Posts Tagged ‘bruce boudreau.’

Update: Following Ducks 3-2 come from behind OT win over the San Jose Sharks last night. Our Ducks are now 3-1 in the exhibition season. Two of the wins have been come from behind and one in OT. The team is establishing the habit and expectation of winning, ability to come through in the clutch and a no quit attitude.
– – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – – In A look at some intangibles published on 9/15, the post concluded with questions, including will the team come together. Yesterday, Coach Boudreau reported that he’s liking what he sees:

“There are always things you’d like to see better, but I think what we’re seeing are the signs of a team coming together.” (Emphasis added)

Team chemistry consists of two parts. There is the tactical chemistry of a well executed system and team assembled into smaller specialized units of complementary and offsetting skill sets. Additionally, there is chemistry that rises from camaraderie and bonding born of a group individuals  working to earn the respect of each other while passionately putting team first.

What Coach is saying is that the former, tactical chemistry or execution can be improved but overall the team is bonding and meshing nicely at this stage of camp.

It would be easy to write Gabby’s comment off if not for the supporting factual evidence. Coach gave nine vets the day off yesterday and to a man they took to the ice and practiced hard. Too soon for these guys to take Princess, er maintenance days.

Exemplified by John Gibson looking to redeem himself after a poor performance against the L.A. Kings, our Ducks gutted and ground out a 2-1 come from behind win against the Avs. Our guys didn’t make it easy on themselves as no Duck was even as high 50% on draws. Rickard Rakell was a woeful 5-10.

Francois Beauchemin is taking full contact in practice. You think he might ear the respect of his teammates taking full contact 4.5 months following reconstructive knee surgery?

Coach likes what he sees and the factual evidence supports him. Go Ducks!

The quote above comes to us via Adam Brady of AnaheimDucks.com

During the month of August we’ll pin this Flash Watch to the top story placement. Check here for updates on Teemu’s status.

Update: Pin removed because Teemu announced that he’ll make his decision known during the week of August 26, 2013.

Via Helene Elliot, L.A. Times

Nothing new so much as Elliot reports that Teemu will meet with Coach Boudreau and the GM next week before announcing his decision. Bob Murray confirmed via email that he and Flash have talked “a couple of times” in the past week.

Via OC Register – no link

According to a report by Eric “Ice” Stephens, Teemu has yet to meet with Coach Boudreau regarding his role next season. Stephens tweeted however, that his role is key to Teemu’s decision.
No mention of Teemu playing elsewhere. Stephens seems to think it’s Ducks or retire with Teemu leaning toward returning to our Ducks. I’m not convinced.

Curtis Zupke of NHL.com and the Pucks of a Feather blog published the comments Teemu made to Ice:

“My point is, if they’re (Ducks Young Guns) better than I am, I am expecting and accepting a smaller role, But if I’m better, I need to play more. I need to play top minutes. That’s what I’m looking for.”

Ed: If Teemu earns a top six minutes he should play top six minutes. IF he doesn’t he will have to accept a lesser role.

“That’s fair for everybody. To be honest, I’ve been playing a big role. I don’t know if I’m ready to play 10-12 minutes a game. And that’s what I want to make sure. If I play well, I get what I deserve.”

“Sometimes it’s not like that. So I want to make sure I’m treated the way I deserve.”

This sets up the possibility of a situation none of us want to witness. It is the sad and ugly situation where the Coach and Teemu disagree on what role he’s earned. What then?

Teemu wasn’t exactly thrilled last season when his minutes were reduced. How he accepted the reduced role was an issue. Coach had to give extra thought about telling Teemu to take days off. BB even asked rhetorically, “Do you want to be the one to tell Teemu Selanne not to lace ‘em up?”

Selanne will join a long list of players who had to be shot to get them off the ice when it was time. I was hoping Flash would spare us that, but I get why he can’t.

This blog is my connection to the game. I’ve been doing this and/or Sports Radio on one platform or another for nearly 20 consecutive years now. I played until I couldn’t. I coached until I could no longer demonstrate properly.  So now I blog.

Fact is, you’re never really done until you say you’re done or you die.

Via Hockey Writers Kirk Vance

Could Teemu Selanne’s return the Ducks? Gutsy post for a relatively new Ducks blog.

Ed.: The answer of course is maybe. If Teemu has another 25+goal 50+ point season in him then no, his return won’t hurt our Ducks. The thing with a player like Teemu though is, if he’s not scoring, he’s not helping.
Each of Teemu’s competitors have questions. Can Penner bounce back alongside his buds? Are two of the kids, Palmieri, Etem or Silfverberg ready for top six roles? Coach wants to see Beleskey earn a bigger role this season.
This blog asked the question, “Is there room for Teemu on the roster?” Man, asking if Selanne’s return could hurt the Ducks is a splash of cold water on a Monday morning face.

Via Dark Knight Twitter feed:

MT @aportzline: GM Kekalainen said he has NOT reached out to good friend/fellow Finn Teemu Selanne. For Selanne, it’s Ducks or retirement.

Ed.: Dark Knight is better than google news alerts.

Anaheim is still one of the locations rumored for Damien Brunner (Spector, SH) http://ow.ly/nX9vc 

If you read German the article on Brunner and Ducks speculation can be found here http://ow.ly/nX9RZ 

Ed.: Is the Brunner chatter leverage to get Teemu to take less money or just a coincidence?

Via justducky89 Tweet:

@justducky89: Selanne Meets with GM, Bob Murray #Ducks #Teemu #OCRegister pic.twitter.com/a75tUxxBT5

Ed.: According to the OCR Teemu met with Murray but has yet to meet with Gabby. He has not committed to playing next season.

Via LA Times Helene Elliot Tweet:

Teemu Selanne still deciding hockey future. He’s expected back in SoCal within next 10 days or so, to get his kids ready for school.

Ed.: Expect Teemu to meet with Gabby and Murph in that order. Even if he should talk to Murray first don’t expect him to make a commitment without discussing his TOI and role with the coach first.

Note: This post first appeared in the comment section of the “Palmieri signs” story. I moved it to the front page, gave it it’s own story and prominence because czhokej is soliciting comments. Just felt he would get more comments on the front page than on a back page.

As always in the “BackChecking with” format, my comments are italicized.

czhokej: One thing, which actually doesn’t belong here, but it is still on my mind.

bc: it does now :)

czhokej: People think that I am always focused on the negative issues,

bc: Yeah, you whine like a first wife….Seriously Bud, I don’t recall anybody but you labeling or characterizing your posts on this site. Fact is only one team raises the Cup each year. Every other team falls short. Thus sport is mostly negative because ultimately, our teams lose more than they win.

czhokej: …but I have noticed that in the playoffs our coaching was not up to par. Especially at the end of the series, our system was just confusion and improvisation.

bc: Neither Pavel Datsyuk or Henrik Zetterburg had registered a point in the series until the game following Abdelkader’s hit on Toni Lydman. Wings then took 3 of the final 4 games. Datsyuk put up 2 goals and 3 assists and Zetterburg scored the winner in game 5 plus added another goal along with 4 assists.

czhokej: Tactically and strategically we were making mistakes.

bc: Part of me agrees with you because we weren’t positioned well to counter the Wings speed. The rules have taken physical teams best strategy away though. We can’t slow teams down by interfering and running picks. OTOH, Wings flash and dash game puts us in reactive rather than proactive position. When that happened we couldn’t keep up.

czkokej: Some may say that I did not like RC even though he won the Cup.  No, I really liked Randy Carlyle in 2007, but I did not like that he was not able to change the system afterwards, when it did not work anymore, when we had a different roster, and when every opponent was ready for our predictable game plan.

bc: Even in Trauma RC molded what was a run and gun team into a dump and chase puck management team.

czhokej: And I do not want to say “deja vu”, because Bruce Boudreau is a different coach and his season with the Ducks was successful, regardless of the loss to Mike Babcock.  And he is a good motivator.

bc: This isn’t so much disagreeing cz, but more I just don’t know. Where is the line between player responsibility and Coach putting them situations where they can succeed. We lost 3 games in OT and 4 games by one stinkin’ goal. Perry had no goals, Selanne 1 and Ryan 2 in seven games. Other than Getz and Beauchemin our top scorers were third and fourth line players. Our best players, were not our best players in that series. does that fall on the coach or the player?

czhokej: This comment may sound like a work of a conceited mind, but nevertheless, I would like to hear your opinion, ladies and gentlemen.

bc: Sounds more like an intelligent and passionate fan to me.

 

As discussed with czhokej, the Dustin Penner signing certainly changes the on ice look of our Ducks. Pancake fell out of favor during his time in Edmonton and L.A. He sat with down with GM Bob Murray and gave acceptable point by point explanations for how his career nose-dived following his departure from Anaheim via offer sheet during the summer of 2007.

Wow, was that really six years ago? During those ensuing years Ducks tried a succession of guys, including Todd Bertuzzi, Evgeny Artyukhin, Brad Winchester, Jarkko Ruutu and of course Bobby Ryan. Only Ryan surpassed Penner in offense. None of those ever replaced him as a complete power forward package.

If Penner washes out here as he did in Edmonton and L.A., he unceremoniously slides down the depth chart until he’s a healthy scratch, gets waived or is part of a trade. At $2m for one year, Pancake doesn’t represent a big investment or risk.

Should Honda Center prove to be Dustin Penner’s happy place, lookout cookout as John Ahlers likes to say. Pancake returns to our Ducks with the respect and affection of team leaders Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Francois Beauchemin, all his teammates from the Cup team. He doesn’t enter the room in a getting to know everybody mode.

Notice though that while Penner has their respect and affection, he’ll have to earn their trust. To do that he must produce.

Here’s a capsulized look at our Ducks lines and pairings with the current roster.

Getzlaf-Penner-Perry/Fowler-Lovejoy: Can’t imagine Gabby will put the Souray-Beauchemin out there with the top line. The Big Dogs are already arguably the slowest top line in the NHL. Jeez, a five man unit where Beauchemin is the fastest skater? Not likely. Lovejoy is very questionable in a top 2 defender role.

Bonino-Silfverberg-Etem/Souray-Beauchemin: Obviously this should be posted in pencil as it is subject to change. Bones will be challenged by Holland, Silfverberg by Palmieri and Etem by Teemu Selanne, if Flash returns. No certainty Souray is a lock for top four ES-TOI either.

Koivu-Winnick-Cogliano/Allen-Sbisa: The checking line is likely set for a return engagement. Sbisa will be challenged and maybe dropped a notch or two down the depth chart in favor of Vatanen and/or Lindholm.

Holland-Palmieri-Beleskey: Look like the leading candidates for fourth line duty. Rakell could slip past Holland. Palmieri might be traded. Beleskey seems like the only one we can ink in. Devante Smith-Pelley could challenge Beleskey but Coach likes my Homey and envisions an envisions a larger role for Matt.

It’s crowded between the pipes as Hiller, Fasth, Andersen and Gibson will each get a good look and eval from our Ducks brain trust.

Intangibles and possible surprises:

- At select-a-seat Gabby described Nick Bonino as a very hard-working hockey player. Bones may lose his spot on the depth chart but somebody will have to beat him out of it.

- Again, Dustin Penner enjoyed his best season in the NHL as a center. Both he and Silfverberg could be options. Peter Holland, Rickard Rakell and Andrew Cogliano are also in the mix. Long shot Antoine Laganiere impressed me at conditioning camp.

- Cam Fowler did everything but light it up last season. His break through year should come in one of the next two seasons.

- Another significant trade could come at any time after the brain trust determines that we need an upgrade. Likely positions are 2nd line center and top 4 D.

- With Bobby Ryan traded, our new odd Duck appears to be Kyle Palmieri. He’s been given a qualifying offer. Ducks don’t have to negotiate with him. For a guy they express confidence in though, Kyle is certainly being treated like the proverbial red-headed step child.

- A key factor heading into his first full season as head coach will be stabilizing, within a reasonable degree of coaching discretion, player roles. This should be accomplished by the 20 game mark of the season.

Our Ducks look to ice 3 scoring lines and a checking line. Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne won’t be replaced easily. The secondary scoring could come by committee. We certainly have quality scoring depth. Still, our Ducks have the look of a one line team. If we don’t get at least 65 goals out of the top line, these Ducks won’t make the playoffs.

The parts are there for the makings of a playoff team. If the team comes together. They may have the horses to do more.

These are now Ryan Getzlaf’s Anaheim Ducks. If he isn’t ready to go full bore in October well…..it’s going to be a long season with a quick death.

Note: Anaheim Calling blogger Chris D-5 did a nice job capturing quotes at Select-a-seat. It’s a pretty good read.

Following Penner’s signing, OCR beat writer Eric ‘Ice” Stephens tweeted that “friend and ex-teammate Ryan Getzlaf  pushed for return.”

It isn’t unusual that the captain of the team, making more than $8m per year would have a little juice inside the org. What happened next though is the stuff of intrigue.

Bob Murray took the liberty of speaking for coach Bruce Boudreau on how Penner will be used. L.A. Times reporter Lance Pugmire reported:

Ducks General Manager Bob Murray said he and Coach Bruce Boudreau “really hope” Penner can join Getzlaf and Perry and provide “stabilization” to what has been a revolving door.

“It would sure make things easier for us,” Murray said.

It could well be that Bob Murray is accurately relating the sentiments of his head Coach. Call me skeptical. If so though, it contrasts with everything Gabby has told us about how he organizes his forward lines. Like many others, Gabby relies on set twosomes and moves a third guy on and off a line. Granted most often, a coach will adapt his philosophy according to the roster.

IF, Ducks GM Bob Murray isn’t accurately reflecting the sentiments of his coach, which I suspect is the case, it can only indicate one thing. The Captain is using the GM to send a cryptic message to the Coach. Getzlaf isn’t just “pushing for Penner.” Getz is trying to influence where Penner will fit on the team.

We’re not talking any coach here. While many a coach has a tough guy rep, Bruce Boudreau has the gravitas to bench a two-time Hart Trophy winner. Gabby also reduced face of the franchise Teemu Selanne’s TOI down the stretch and in the playoffs.

It’s one thing to talk tough. Living it is quite another.

Ducks commitment to Ryan Getzlaf is for eight years. The commitment to Bruce Boudreau is two years. Should push come to shove, the org is invested in Getzlaf. And he (Getz) knows it.

On the other hand, Bruce Boudreau has been active in hockey longer than Ryan Getzlaf has been alive. Getz doesn’t have a move that Gabby hasn’t seen or tried himself.

With Getzlaf expanding and exercising his newly found juice, the Ducks room just got a lot more interesting.

The players put on an exciting show for the fans in what was essentially a non-check scrimmage. When guys aren’t finishing their checks it makes it a bit difficult to get a complete bead on each player. What we’re doing here is reviewing pond hockey.
It’s the kind of hockey they play during workouts just prior to the opening of camps in September. During one of those pre-camp sessions, Chris Pronger complained, “I can’t wait until the hitting starts and put an end to this dipsy-doodle stuff.”

This was the third scrimmage and it was easy to see who had earned respect from the previous outings. Ducks first round pick Shea Theodore showed his ability to accelerate. The black jersey squad backed off almost every time he touched the puck. Theodore obviously has skill but we don’t know if he’ll stand-up under pressure from an opponent determined to make him less hungry for the puck.

Max Friberg was leaned on for his ability to accept the first pass and turn the play to attack. He may have scored a goal or two as well. In typical Pond Hockey fashion the only guys who kept stats are the players themselves. He’s not as fast as Cogliano but Friberg does move the biscuit from zone to zone similarly.

The guy who impressed me most with his wheels is Boston College grad Steve Whitney. Listed at just 5’7″ and 160#’s Whitney will have to score to win a job in the NHL. Jeez though, he showed ability to dart in and out of crowds, draw traffic to him and deke outside of danger with a shoulder fake. How Whitney will do when Francois Beauchemin is driving him into the boards is a story waiting to be written.

Peter Holland showed off his experience and skill with the puck. It went for naught as the Black jerseys beat the Whites 7-3. He setup a lot of scoring chances but the White squad just couldn’t finish on enough of them.

Hampus Lindholm is easily the smartest player on the ice today. He knows what to do in each situation. He plays well with and without the puck. His shot from the point won’t scare anybody but he did get most through to the net. What I liked seeing was his willingness to eat the puck in a couple of situations. A guy knows he’ll take a hit or two but when there’s no other option, you take one for the team.

Another prospect who looks to have the complete package is Irvine native Nicolas Kerdiles. He put all five skills on display. Kerdiles had his motor runnin’, showed basic and simple puck handling skill, wanted to hit but settled for tying up his opponent and he reads and reacts smartly.

Joseph Cramarossa put me in mind of a young Travis Moen. He was arguably the most physical guy out there. Next season he’ll be competing against men in the AHL so we’ll get a better read on his ability to compete physically at the pro level.

Rickard Rakell was solid if unspectacular. With a handful of NHL game experience, I expected Rakell to show a tad more.

The most pleasant surprise of the day was the performance of Antoine Laganiere . This kid looks like a Ryan Getzlaf with wheels. He drives to net. he shoots. He dishes off. He’s 6’4″ and packs 214#’s lean muscle on his bones.

Bruce Boudreau maintained a poker face. I watched him a bit but couldn’t get a read on what he was seeing.

I had a very enjoyable chat with a young goalie who plays here in SoCal. We shared some ideas about goal tending styles. Neither of us saw anything to write home about from Frederik Andersen, Igor Bobkov and Etienne Marcoux.

Overall, this was a performance for us fans. The real competition begins when cap opens in September.

If our Ducks have any interest in Mike Ribeiro they may want to bypass him, his agent go directly to the Mrs. Following the Caps announcement that they wouldn’t extend the point a game center, the Mrs. tweeted “Nothing like being uprooted from your home for no apparent reason” As if that didn’t fully convey her passion she add the hashtag #pissedbeyondbelief. As everybody knows or will learn eventually, if Momma aint happy, ain’t nobody gonna be ha-ha-happy.
Ribeiro 33 is reportedly looking for a contract similar or better than his just concluded 5 years at $5m per.
Ducks would have to move a salary in order to accommodate the gritty center. At this point in their respective careers, Ribeiro brings more to the table than Vincent Lecavalier who the Ducks met but passed on.

Caps also announced D-man Jeff Schultz will be placed on unconditional waivers for the purpose of buying him out. The 27-year-old enjoyed his best years under Ducks Coach Bruce Boudreau but has fallen out of favor with Gabby’s successors Dale Hunter and Adam Oates. Schultz is a big, physical stay@homer.

Other D-man waived today include now former Avs Greg Zanon and Matt Hunwick. Neither brings a skill set or level that should interest our Ducks. One who does however, Hal Gill at 37, may or may not fit a team looking to get younger and faster on the back line.

Another center considered not as pricey as Ribeiro or Lecavalier is Detroit’s Valtteri Filppulla. The native of Finland is also not as physical but he does play a responsible two-way game. Anaheim has two good reasons, Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, every Finn wants to play here.

GM Bob Murray previously showed some interest in the recently well-traveled Derek Roy. He’s just the kind of guy who could contribute to Murph waking up one day one day and realizing, “All of sudden we’re a small team.”

Florida Panthers would like to keep Stephen Weiss but all seems quiet in Miami. Still, he’s another slick, smallish center who does put up points and helps those around him be better.

GM Bob Murray admitted what this blog reported last week. He was getting calls about the availability of Bobby Ryan and Jonas Hiller. With the focus shifting toward pending UFA’s Nathan Horton and David Clarkson, more than a few will come back a calling next week.

Ducks needs haven’t changed, first on the list is a second line center followed by a top 4 D-man. And yes, one of Bobby Ryan or Jonas Hiller would be moved if the right opportunity is presented.

Ducks two finalists, Bob Murray for GM of the Year and Bruce Boudreau Jack Adams Trophy Coach of the Year finalist, watched the personal achievements go to their competitors.

Paul Maurice took the Adams Trophy after guiding the Ottawa Senators to the playoffs despite losing Norris Trophy winning D-man Erik Karlsson for all but 17 games. Top center Jason Spezza played in just 5 games. 2012 Vezina Trophy finalist, goalie Craig Anderson missed half the season.

Ray Shero of the Pittsburgh Penguins took GM of the Year.

Eastern based teams again dominated the awards winning 6 of the 10 awards announced this season. This reflects the eastern bias of the league where 13 of the 30 team league play in the Eastern time zone. Eastern bias is even more prevalent in the nomination process. 17 of the 27 non-stat based award nominees come from teams in the Eastern Conference.

The three major player awards, the Vezina trophy for best goaltender, Hart for MVP and the Norris are voted by the Eastern dominated media. Only two Western Conference players, Anti Niemi of the San Jose Sharks and Ryan Suter of the Minnesota Wild are among the nine finalists.

Not that Ducks nominees GM Bob Murray or coach Bruce Boudreau actually deserved an award. All they did was lift a team that finished 25th overall in 2011-12 to 3rd best in 2013, a feat unmatched by any other GM or Coach in the NHL. Their unmatched achievements was just not significant enough to have overcome the obvious Eastern bias in the NHL awards.

Despite impressive accomplishments in his first full season, Ducks coach Bruce ‘Gabby’ Boudreau faces equally impressive competition for the NHL Jack Adams Trophy, given annually to the coach “adjudged to have contributed most to his team’s success.” The winner is selected by a poll of the National Hockey League Broadcasters Association at the end of the regular season.

Ottawa Senators coach Paul MacLean led his team to a playoff berth despite losing Norris Trophy D-man Erik Karlsson, Jared Cowen as well as top forwards Jason Spezza and Milan Michalek for long stretches.

Due largely to injuries, the Senators used a league-high 14 rookies at various times during the season.

It’s the second consecutive nomination for the sophomore NHL head coach.

Less than one year ago, Blackhawks fans were calling for the dismissal of head coach Joel Quenneville following the surprising first round exit in the playoffs. Coach Q is one of only two men to have played in 800 NHL games and coached in 1000. The other is former Hab great and Minnesota and New Jersey coach Jacques Lemaire.
Enroute to the President’s Trophy, Quenneville’s Blackhawks began the season setting NHL record for earning at least a point in its first 24 games. The previous record of 16 games had been held by our Stanley Cup winning Ducks of 2007. Quenneville won the Jack Adams in 1999-2000 with St. Louis.

Coach Boudreau, in his first full season behind the Anaheim bench, led the club to its finest regular season in franchise history, capturing the Pacific Division title and No. 2 seed in the Western Conference with a club-record points percentage (.688, 30-12-6). The Ducks made dramatic gains over 2011-12 in several categories, climbing from 25th to third in the overall NHL standings; from 23rd to eighth in average goals-per-game
(2.45 to 2.79); from 19th to 11th in average goals-against (2.73 to 2.40); and from 21st to fourth in power-play percentage (16.6% to 21.5%). Boudreau is vying for his second career Jack Adams Award, having captured the trophy in 2007-08 with Washington in his first appearance as a finalist.

Given MacLean’s Senators faced the most adversity and Quenneville’s Blackhawks achieved more, Gabby is a long shot to win the award this year.

The section on Bruce Boudreau was taken directly from the NHL press release.

Make it happen. That’s the directive both our Anaheim Ducks and the surprising to me at least Detroit Red Wings will take into the final game of this back and forth playoff series.

The trend, win one, lose one favors our Ducks. Virtually everything favors our Ducks save three. Lack of finish or killer instinct, the Red Wings motion game and their best players have been the best players in this series. One look at the top scorers from each is all the evidence you need to know that the Red Wings best players are the best players in this series.

Johan Franzen, Pavel Datsyuk, Henrik Zetterburg with support and very timely scoring coming from Damien Brunner, Gustav Nyqyist and Dan Cleary. Ducks scoring leaders are Ryan Getlzaf, Kyle Palmieri and Nick Bonino with three each. Matt Beleskey and Emerson Etem have two goals apiece while Teemu Selanne scored the winner in game one.

Following the best players have to be the best players on the ice, the keys to the game for our Ducks are, (2) take away Wings hunger for the puck, in other words make them pay a physical price for touching the biscuit, (3) dominate the play at both blue lines. This will result in forcing the Wings to dump and chase the puck into our zone and keep them bottled up in their own zone, (4) Get sticks and bodies into the passing lanes when the Wings have the puck.

The one single aspect of this series that can’t be ignored is the role of the officials. Bruce Boudreau has admitted that our Ducks have been warned against cross-checking and roughing down low. I will note that referees caution both teams prior to every game about what they intend to call. So far Mike Babcock has indicated what the Refs have told him. Given how the calls have gone in this series, many Ducks fans are wondering if the Refs told Babs, “Don’t worry.” This isn’t too suggest the fix is in but I does accuse NHL officials of bias and one-sided penalty calls throughout this series.

Biased officiating has been institutionalized by the NHL. The league’s stated policy has been to open the game up and limit interference. Apparently and according to coach Boudreau you can no longer defend the low slot either.

I’m not alone in calling out the officials in this playoff. THN’s Ken Campbell to Bleacher Report and even former NHL referee Kerry Frazier have all been critical of numerous in particular as well the quality of officiating generally.

Win and our Ducks  face the L.A. Kings in series in the NHL’s second largest media market. This fact alone makes the notion that game is actually fixed just another weird conspiracy theory. I don’t and won’t go there without undeniable  evidence.

But officials incompetent to the extent that they actually determine the outcome of a playoff series? You bet they are and this series is part of the incontrovertible body of evidence.

Either way, and it’s a sad sate of affairs for the NHL to have to say this but I hope the players determine the outcome and not the officials.