.

These Ducks aren’t finding new ways to win. These Ducks get ‘er done.

Anaheim Ducks were flat but effective in beating the spirited but ineffective Calgary Flames 4-0. Viktor Fasth was outstanding turning aside 29 shots.

Daniel Winnick got things started at 1:15 of the first attacking the low slot and snapping a feed from behind the red line from Andrew Cogliano.  It was Winnick’s sixth goal of the season and first in 18 games.

Our Ducks would then play a passive defense shell for the next 35 minutes. The Flames took territorial control and out shot our guys 10-4 in the first.

Not even a dance invitation from former Duck Bryan McGratton to Brad Staubitz was accepted. It was the smart play by Staubitz. McGratton was only trying to fire up his teammates. By refusing, Staubitz denied them the opportunity, not they needed it.

In a similar play to Winnick’s goal, Ryan Getzlaf raced to a loose puck along  the right mid-boards and whipped it behind the net to Corey Perry. Pears spotted Ryan racing into the left slot shooting lane to complete the tic tac toe score. It was Ryan Getzlaf’s 500 career point, all with our Ducks.

Note: Video links of the first two goals are included to show set plays and also note how both Winnick and Ryan one-timed the pass.

Sheldon Souray put the home squad up by three just 2:12 following the Ryan goal. With Peter Holland providing the screen, Souray blasted a Brad Staubitz pass into the Calgary net.

Ryan Getzlaf put the game out of reach at 16:18 of the third when he took a no look redirect from Bobby Ryan and pushed it behind Kiprusoff.

Coach Boudreau summed it up pretty well, “We sure were outplayed in the first half of the game,” he noted. “Thank goodness for Viktor. Once we scored the second goal, we started to get our legs and started to do the right things, and I think they were frustrated. A win is a win.”

It was the tenth consecutive home win for Anaheim.

In a game of follow the leader the L.A. Kings picked it up a notch after captain Dustin Brown went top shelf on Viktor Fasth to tie the game at two. The Kings would score twice more during a during a nine minute barrage whereupon they simply raised the tempo and physical compete level.

Our Ducks didn’t match. We didn’t get a bounce during the onslaught. We got into penalty trouble. We got caught running around in our end. Kings just flat-out took over and didn’t let up.

Slava Voynov got wide open in the left face off circle when Matt Beleskey made a bad read and chased the puck. Voynov ripped one 5-hole on Fasth that just had enough velocity to get over the goal line.

Kings continued to dominate beating the Ducks to most if not every loose puck. Kings defender Jake Muzzin took a feed from Anze Kopitar, stepped in from the blue line a few feet, showed some mis-direction faking a cross ice pass to Justin Williams and placed a wrist shot that again beat Fasth high glove side.

A week or so ago, either here or Twitter I began questioning Fasth’s soft 5-hole and top shelf exposure. Tonight the Kings showed that they saw it too and exploited it. Now and going forward we’ll begin to learn if Viktor Fasth is real deal or not. Great goalies improve in their weak areas. you can expect Fasth to be tested 5-hole and top shelf during at least the next few games.

This was also a game where our best players were not the best players on the ice last night. We got the secondary or depth scoring from Cogliano and Koivu but nothing from the big four and nothing from blue line. Kings got 3 assists from Anze Kopitar and goals from Brown and Jeff Carter.

In the middle of 5 games in 7 days, Ducks have absolutely no time to dwell on this one. Next up are the Nashville Predators who are struggling of late.