With the Ducks playing five of their next six games at home, you will inevitably hear someone say this is an opportunity for Anaheim to turn its young season around. On paper, a homestand for a 4-7-1 team is definitely an opportunity, but no one who's seen the Ducks this season is going to buy that as a valid storyline. Just like last season, this is an organization now complaining about its players. The coach is doing all he can, the top line isn't doing enough, the GM is promising tra-zzzzzZZZZZZZ. Yawn.
The Anaheim Ducks are now a bad soap opera, stretching what would be a 9-month storyline in primetime television into decades of prolonged nonsense. The actors are changing, but the characters are staying the same, and the plotline is only compelling for being an absolute train wreck (or for one having nothing better to do in those particular TV Guide hours).
And so we've arrived at another "Didn't they already do Evil Marlena?" storyline, but I happen to like this one. The Rookie Call Up. With Kyle Chipchura and Matt Beleskey concussed and Dan Sexton recovering from rhinoplasty, the Ducks have now called up 2/3 of their Syracuse Crunch top line in Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri (though I'm sure Nicolas Deschamps is holding his breath). Ironically, Chipchura, Beleskey and Sexton all got their shot last year based on roster issues, be it injuries, the (late, late, late) realization that Christensen could not be a defensive presence, or the existence of Kyle Calder. It seems the circle of life is complete.
I hate "turning points," and "opportunities to turn the season around," but I'm going to go ahead and say I like this for both of those things. There has been a culture of complacency in the Anaheim locker room since they won the Cup. Every squad, regardless of how many rings it possessed, found a way to turn in workmanlike losses, the sort of 9 to 5 efforts that get it done at the DMV. Only rookies and young players have effectively changed that, be it the speed and shot of Dan Sexton, the bang and crash of Matt Beleskey or just the chirping from the back of the bus from Ryan Whitney and James Wisniewski.
Assuming Randy Carlyle inserts both Bonino and Palmieri into the lineup (and inserts them into the lineup together as he once did for Perry and Getzlaf), we should see a little bit of Crunch chemistry 'fowl'ing the waters of the Pond. That's in addition to whatever they can bring to a locker room that's apparently already learned how to keep its collective head down through the losses, aka The Ducks Way.
Oh, and speaking of players showing up at practice while the Ducks forwards are going backwards: Joffrey Lupul is hanging around. I know, I know, they did that storyline last year, and Stefano sent John Black to hold Marlena at gunpoint and damage Lupul's recovery, and even though Jennifer Aniston's dad sent Jack and Jennifer Deveraux to warn Lupul, the couple got stuck on a ledge in the mountains. I know we've all seen this nonsensical storyline play out before. But I have nothing better to do during these particular TV Guide hours.
UPDATE: The Ducks just tweeted this. Bobby is blogging for USA Today. Read his first entry. Oh, and someone tell Newport Rebel what this says.