Sunday, January 17, 2016

Freeway Face-Off = A Brief Lesson...

[Doughty: "Hey Quicky, warden says that if we win tonight. we can use our goats for conjugal visits!!' Photo by K. Lee]

Today, Anaheim will take on the Los Angeles Convicts Kings at the Honda Center for their first regular season match of the year. Being that it's LA, I thought that it was necessary for a brief rundown of something that was introduced to the prison system a little over 100 years ago. Enjoy the lesson since we will be seeing it in use tonight...

Work Release Program

(Per Wikipedia)

"In prison systems, work release programs allow a prisoner who is sufficiently trusted or can be sufficiently monitored to leave confinement to continue working at their current place of employment, returning to prison when their shift is complete. The concept was introduced in Wisconsin in 1913 under a law written by state senator Henry Huber. The program is often referred to locally as the 'Huber Law' program."

Ducks v Convicts @ 18:00

Go Ducks!

PS: As many of you know, Anaheim were involved in a very early trade yesterday morning which sent Carl "Swagelin" Hagelin to the Pittsburg Penguins for LW David Perron and defenseman Adam Clendening. Bummer being that Swags was starting to finally find his game. All the best, Cooooral. Gonna miss that flow.


Prediction:

Definite high levels of annoyance due to the "Go Kings Go" chants that will ring throughout the Honda Center.

Friday, January 15, 2016

An open letter to Jamie Benn...

[Perry: "So Jamie, Tyler's your private pool boy, eh? He for hire??" Benn: "Yeah!!!" Photo by P. Noble]
It's happened again! Either the people over at Battle of California like me or Jer lost a bet and asked me to guest post once more. Just like the last, my post for BoC will be today's OOTP. So soak it up, darlings!


Dear Mr. Benn,

First, I'd like to start off by saying that although I am a Ducks fan, I am also a fan of you because I recognize the talent that you possess out on the ice. Sure, some might say that I have a raging man-crush going on here, and you know what? I have no problem in admitting that I do. Ok, we've got that out there - the ice is broken. With all that being said, I wanted to ask, nay, I wanted to beg you for this one simple thing:

Please please please will you come and play for the Anaheim Ducks? Pretty please?

As you may know, so far the Ducks haven't had their best season, and the team are struggling for offense. I've seen what you can do when playing along side Gezlaf and Perry: you three have done damage on a line together during international play such as the Winter Olympics. Hell! Even I'm not the only one who knows what a perfect fit you are with the Twins! Pierre LeBrun mentioned it in a piece just this past September when previewing Anaheim's upcoming season. Not only do I feel that you will find success in playing here, you will no longer have to live in that God awful "Home of George W. Bush" aka Texas! You also won't have to deal with that annoying #Bang moron and his terrible taste in crappy 80's blazers. If you're a fan of Austin, then hey! We have the hipsterest of all hipsters in Silverlake and Echo Park! And if the whole conservative-republican Texan thing is your deal, well, you'll feel right at home in Orange County! It will be a win-win situation for all of us. Look, it's obvious you belong here, because I'm pretty sure Getzy's no-look back passes are intended for you and you only.

So please, I beg you, come to Anaheim. What's that? "Not without Tyler", you ask? Ok, then, bring him along. I'm sure he'll be happy here because In-N-Out is a plenty in California, but you'll have to re-consider your whole "not going down on women" policy. I mean really, man, give a little.

I want to thank you for taking time in reading this letter, and I look forward to seeing you in that Ducks sweater.

I love you,

@thegcducksfan

Go Ducks!

Prediction:

Mr. Benn respectfully declines leading me to purchase duct tape, a book on how to brainwash, a computer with NHL GCL to play Ducks games, eye drops, and a bottle of chloroform.


Inspirational Music:

In the spirit of begging JB to move to California, this song was the first thing that popped into my head. It's fitting, I think.

Thursday, December 31, 2015

Hello? .500? Are you there?

[Flames do their best LA Kings "prison yard" impersonation by attempting to jump Kesler. Photo by G. Thomas]

14-15-6

In 35 games, that is where the Anaheim Ducks currently sit as they have yet to become a .500 hockey club in what has easily become the worst season so far since Bruce Boudreau replaced Randy Carlyle as their head coach.

Recent wins against the Philadelphia Flyers (4-2) and Calgary Flames (1-0) since the jolly holiday break have inched the team closer to hitting that even mark, and although a two-game win streak is nice, I'll wait a bit until I hold my breath. So far, the only thing the Ducks have made their fans certain of is their ability to be inconsistent. While they'll look as if steps forward are being taken, they haven't failed us into taking bigger steps back, and after their current two-win streak, some have reported that Anaheim are on the "verge of becoming NHL's most dangerous team". That's a cute thought, but for me, "on verge" isn't good enough until they can string more than 4 wins together and start playing above .500 hockey. 

Tonight, they'll have their chance when they play the Edmonton Oilers and continue their shot tomorrow against the Vancouver Canucks. They've had the pieces all season to do it, but unfortunately, they always prove to fall short when a big opportunity has been at their skates. Every ounce of faith that they can do it is there, but the real question is:

"Will they?"

We will see.

Go Ducks!

Friday, December 11, 2015

'Tis the season...

[Fowler: "Hey Corey, when was the last time we had a win streak this season?" Perry: "Ehh..." Photo by D. Robinson]

People! I've hit the big-time (if you wanna call it that)! Today, I make my debut for the beloved Battle of California! I'd like to share the post here on today's OOTP. So, if you love redundancy, you can read it on two separate sites! Merry Christmas, everyone! 

The holidays are a time for remembrance: the birth of baby Jesus, Pearl Harbor, Protestants accepting provisions from the native Americans prior to killing them...a joyous time, indeed! With the season upon us, I'd like to take time and remember another special event, "the last time the Anaheim Ducks had a winning streak". With the terrible start of this season followed by the inconsistency of the Ducks' final results game to game, the streak shall definitely live in infamy. Let us gaze back and remember what a wonderful/brief time it was. 

The four-game win streak would begin on November 1st against the child predator himself (Mike Ribiero) and his team from Nashville. Wins against the Florida Panthers, Columbus Blue Jackets, and Anaheim's foes from that hella crap town in the north (San Jose) would be a part of the streak. That is until finally ending on November 9 against the Arizona Coyotes in dramatic fashion where Ducks Cap'n Ryan Getzlaf decided to help out the Yotes winning in OT by displaying an amazing no-look pass behind him through his legs to opposing, yes, opposing Mikkel Boedker who then won the game on a breakaway goal. No amount of booze can erase that memory, I've tried. 

We bring ourselves back from the distant past and into the present where Anaheim are currently sitting on a lengthy two-game winning streak, and tonight, they'll look to extend it to three-games when the almost equally abysmal Carolina Hurricanes come into town. Tonight's game will also end Anaheim's six-game in 3 weeks homestand where the Ducks are currently 3-1-1. Can the Ducks extend the streak and continue to climb in a weak Pacific division? With tonight's match being the only game in 10 days, I hope so. If not, my liver is really going hate me.

Go Ducks!

Prediction:

A storm possibly brews in my stomach after filling it with In-N-Out and lots of beer*

*amount of beer depends on how well/crummy the game is


Inspirational Music:

With the folly of this season's Anaheim Ducks record, I give you one of the dumbest Christmas songs I have ever stumbled upon:


Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Wanted: Consistency

[Fowler: "Huh. Guys, maybe we should string some wins together?" Photo D. Robinson]

The Ducks ended November on a high note at home the other night when they blanked the Vancouver Canucks in a game that would see the final score of 4-0. November proved to be a better month than a crummy October, however, Anaheim have shown that they are being consistently...well..inconsistent. With each few steps they've taken forward, the team will then take a few big steps back. In my last post, they were on the road for 5 of 6 games. They beat the Canes (4-1), lost to Nashville the next night (2-3), won in Florida (3-1), were embarrassed by the Lightning (0-5), doused the Flames (5-3), and lost yet again to Phoenix (2-4). Anaheim went against Chicago in their annual Black Friday game at home, which the Ducks dominated the Hawks for a good 58 mins. But being that this years Ducks team is this years Ducks team, their 2-goal shutout lead was quickly erased when the team collapsed in the final 2 minutes by goals from Marian Hossa and Duncan Keith. To no surprise, Chicago won in OT with a final score of 2-3.

With December just underway, the first game for Anaheim will be tonight, and their visiting opponent will be the Lightning for their final match-up of the season. During the recent road trip, it was announced that Freddie was heavily under the weather due to the flu, and John Gibson was called up (who took over when starter Khudobin was pulled in the game against Calgary). Tonight will be his 4th start in row while Freddie continues to get to 100%. Gibson's done rather well, so there's no need to rush Mr. Andersen, but that doesn't mean that the face-palming asinine battle of Freddie v Gibby among Ducks fans has ceased. No, unfortunately, we still have to put up with it. Keeping either Freddie or Gibby won't be the answer to the Ducks problems. What they need to do is be consistent with winning, and now is the time to do so. The Black Friday game was the start of 6 games at home, and with the win against the Nucks, Anaheim are 1-0-1. They're still in a spot to have the ability of climbing up in a not-so-great Pacific division. If they can take advantage of this home-stand, then things will definitely be promising if not very good, but the task won't be easy. Anaheim were blanked by the Lightning just a couple of weeks ago, then their next opponents will be the Sharks and the Pens before finally playing the Canes in the final game at home prior to hitting the road for 4-games. Whatever they do, let's hope Anaheim continues to take steps forward and none back. 

Ducks on the mend:

It has been reported that Nate Thompson could make his season debut tonight who had shoulder surgery this past summer, and Jiri Sekac has been practicing with the team lately since he was injured in November from a sprained ankle. All signs point to Thompson playing tonight, Maroon will be the odd man out. It's still unseen as to who Sekac will replace, but we'll let the team worry about that. 

Go Ducks!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

On the road (again)

[No clever caption. Just Ducks celebrating. Photo by G. Forwerck]

The Ducks have embarked on a road trip that will see them play the next 5-games out of 6 away from the Pond. Last night, they faced an equally struggling team: the Carolina Hurricanes. It would be a strong victory for the lads from Anaheim that saw goals scored by Horcoff (when the puck deflected off his skate and was ruled good because it was not kicked in), Vats (off a beautiful fake shot that Canes dman Ron Hainsey bought before Vats moved around him to wrist it by goaltender Eddie Lack), Swagelin-Hagelin (who scored on a wrap around when the puck hit the heel of Lacks stick that sent it through his 5-hole), and Getzlaf (finally scoring his first goal of the season on an empty net). Khudobin was the starter, and only conceded one goal. Final score: 4-1. Swags would have a strong bounce-back game earning the nights 1st star with 3 points from a goal and two assists. The Ducks definitely took advantage of Carolina's young blueline. 

Tonight, Anaheim will be on the second end of a back-to-back when they roll into Nashville to play the Predators who could be wearing their piss-yellow sweaters (thankfully, this will be the last match up of the season so parents won't have to hide their teenage daughters from Ribeiro...until next season). More than likely, it will be a goal tending duel of Frandersen versus Rinne. Before the Ducks departed Anaheim, news broke of call-ups from the San Diego Gulls. Forwards Nick Ritchie and Michael Sgarbossa joined the big team, and last night, Ritchie would get his NHL debut on a line with Kesler and Stewart registering 10:39 TOI with zeros across the board except for a few good hits. Ducks would also call-up dman Holzer to take place of Josh Manson due to having the flu, and as of this morning: dman Shea Theodore. With the players coming up from the A, Ducks had to place forward Chris Wagner on waivers before sending him down to the Gulls, a trip he never made. Colorado Avalanche swooped in taking him from the clutches of Barstool Bob which made a lot of Ducks fans moan and groan about poor team management and blah blah blah. Apparently, they didn't understand the rules. 

Hopefully, Anaheim can ride the momentum of last night's win and play a solid game. Sadly, I'll have to watch a replay later on tonight when I get home from work, but I'll definitely be listening. Priorities, people!

Go Ducks!

Thursday, November 12, 2015

The good, the bad, but mostly good

[Perry: "The trick is to hit the side of the ketchup bottle!" Photo by D. Robinson]

Last night, the Ducks had a chance to bounce back from a very unfortunate OT loss in their prior game against the Coyotes. After giving up the lead in that game, players and coaches stated that they need to strive to hold leads and not blow them. That would not be the case against the Edmonton Oilers. Anaheim would blow the lead 3-times to where the Oilers forced OT (yet again) before winning the game. Final score: 3-4. Let's take a quick look into the negatives and positives of the team. 

Starting with "the bad":

The defense system. It's easy to say that so far this season, Kevin Bieksa hasn't been (for lack of a better description) that great. Dude's producing more turnovers than a baker in the defensive zone, and Lindolm has had a hard time staying on his skates. Hampus has definitely been doing better than KB, but when Stoner looks stronger than you, well, there's a problem. It has been noted that Bieksa's playing a lot of minutes, that might be because Despres is still injured, but Lawdy, I hope Simon gets healthy and returns soon! Maybe a good solution is to drop KB's playing minutes when SD returns. Another fugly side to the Ducks is that they have made me want to down a bottle of whiskey due to their poor play in 2nd periods which has been kind of a bad habit the past few seasons, and so far, they are 0-3 this year in 3v3 OT. But the odd part about their defensive play is that they're very good on the PK; they are 2nd in the league at 89.1% and have given up 7 goals in 48 attempts when they're down a man. If you don't think that's pretty damn good, then I suggest you seek professional help, but if you're not puzzled as all hell as to how they're down right abysmal defensively outside the PK, then I have no hope for you. For the past few seasons the defense has been questionable, and GM Barstool Bob has done his part to spackle the holes, but maybe the issue goes beyond the players. Maybe it's time to start looking at D-coach Trent Yawney who's system mirrors that of Randy Carlyle's which, let's face it, IS. NOT. WORKING. 

But I won't focus too much on the ugly, there are some bright spots with the team and their play, plus it's nice to save the best for last!

"The Good":

We'll start out with Corey Perry who, by Selanne's account, has opened up the ketchup bottle. Bounces are starting to go Perry's way which is a relief, and last night, he found the back of the net twice (even almost a third). His 2nd goal was the 300th of his career, and I'm sure there will be many more to come! Speaking of getting points, Stewart and Vatanen have been consistent on the scoring sheet. Many fans are speculating that Vats could be the odd man out when it comes to the trade deadline, but he's pleading his case to stay in a Ducks uniform. Stewart is finding his play back to how it used to be, he's positioning himself in that dirty area which is in front of the net, and he is also contributing. Josh Manson is proving that it was a good idea to have him up with the big boys this season. He's a big body who is also very mobile, he never backs down and will use his physicality when in need. He also has a wicked shot. Last night, he even had a really great chance on a breakaway - it's easy to say that his future looks bright. We also saw the return of Ducks forward and heartthrob to obsessive 16 year olds, Rickard Rakell, who was injured last week. It was good to see him back out there because so far this season, he's been one of the better players. He drew in on the top line as the left wing which isn't his natural position. As a center, he did not look out of place and was able to play his game which will be a good option for BB as the team moves forward. One must wonder if he'll stick on that line with the twins.

Another positive is that they are 4-0-2 in the last 6-games and are getting points, but that will only be good for a short amount of time especially against divisional teams, the Ducks need to start collecting that extra point after starting out in an early hole. 1 pt will only take you so far (see the Kings of last season), and we don't need the team to tire themselves out whilst trying to catch up towards the end of the season. Tomorrow, they'll face the New York Islanders before going out on the road for 4-games, they'll need to progress, win, and climb coming into Thanksgiving. They can definitely win the next 5-games, and the good must overcome the bad. It can happen, it must happen, I really don't want to stress eat this holiday season. 

Go Ducks!