Posts Tagged ‘Francois Beauchemin’

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

Ducks are landing and nesting for the new season. Guys are showing up at the rinks for pre-camp skates. It’s all low impact non-check scrimmages. Often called Pond Hockey or just shinny. The kind of hockey that frustrates a Bryan Allen or Mark Fistric and allows a slick sleuth like Kyle Palmieri to virtually to hot dog it at will.

Guys are working on skating, puck handling, passing, shooting and finding their timing. It’s important work. Primary attention is given to their agility, followed by timing and in the last few days prior to camp opening, chemistry or teamwork. This latter testing too is about timing though not just your own, but with your teammates.

What is established now will set the foundation for how and when the team comes together during the season and hopefully playoffs.

At camp the degree of difficulty is magnified exponentially. The moment the hitting starts, the competition gets brutally honest. This camp is will be our Ducks most competitive camp in years.

The team is set in goal but step outside the crease and there are question marks everywhere. Every reporter, blogger and poster is busily filling out their depth charts and most of us will be proven wrong.

Half of the forward jobs are open. You can pencil guys in here and there but nothing is set outside of Getzlaf, Perry, Selanne, Koivu, Cogliano and Winnick. Factually, the best we can do is handicap the competition at this point.

The D is similar. Toni Lydman retired. Sheldon Souray is out until Christmas. Francois Beauchemin will hopefully start the season but will have likely missed most of his camp. If Beauch starts, he starts a month behind.

Virtually half the team will get sorted out in camp. Bob Murray has finally created the camp he wants.

One result we might expect is TOI will be more evenly divided among the forwards. Fowler and Beauchemin will carry the heavy load on the back line.

I definitely see a playoff roster out there. Probably with home ice advantage in the first round.

Sheldon Souray underwent wrist surgery on July 25th to repair a torn ligament he injured during a workout. His recovery is expected to last another 3-5 months. The earliest Souray is expected back would be around U.S Thanksgiving through post-Christmas.

Ducks kept the news under wraps so as not to be pressured during trades or UFA negotiations. GM Bob Murray’s recent comments that he was intentionally keeping D spots open may have also been a negotiating gambit.

Mark Fistric is a first round 2004 draft pick of the Dallas Stars. Last season he was traded to Edmonton for a 3rd round pick. The 6’2″ 233# 27-year-old Fistric has scored 3-26=29 points with a +26 rating and 252 penalty minutes (PIM) in 282 career NHL games with the Stars and Oilers.

Fistric will do what is asked of him. Drop gloves, block shots. He’ll earn respect from teammates. Fans will be hard on him because he’s slow and beat by speedy forwards. If he’s spot played, used in a shut down role against guys he can skate with; Mark Fistric can be very effective.

Fistric is signed for one year at $900,000.

Ducks are expected to move Souray’s $3.3M cap hit to the LTIR, a move will free up cap space temporarily. Now we know why Bob Murray was so emphatic about having enough cap room to sign Teemu.

With Beauchemin coming off knee surgery and tentative to open the season, Souray out and the expected retirement of Toni Lydman our Ducks suddenly have serious questions on the blue line.

Ducks could start the season without almost half of the top seven defenders who finished last season. Cam Fowler, Ben Lovejoy, Bryan Allen and Luca Sbisa are the returnees. Fowler and Lovejoy are the only legit top four defenders in the group. The jury could still be out on Lovejoy. Allen is a stay@home specialist who can log big minutes. Last season, Coach was still spot playing Sbisa in order to protect him during his 4th season in the NHL. Allen was also an occasional healthy scratch.

Ducks also have the newly signed Fistric, Sami Vatanen, Mat Clark, Hampus Lindholm and Kyle Cumiskey  who will compete for those 5th, 6th and 7th D spots on the roster.

We’ll need everyone to step up. The good news is that we still have our best defensive pairing, Hiller & Fasth between the pipes.

#NHLDucks D Luca Sbisa (lower body) reported feeling good after going thru full practice and hopes to be available for Game 1 tomorrow.

Look for Ducks to split up Francois Beauchemin and Sheldon Souray. Fowler will play w/Beauchemin while Souray will be w/Lovejoy for Game 1.

BB wouldn’t get into it but there’s a feeling Fowler’s speed alongside Beauchemin could work better against Datsyuk and Zetterberg.

Analysis: Separating Souray/Beauchemin makes sense. Genuine concern about Souray matching up against DAZzle Line of Datsyuk-Abdelkader-Zetterburg. Souray is a fine hockey player but he lacks the quick feet necessary to move with the DAZzle Line.
Ice’ followup post confirms this analysis.

Given Dan Woods tweet the 3rd pairing will be two of Allen, Lydman, Sbisa and Vatanen. My preference is Allen-Vatanen.

@SlashSkater At this point, I’d guess Allen and Lydman, but that could change, especially if Sbisa were ready to go.

Twitter was rockin’ last night after this blog reciprocated follows with  Ducks Fan Zone. Alex Adrian has a good eye for the game. Here’s a sample:

Beauchemin gets a penalty for not quitting on the play. Good times.

Is Bonino the Ducks heat & soul? is a good read as well. i challengethe notion that Bones is comparable to Pahlsson because it’s an apples and oranges deal in skills sets and roles. Otherwise, Adrian makes good points.

Also, getting Bones back improves our Ducks any time he’s on the ice. On the 1st unit PP he competes physically and distributes the puck; alongside Palmieri and Flash at ES he’s driving another scoring line and he’s helped the PK achieve a 89% efficiency rating of late.

Heart & Soul though? That’s high praise on a team with hardworking character guys, among them Flash, Cogs, Perry, Koivu, Winnick, Beauchemin, Souray, Steckel and Hiller.
Etem is showing heart & soul in the tradition of Todd Marchant. He’s learning it from the guys around him.
Getz has been making it look too easy to be included in a grouping of heart & soul guys ;)

By order of importance;

1. Goaltending: According to GM Bob Murray, Jonas Hiller is healthy. As Ducks News reported Murph said Hillsy wasn’t healthy at the start of last season. When healthy, Hillsy is among the NHL’s best. Arguably top 5. In the new NHL,which eliminated clutch and grab and hockey to speed up the game, goal tending is even more important. We may never again see a team like the 90’s Wings win with average net-minding.
Ducks have high hopes in Viktor Fasth who could see somewhere in the neighborhood 12-15 games, so long as he’s effective. Less if he isn’t.

2. Total Effort: You can’t win if you can’t outscore the opposition.The goal- tending is strong enough to give us a chance to win on most nights. Hiller is known to steal a game now and then. For every hockey player the fun starts when your team has the puck. Getting and keeping the puck is the work. Our Ducks need to dominate on both sides of the puck, when they have it and when they don’t. The quickest way to see and measure total effort is by position and structure. Are we strong inside such that we force the opposition outside regardless who has the puck.

3. Intangibles: The better the team, the fewer question marks as camps open. Our Ducks have three. The infusion of youth will bring speed. The new big guys, Souray, Allen, Winnick & Staubitz add the snarl. There’s a nice mix of vets at or near their peak years in Perry, Ryan, Getzlaf, Cogliano, Beauchemin and Lydman.  Gabby’s organizing and everybody plays approach will encourage a team first culture. While this team obviously lacks the talent of our Cup squad it’s the best balanced team since.

4. Schedule: As Gabby says, “There’s a very fine line between a groove and a rut.” In a shortened season featuring many consecutive games against the same team, there is no time to slip into ruts. The key to competing game in, game out is between game maintenance. For the guys who haven’t been playing, getting in game shape quickly. Luckily we’re likely only breaking in 4 completely new guys. Familiarity favors our Ducks.

5.  Sacrifice: Every player has sacrificed to get to the NHL. it’s different for every guy. Can they sacrifice for each other though? Can they suck it up instead of retaliating and taking a dumb penalty? Is each willing to take a hit to make a pass? Will they block shots?

As noted, the mix of talent and skill sets seems complete. There’s a nice balance of experience and youth, skill and snarl. It’s a team with three accomplished and recognized stars in Corey Perry, Jonas Hiller and Teemu Selanne. We have lots of solid veteran leadership in Koivu, Winnick, Cogliano, Beauchemin, Lydman, Souray and Allen.

Not many are picking our Ducks for a the playoffs. They have the parts to surprise.

Overall Ducks fall off on the back line can be traced to Lubomir Visnovsky and Toni Lydman. With Lubo it’s widely believed he hasn’t recovered from shoulder surgery as pointed out recently by our own bbdux93. It seems like forever since Visnovsky took a slap shot. Lydman, who also had shoulder surgery doesn’t get the same benefit of the doubt as Vis does. This could be due to fans seeing that Lydman is often caught out of position this season. Opposing players are getting behind him with regularity. It’s quite possible that neither be with our Ducks come October. (more…)

Our guys capped a phenomenal nine consecutive game point streak with a 1-0 RT loss in Dallas. The effect of this game is to bring most of us back down to earth. Still, 8-1-1 ain’t too shabby.  It isn’t enough to make GM Bob Murray lower his trade flag. As he told the L.A. Times Helene Elliott the other day,
“Like I said then, the guys are going to show me who wants to stay here and who doesn’t,” he said. “I’ll keep watching. There’s no time frame on anything. It’s a long time between now and the deadline. We’ll see where this goes.”

Murray repeated his, “I’m not trading Teemu” meme. Francois Beauchemin signed a new 3 year contract for a reported $10.5million. No doubt Beauch left some money on the table to stay here. Scratch his name off the trade list as well. (more…)

Update: Our Ducks can add another coach to their list of coaches fired as a direct result of their performance. Columbus relieved Scott Arniel the day after the Blue Jackets lost 7-4 to our guys. Todd Richards has been promoted to interim coach.
Contributing to the firing of two coaches in one year is both impressive and indicative.
For the first time since way back on October 16 & 17th our Ducks have won back2back games. Randy Carlyle was in the barn tonight. The event inspired this Tweet of the Game:
Marc Posner
A winning streak – and, all it took was the return of Randy Carlyle.
2 hours ago
via Twitter for iPhone Favorite Retweet Reply (more…)

‘Yet’ is the operative word in today’s subject line. A frustrated Teemu Selanne said it best, “It seems to me that every time when we do mistakes, it’s in our own net.”  Very true and this has to do with the margin for error in the new parity driven NHL being ever so slight. That, and as Jimmy Develano told Josh Brewster on Ducks Calls, “….the NHL is a man’s league.” We have quite a few boys out there. There’s a lot to be said for experience. Sometimes though it’s the experienced guys making the boneheaded plays. Like the way Dan Ellis totally misplayed the Burmistrov and Bogosian shots Saturday night. This is why I drive the point about the margin in the NHL being ever so slight.
Hockey is a game of attrition. The team that makes the fewest mistakes wins. (more…)