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]


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!


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!