Saturday, October 24, 2015

Sizzlin' hot seats in Anaheim

[Magnus: "Shea, ice not as comfy as Ikea." Weber: "Man, what's wrong with you guys??" photo J. Russell]

One of the main things I love about ordering fajitas at a good Mexican restaurant is the simple pleasure of hearing the sizzling sounds coming off of the very hot cast iron skillet. It lets me know that things are about to get real. Lately, rumors have been flying around that Anaheim Ducks coach, Bruce Boudreau, could possibly be in a cast iron skillet himself...except the skillet is his coaches seat. This is due to the bleak situation that the Ducks find themselves because of their abysmal start to this season. It appeared that maybe Anaheim were getting out of their funk when they soundly defeated the Wild almost a week ago at home, and as I wrote in my previous post, the lads were going to play 5 games on the road against 5 solid teams in the almighty central division. The first would be in Nashville where Anaheim were easily dispatched 5 goals to 1, and by the time the Ducks did put that one goal up on the board, it would be too little-to late. Khudobin would get the start being that he did win the last game, and although Anaheim played well in the first period, they just couldn't get anything past netminder and Finnish wall, Pekka Rinne. It would appear that the woes of Anaheim would still be there. 

With the hard reality of this not-so-great start and the loss on Thursday night, the majority of the Anaheim Ducks fanbase have started pressing the panic button. Even more so, some people are grabbing their pitchforks and torches calling for the head of Bruce Boudreau. Which brings me back to that sizzling hot seat, or rumors of him being on one. A broadcaster on Canada's own TSN even said one of the most absurd things which was that Anaheim could even fire Boudreau, but who did they suggest GM Bob Murray hire?

Randy Carlyle.

Really? Randy friggin' Carlyle? Now, let's stop and think about this: Randy Carlyle DID take Anaheim all the way where they became the first California team to win the Cup (you hearing me, Kings "fans"?), but he was fired because his system of "old-time" hockey no longer worked. Players stopped listening to him and they stopped playing for him. Today's NHL is about speedy forwards, good mobility amongst defensemen, puck possession, two-way hockey. Long gone are the days of the enforcer, and don't get me wrong, I think it's good to have a physical, stay-at-home defenseman, but they also need to be able to skate so that one could catch up to a breaking forward. The team that Barstool Bob has built this season is a faster one, much different from those who won the Cup, a team that's definitely not built for Carlyle's system (this was a coach who, in Toronto, scratched good forwards for bloody Colton Orr). Hey, while we're at it, how about we also do something insanely dumb like re-sign Sbisa and Sutton, or let's pull Penner out of his DJ booth! Maybe we can offer them Disneyland Annual Passes as incentives! Better yet, how about we just squash such rubbish ideas because if RC is back, I tweeted my prediction of what would probably happen:

[" Anaheim" not "if". Dumb typo. PS follow me on Twitter]
In my opinion, I don't think that Boudreau is solely to blame for the problematic start. I feel that you also have to look at the team, you have to look at the leadership of Getzlaf. So far, in 6 games the "star" players such as Perry, Getzy, and Kesler have a combine 3 points. Getzy looks like he reverted back to his 2011/2012 self with his hum-drum lack luster play, Perry is not finding his spots, Hagelin and Stewart look lost, the power play is stupid, the expensive jumbotron doesn't work, the weather is still in the mid-80's and its almost the end of October...sorry...for a minute there, I lost myself. To sum it up, things aren't going the right way for the Ducks, and Boudreau is trying to do what he can to find a spark. Firing him for say, MacLean, won't be the answer. I don't even think a big trade will be the answer, either. This is something that the team have to figure out, and they must do it quickly because I have a gut feeling that if Anaheim don't win at least 3 games on this road trip, Barstool is going to shake things up. Or maybe my gut is just wanting some tasty-sizzling fajitas - I do love food. Either way, we'll see what happens today when the team play the Wild. It's gonna be tough. 

Go Ducks!

Thursday, October 22, 2015

Liking this whole "win" thing

The air in the building was tense, it was easily felt. Then something odd happened: that little black circular thingy flew in mid-air off the stick of one Cam Fowler. It crossed the goal line into the back of the opposing teams net, then the entire place erupted. People suddenly screamed in unison, standing and cheering. Lights shining, fog horn...horning, and on the working sides of the jumbotron, the words "Goal" with the Ducks D logo were shown. Anaheim had finally scored their 2nd goal of the season, and it only took 173 minutes and 12 seconds of game play. They would go on to score 2 more and 1 on an empty towards the end of the game which the Ducks won 4-1. Anton Khudobin was given another starting shot for the game, and he would last the entire 60 minutes saving 34 out of 35 Minnesota Wild shots (Nino Neiderreiter would be the only Wild player to beat Dobby).

Anaheim ended their 4-game home stand with a record of 1-3-1 earning 3 points total in the standings, they now hit the road for their first real trip away from home this season. They'll face-off against 5 central division teams (including those evil ghoulish demons the NHL Blackhwaks) before returning back to Anaheim on November 1st - let's hope they get a lot of candy from tricks and/or treats. Today, the Ducks will play the all too ironic Nashville Predators. Ironic because they actually do have an alleged sexual child/nanny predator named Mike Ribeiro whom I've hated for a long, long time. The allegations of him being a kiddy fiddler just added to my existing hate. Let's just say that it's easy for me to want the Ducks to come out with a good win and maybe, juuuuuust maybe, a good ol' open ice hit on that Ribeiro bastard which would send him up into the rafters. Hey, one can wish!

Go Ducks!

Sunday, October 18, 2015

What is this place?

Call it an oddity, call it backwards, call it plain crazy, but it appears that the Anaheim Ducks have traveled into another dimension. Be careful, you might find yourself trapped in a tesseract with Matthew McConaughey...


Either that or Barstool Bob did in fact sell his soul to trade Bryan Allen & Sbisa, and now the Devil is collecting his due. Inside this 5th dimension we find that the Ducks have scored only 1 goal in 245 mins of game play (regulation and 3v3 OT), Anaheim were shut out in games 1,3, and 4. And boy, a lot of us have been scratching our heads wondering what in Sam Hell is going on. As the lads get ready to take on the Wild this evening, I for one am wondering if they'll score on the opposing team and come out with a win before they hit the road. I'm not panicking, but I'm a little concerned. With a poor start like this, you have some fans resorting to plain dumb nutball conspiracy theories. The best one I heard yesterday was that the team are purposely losing to get coach Kirby (Boudreau) fired... yes, that's right, "fired". To those people I say this: stand still while I throw my shoe as hard as I can at your head. Now repeat 2x's.

For me, it's not that they've lost and have started the season on a weird losing streak, but it's how they're losing. Game 3 at home against the Yotes, the Ducks were just stupid, and I don't mean that in a cool-hip modern slang way the rap kids are saying nowadays, no, I literally mean that I lost a high amount of whatever brain cells I have left watching that game...and I was sober! It was just atrocious as well as dumbfounding how this team did pretty well in the pre-season when it didn't matter. I didn't get to watch the game on Friday night against the Avs, in which the new orangey-orange 3rd jersey was "revealed" (we knew what it looked like months ago when leaked), but from what I heard in post-game reports, the team played a lot better. Yet, with all that, just 1 goal. That's what troubles me. 

The players have stated that they're pissed and at the same time positive this will pass, but as I've said before when hearing the same ol' repeated words stated by players over and over again, "just shut up and do it". Tonight, we'll get to see if they'll back up their mundane drivel out on the ice. Hopefully, they'll sew up whatever tear they made in the space time continuum and all will go on as normal. Until then, mind the wormhole. 

Go Ducks!

Injury rapport: in all this whacky mess, it was announce that Stoner and Depres have been placed on IR. Depres took a nice elbow to the head from Avs Dman, Tyson Barrie (which earned him a 3-game suspension), and Stoner probably got jumped by some bears. Thus placing Manson onto the ice with call-ups for SD Gulls Dmen Shea "Teddy" Theodore and Korbinianianianian Holzer (who probably won't get any ice time cause Holzer). Also, Anaheim had to send Chris Wagner through waivers in order to be sent down to SD. Dear Lawdy, please let him clear. 

Wednesday, October 14, 2015

The new season

With the start of the season underway and 2 games in for Anaheim (who are also set to play their 3rd tonight at the Honda Center), the Ducks sit with a record of 0-1-1 earning only 1 standings point from Monday night's home opener shootout loss against the Canucks. Anaheim opened the season on the road in San Jose when they were blanked by the Sharks in a 0-2 loss. But hey, what kind of Ducks season would it be without losing the first game?? The Ducks started out this years campaign with a handful of new faces from trades and free agent signings. Clearly, the chemistry has yet to be instilled, but many pundits have chosen Anaheim to take it all this year. Anaheim added Carl Hagelin, Chris Stewart, Shaun Horcoff, Anton Khudobin, Kevin Bieksa, and Mike Santorelli to join their ranks. At the same time, we said goodbye to Palms, Beauch, Flash, Wiz, and my all-time favorite: Style & Grace aka The Invisible Man aka Emerson Etem.  

With the team re-tooled, the start of training camp showed that the boys would be determined to do some damage this season by displaying their typical all too motivational team motto that adorned on the backs of each players shirt. The motto was: "close is not good enough", after having been eliminated in an all too important game 7 against the villainous (see accused rapist Patrick Kane and his supportive team) NHL Blackhawks in the Western Conference Final. So far, these past two games have shown us some promising play mixed in with bad habits (i.e. Getzy still doing boneheaded Getzy things). This years Ducks are definitely faster which Barstool Bob wanted to improved on in the offseason. Still in need of improvement is the PP which was the reason Anaheim's brass signed ex-Ottawa Senators coach and spot-on Wilford Brimley impersonator, Paul MacLean.   

Though, at this infant stage of the new season, it's still unseen if Oggi's still holds a curse on Anaheim's JMG sponsored PP as well as if the team can click enough to be the ones many have deemed to be this year champions of Lord Stanley's ultimate piece in his fine china, or will they come "close" once again? I for one am definitely looking forward to see what happens.   

Go Ducks!  

PS notable home season opener moments: animal rights activists protesting outside the HC due to Clayton Stoner hunting a beloved bear in Canada when he wasn't even on the Ducks roster. No, thankfully it wasn't Winnie the Pooh. The debut of Honda Center's new state of the art jumbotron along with a new sound system and the ability of projecting 3D image mapping onto the ice... which wasn't used for the opening ceremonies because apparently the Ducks love being lack luster when it comes to such things. Oh, and new boards/glass panels! It's the little things.