Posts Tagged ‘Dallas’

Many thanks to yougetwhatyouputin for again stepping up to keep the blog going forward. This time a Trojan worm took down the desktop while a driver issue sent the laptop dark. The desktop is back up and running. The laptop will require a return to the repair shop.

You probably know the OCR has gone subscription based. As a result the Ducks no longer include the OCR in its Daily Clips email promo. The bummer is that practice coverage provided by the Ducks Official Website is inconsistent. We need to know who is on the ice, the lines and D pairings at practice. The purpose or theme of the practice, if there is one. Which goalie leaves the ice first on game day skates. If you would please email our Ducks and let them know how you want practices covered.

Ducks @ Kings:

Stakes: Ducks backed into the playoffs when Calgary beat Phoenix in OT yesterday. A win in RT will all but seal Ducks second Pacific Division crown in franchise history. IF our Ducks do win in RT a tie in their remaining five games will secure the Pacific.

Keys to the Game:

1. Match the Kings intensity. We can’t win unless we want to win.
2. Stay out of the sin bin. You just can’t give the Kings PP chances.
3. Be first on loose pucks. Do this and we know our Ducks are skating.
4. Win the physical battles.
5. Neutralize Doughty by forcing his partner (Reghr) to play the puck.

Many are noting that our Ducks have cooled somewhat. A glance at the recent record 5-6-1 Goal Differential minus 8  in the last twelve games supports the point. What the record doesn’t show is that our Ducks have been on an emotional roller coaster of late. Over this same span our guys took 2 of 3 against Dallas and beaten both the Kings and Blackhawks. In those five games that they got up for, our Ducks record is 4-1 with a Goal Differential of plus 6.

Injuries: Cam Fowler is questionable, Nick Bonino is expected back toward the middle of next week. Kings D-men Willie Mitchell and Matt Greene are out for the season.

Fowler’s absence significantly impacts the transition game. The work Scott Niedermayer has done with Cam this season is evident. While his progress isn’t showing up in goals and assists, Cam’s plus/minus has gone from minus-28 to minus-7. At least part of the reason is we spend less time in our zone when Fowler is on the ice.

With Cam out, look for the outlet/support player to be positioned closer to the puck.

Comments published within the last 24 hours by the teams respective coaches is all you need to know about tonight’s game. The Blues coach notes, “”We’re cheating all over the ice,” Hitchcock said. “We’re cheating to get on the offense, we’re cheating to score. We’re cheating each other and we’re cheating the game, and we’re paying the price for it.”
Meanwhile, Ducks Bruce Boudreau was succinct in the media scrum following the game against Dallas last night observing, “We played like crap.”

Hitchcock responded by cancelling practice Friday in favor of video sessions. Time of course is not a luxury for our Ducks who got on a bus, plane and moved on to St. Louis overnight.

Thus far the Ducks and Blues seasons have been remarkably similar. Ducks opened 7-1-1 including a mailed in performance against Colorado Tuesday. The Blues opened 6-1 before losing their last three and being outscored 11-2 by Nashville and Detroit this week.

We’ll get our first look at the exceptionally talented rookie Vladimir Tarasenko. The big RW has begun his NHL career as a point per game player through his first ten games, notching five goals and an equal number of assists. Tarasenko is said to possess deft one on one skills. Another Jagr?

Despite only scoring two goals in their last two games, these Blues sport an impressive PP running along at a 33% efficiency clip.

Brian Elliot is expected to start in goal for St. Louis. Jaroslav Halak (3-0) is mending a tender groin. No word on our Ducks starter as yet. Gabby broke with tradition when he sent Hiller in after Fasth earned a shutout in the previous game. Hiller pulled himself out of the game last night with what is being reported as lower body injury.

This is one game in which fans of each team will be looking intently for signs that their respective team’s rut is turning into a groove.

Note: The Fourth Period blog is reporting:

“Perry’s agents are still set to meet with Murray in Anaheim, agent Mark Guy confirmed to TFP, though he would not get into details as to the matter of discussions.”

This report has set off Gossip Girl speculation that if Pears is not signed he might be moved by the trade deadline. In true Gossip Girl fashion the caveat that Perry could also be moved at the draft is added to most reports.

If Ducks are in the playoffs at the April 3rd trade deadline, it is very unlikely Perry would be moved. What happens afterward is dependent upon whether or not he re-ups with our Ducks.

Ever notice that the speculators always turn out at the first sign of a change in team fortunes? It’s they’re all waiting for the proverbial penny to drop. Except in Canada where that wait could longer given that they’re doing with the penny. But I digress.

Note: As most expected and now know, Troy Bodie was picked off waivers by the Carolina Hurricanes. More to come.

On Ducks Live Sunday night, Brian Hayward said, “If you have a winning record in your division, chances are pretty good you’ll be in the playoffs.” I’m still shocked a Canadian spoke with such poor sentence structure ;) Hazy makes a good point. About half the points a Western Conference team needs to make the playoffs are available in divisional games.

Our Ducks, 2-0 against the Stars and 3-1-1 against all Pacific Division opponents. For our Ducks this game is about establishing dominance in the division.

For the Dallas Stars this is a game with playoff significance. No team can afford to fall to 3-0 against a divisional opponent. Expect our Ducks to have to survive an unrelenting onslaught in the opening 5-10 minutes. (more…)