Dead Last in the League, at Least There’s 24/7

Posted in Anaheim Ducks Hockey, Anaheim Calling with tags , , , , , on December 14, 2011 by cskober

A couple posts ago, I wrote that I don’t have much to say about this team.  Despite a coaching change we’ve seen more of the same.  With the Blue Jackets’ shootout win last night, the Ducks officially slipped to 30th in the league standings; just another milestone on the road to a lost season. 

At the beginning of November, I wrote here that if the Ducks continued to play the way that they did on that horrendous road trip through their upcoming homestand they would find themselves in a hole too deep to dig out of.  I didn’t believe it would actually happen, but it did and there is no sign of change on the horizon.

I talk tough about the season being over on off days a lot now, but the thing about being a crazed fan is that it isn’t really that simple in the heat of the moment.  The wins, few and far between as they are, mean less and the losses are just as frustrating.  As such, it’s hard to get fired up enough to post on a daily basis.  I have been keeping up with my contributions over at Anaheim Calling though.  Here are the links to catch up with my work for them, if you’ve missed it.

Anaheim Calling:  My reactions to Bruce Boudreau’s first game

Anaheim Calling:  I debate Robby over the new NHL realignment for next season

Anaheim Calling:  My Tribute to Teemu and the trade that originally brought him to his Happy Place

Luckily, I’m not just a Ducks fan.  I’m a hockey fan too, and besides the playoffs this is the best time of year to enjoy being a hockey fan.  HBO’s 24/7 Flyers/Rangers Road to the NHL Winter Classic starts tonight.  Last year’s season was such a work of art, there is some potential for dissapointment.  It isn’t enough to be the same, there is prescedent; It isn’t groundbreaking in and of itself anymore; and as Greg Wyshynski of Puck Daddy has warned, there is a fear of growing inauthenticity in this season.  Still, I have full confidence in it’s ability to restore my faith in the game Sidney Crosby’s return, as short lived as it was.

On a closing note, last week the DVD of last season’s 24/7 arrived and I noticed, as I started to watch the first episode for about the tenth time (at least), that the opening “Hockey Night in Pittsburgh” sequence had different music than it did when it originally aired.  There must have been some kind of rights issues.  I liked the original better, but I can live with it, since we don’t have to save four hours of HD DVR space for the first season anymore.  The fact that I can pick that out at 1:30 AM probably shows how much of a nerd I am for this show, but I’m totally fine with that. 

Happy 24/7 Premier Day, everybody!

“It seems like there’s going to be lots of murders. Make sure we have enough ambulances, huh?”

-Ilya Bryzgalov

Win Not Enough to Save Carlyle, Ducks Hire Boudreau

Posted in Anaheim Ducks Hockey, Anaheim Calling, Hockeytalk with tags , , , , on December 1, 2011 by cskober

Huge news in Ducks Land today, they finally won a game, but still Randy Carlyle was fired and replaced with former Washington Capitals head coach Bruce Boudreau.  I’m sad to see Carlyle go, but it had to be done.  My in depth reaction is posted over at Anaheim Calling, check it out.

Also here are my two other links to my work from the weekend:

Anaheim Calling:  The Ducks aren’t the first team to suck at Thanksgiving, and none of those teams made the playoffs, better do something soon.

Hockeytalk:  Corey Crawford is fun to watch, even if the stats don’t say so.

If You Don’t Have Anything Nice to Say …

Posted in Anaheim Ducks Hockey, Anaheim Calling, Hockeytalk with tags , , , , , on November 23, 2011 by cskober

It’s been a couple of weeks since I’ve posted here, mainly because there isn’t much to say about the Ducks right now.  They’ve been terrible.  One win in their last 11 games and only two in their last 15. 

They’ve shown glimmers of hope almost coming back against the Kings and Red Wings two games in a row, but Mike Babcock is right.  Each NHL game is a race to three, and whichever team wins that race usually wins the game.  The Ducks are averaging 2.00 goals per game only better than the Islanders.

Speaking of the Islanders, their game against Pittsburgh on Monday was the first game that I’ve actually enjoyed in about a month, because Sidney  Crosby came back and absolutely owned them.  Two goals, two assists and 66.6% in the faceoff circle after missing ten and a half months with a concussion … unbelievable.  Thank you Sid for reminding me that hockey doesn’t suck.

I have done some writing over the past two weeks.  Here are the links if you’d like to catch up:

Anaheim Calling:  I’m already sick of the Ducks’ newest rivalry (Nashville)

Anaheim Calling:  The Freeway Faceoff is forced but has potential

Hockeytalk:  Hey Pavel, you’re gonna get it!

Hockeytalk:  Where the Kings stand at the 20 game mark

Links + Preds @ Ducks Tonight

Posted in Anaheim Ducks Hockey, Anaheim Calling, Hockeytalk with tags , , on November 9, 2011 by cskober

It’s been a while, but here are some links to the other writing I’ve been doing over the past week or so in reverse chronological order.

Anaheim Calling:  The Ducks need to Start Stronger

Hockeytalk:  Pekka Rinne’s new contract and what it means for the franchise

Hockeytalk:  An Ode to Jordan Staal

So, that was a truly awful road trip.  1-3-3, outscored 21-11 (not counting whatever they call the extra goal they add at the end of a shootout) and of course we have to remember the 2 games before the road trip that bring the ducks to a dismal 1-5-3 in their last nine. 

However, the Ducks have had a few days off to reset, and get ready for a stretch of 11 home games in their next 13.  If that stretch goes equally as bad we might as well write off the season, but the bright side is that the Ducks never do that.  They always come back, hover around .500 and drag out the season to the end.  Also as Randy Carlyle pointed out, with a little more luck in the shootout and overtime (they never should have gotten to overtime against Washington) it could have just as easily been a 4-3 trip.  But it wasn’t so now it’s time to turn it around against … Nashville.

Seeing as one of the worst games of the road trip was in Smashville and they were the team that heartbreakingly knocked us out of the playoffs last spring, this would be a nice one to get.  Step one toward winning tonight, don’t give up an early goal.  Besides the fact that the Ducks haven’t won a game when giving up the first goal, it plays right into Nashville’s defensive game plan.  Step two, someone other than Teemu pitch in with a goal once in a while. 

Prediction:  No goals in the first period, Ducks win 2-1 goals by Perry and Lubo. 

Go Ducks! 

 

Latest AC and an Observation

Posted in Anaheim Calling with tags , on October 28, 2011 by cskober

Quickly before I head off to work, here’s my latest post for Anaheim Calling that went up on Wedesday. 

Also I’ve noticed Andrew Gordon just loves to play hockey.  Everytime they cut to him on the bench or skating by between whistles he looks like a kid in a candy store.  It’s pretty cool to see that love of the game so evident on his face, although I imagine he tried to contain it over the weekend while the team was abjectly awful.

Links After a Tough Weekend

Posted in Anaheim Ducks Hockey, Anaheim Calling, Hockeytalk with tags , , , , on October 24, 2011 by cskober

It was not a good weekend for the Ducks.  Two lackluster efforts lead to two losses in three days.  Now they hit the road for seven in a row starting tomorrow in Chicago.  I was busy writing though.  Here are the links from the weekend.

Hockeytalk:  When will the NHL get it’s act together and grandfather in mandatory visors?

Anaheim Calling:

Coyotes @ Ducks Preview:  http://www.anaheimcalling.com/2011/10/23/2508699/open-gameday-thread-phoenix-coyotes-anaheim-ducks

Coyotes @ Ducks Recap:  http://www.anaheimcalling.com/2011/10/23/2509761/Phoenix-Coyotes-Anaheim-Ducks-sunday-october-23

Also Saturday was the Ducks annual Faceoff Fest where season ticket holders could get autographs, tour the locker room, skate on the ice and much, much more.  After having gone to the event several years in a row I’ve become jaded.  We only really cared to get one autograph, Cam Fowler on my third jersey, but we had a chance to meet up with Robby from Anaheim Calling and have a chat while we waited a good hour and a half for Bobby Ryan’s signature.  Incidentally, Robby did a writeup for AC on Faceoff Fest that posted this morning.

I had a couple of hot dogs, skated for 15 minutes and we left, with not too much excitement.  I did notice Robby hanging around taking pictures with his 11 month old son Trevor, looking like they were having a grand old time.  That got me pretty excited for Faceoff Fests in years to come.  Maybe Amy and I have become jaded about it, but bringing a kid who’s never experienced anything like that before and who, frankly, the event is geared toward is bound to be much more rewarding.

Favorite Former Ducks; Three Wins Over the Weekend

Posted in Anaheim Ducks Hockey, Anaheim Calling with tags , , , , on October 19, 2011 by cskober

My newest post is up at Anaheim Calling.  It’s a rundown of my favorite former Ducks that are still active.  Check it out here.

I also had a few thoughts about the actual hockey that was played over the weekend.

- Maxime Macenauer is awesome.  He scored the lone goal in the Ducks’ 1-0 victory over San Jose on Friday, but it’s everything else he does that makes him a valuable player.  Face-offs, Penalty Killing, back checking, everything a fourth liner is supposed to do, he does with gusto.

- Jason Blake isn’t the most loved of Ducks, especially playing on a line with Teemu and Saku, but losing him to injury (for 3 months while he recovers from surgery after being stepped on by the skate of Brent Burns Friday) will be a bigger loss than most Ducks fans realize.  Brandon McMillan can play a very similar role on the second line, but that takes away from the biggest advancement the Ducks have made from last season:  their forward depth. 

- Speaking of forward depth, once Blake comes back the Ducks finally have a fourth line that is more than just a time waster.  Macenauer and McMillan with one other piece would actually make a decent checking line to take some of the pressure off of RPG.  Parros is not that piece, and neither is Beleskey, but they’re getting there.  Let’s not forget that that is the fourth line, the Gordon-Cogliano-DSP line adds a facet to the Ducks’ lineup that I don’t remember them ever having, a checking/scoring hybrid line. 

- The Ducks also have a pretty deep Defense this season.  I can’t agree with Dan Ellis from the Ducks Live Post-Game show on Monday when he said they have arguably the best defense corps in the league, seeing as there’s a team about 30 miles away that has exactly that (when healthy), but his overall point is a good one.  There is plenty of balance throughout the Ducks defense this season, between scoring and defensive responsibility, physicality and poise, youth and experience, there isn’t much missing.

It’s way too early to make any true judgments about this team.  A four game winning streak is great, and going 4-1 to start the season is a nice change of pace from the past four years of slow starts, but that’s all that it is.  A streak and a start, there’s a looooong way to go.  One thing can be said about this team though, based on the last two bullet points they definitely don’t suck.

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