Posts Tagged ‘Pekka Rinne’

Ducks took the first two meetings by identical 3-2 scores that were decided by shootout. A look at the Predators record is to wonder. How does a team that scores at a rate of just 2.10 per game win at P% of .575 on a record of 9-6-5? If our Ducks peek over the shoulder they’ll find these Preds are 4th overall in the Western Conference.

Everything starts between the pipes for Nashville where Pekka Rinne rules his crease with a scintillating 1.90 GAA, .926 SP, 3 shutouts and oh BTW he also assisted on a goal this season.

All the prognosticators said the Predators wouldn’t survive the loss of Ryan Suter who signed as a UFA with Minnesota last summer. The same prognosticators were unfamiliar with Roman Jossi. The 22-year-old native of Bern, Switzerland has 3 goals and 4 assists while establishing himself alongside Shea Weber.

The good news for Ryan Getzlaf and Ducks fans is match-up center Paul Gaustad is listed as questionable and match-up D-man Hal Gill is listed as doubtful.

Ducks are coming off a disappointing loss to Battle of Cali Los Angeles Kings. Meanwhile, Nashville enjoyed an unusual  offensive explosion defeating Dallas 5-4 in OT Monday night.

This tilt opens the first of a three game road swing through California. Nashville has this swing tickled on the calendar as must win games if they hope to make playoffs.

As always, hockey games are won and lost by controlling the gaps and exploiting the seams. Look for both of these D-first squads to take away time and space from their opponent.

Note: Ducks sent center Peter Holland to Norfolk and called up Emerson Etem. This might cause Bobby Ryan to move back to center on the second line.

Viktor Fasth is earning converts with every game. Every goalie competes with the guy at the other end of the rink. Last night Fasth was one shootout save better than Pekka Rinne, arguably the best goalie in the world right now.

Fasth is a perfect 8-0, 1.78 GAA and a SP of .933. Good enough to share the league in wins with Montreal’s Carey Price. Good enough for a league 7th best GAA among goalies who have played 4 or more games. His SP is 8th best among goalies who have played 4 or more games.

Obviously he’s become a solid Top Ten goalie in the NHL from the get go. He brings intangibles such as a calm composure and patience. Among the first things all goaltenders are taught is to wait for the shooter to make the first move. This gives him preemptive save ability. He pressures the shooter to go first.

I’ve noticed of late opposing teams are starting to go upstairs consistently on him. This is also true of all great goalies of this generation. It also plays into our Ducks NHL 7th best shot blocking record. It’s much easier for a player to block a high shot than a lower shot.

Last night was all about Fasth and the no-quit effort of the team in front of him.

Notes: Matt Beleskey has been giving Ryan Getzlaf a mid-slot passing target of late and it is paying off. Let’s hope The Twins have finally found a winger. Right now the job is Matty’s to lose, though Gabby is quick with the hook…Peter Holland is looking closer and closer to making the squad as a top six forward. He didn’t look out of place during two games with Ryan and Selanne….Ducks have 9 players with 4 or more goals 13 games into the season. More to come…

 

All the blogs and corporate media are all over stat comparisons. That’s all well and good for courtroom arguments and essays. Goal-tending stats mean nothing to hockey people. Those stats and those prognosticators fail to consider one thing in those stat comparisons. Quality of competition and style of the goalie’s team.

One whackadoodle even proclaimed a goalie controversy from his platform at HockeyBuzz. Jeez Louise, it’s one game and it’s already yesterday’s news.
A little perspective is needed. Jonas Hiller allowed our Ducks to part with all-franchise goalie, J.S. Giguere. Hiller impressed enough that he was rewarded with an $18m 4 year contract. He still has another season on it.

Fasth is here on a one year deal. He’s a UFA in June. Fasth is auditioning for his next contract. As a 30 year old, he’s got one shot at a big money deal.

Fasth just doesn’t have to be more successful than Jonas Hiller. He has to be so much more successful that Coach can promote the million dollar short-timer ahead of J.S. Giguere’s $18m replacement.

Fasth did well against one of hockey’s lesser offenses. l;et’s not make more out of it. Hiller played two games against one of hockey’s best offenses and another against a team we have to beat to make the playoffs.

Hiller’s stats suck, .864 SP and GAA of 4.0 but our Ducks are 2-1 with him between the pipes. Fasth’s .905 SP isn’t exactly scintillating.

Bob Murray’s comments are hilarious. Fasth plays a good game and Murray is quoted as saying, “We knew he could play at this level.” Really, Barstool? If you knew all that then why the chincy one-year contract? Why not lock him in for couple-3 years at say $8-10m? Fact is, Mr. Murray hoped and maybe prayed Fasth could play at this level. All Ducks fans do.

This isn’t to take anything away from Viktor Fasth. He may push Jonas Hiller this year. He may unseat Hiller as the #1. To do that will take much more than one game. Hockey teams don’t handout $4.5m contracts if they don’t believe in a guy.

This weekend the schedule has our guys playing 3 games in 4 days at home. Minny on Friday, Princesses (a.k.a. Kings) – Saturday and we host the Guppies Monday.

My hunch is Fasth goes Saturday. Hiller takes the bookends.

Forget the statistical comparisons between goalies. Instead count the key saves that come at key times in a game. You don’t need to know anything else about a goalie.

Maybe it’s not cool to comment on other blogs and/or corporate media. But jeez, some days there’s just so much nonsense out there.

Viktor Fasth earned the first star in his first NHL game. Out dueling Pekka Rinne in his first start will raise eyebrows around the NHL. Fasth will definitely push Jonas Hiller if not challenge for the #1 job. He’s that good.

Dan Winnick first Duck ever to score 5 goals in first 4 games of a season. Considering the all time great Ducks that’s quite a feat.

Props to Coach for shuffling the lines late in the second period.

Ducks held their composure tonight. Coach said, “The guys showed confidence and character against one of the league’s hardest working teams.”

Ducks play remains very uneven. They just aren’t executing. The rust is evident. PK is challenged and probably should be given the new additions.

Brad Staubitz played tonight. He was game but couldn’t  find a dance partner among the Predators.

Bobby Ryan broke the schnied and got his first goal of the season. His tip-in of Cam Fowler’s wrister was also our Ducks first goal at home this season.

Ducks continue to show dominance even strength. Our guys earned a distinct territorial advantage in play, especially in the last half of the third.

Next up, the red hot 4-0 San Jose Sharks Tuesday night.