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.
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.