SAN JOSE CA - SEPTEMBER 25: Andreas Lilja #6 of the San Jose Sharks tries to restrain Kyle Wellwood #42 of the Phoenix Coyotes in a preseason split-squad game at HP Pavilion on September 25 2010 in San Jose California. The Sharks won 3-1. (Photo by Brian Bahr/Getty Images)
The Kings have struggled lately but have found some quiet production from Marco Sturm. The Sharks, who have also struggled, are looking to plug in some depth forwards with Kyle Wellwood and Ben Eager.
Daniel, the Ducks didn't really make moves during their struggles, and while it looks like the team is steadying the ship, do you think they'll need to make a move to keep pace in the Pacific Division?
I think the Murray will eventually have to do something. It's easy to say the Ducks are playing well, and you shouldn't mess with the chemistry. However, that leaves out the fact that Getzlaf will return in a couple of weeks and force a change anyway. That will force Bobby Ryan down the depth chart, and probably bring back Carlyle's line juggling habits. That means acquiring a forward to inject some scoring energy, and maybe replace Blake, might get Carlyle to put down his pencil.
Still, the real problem is on D. Yeah, Lilja has filled in well, and the Sbisa-Sutton pairing is starting to solidify. But, Fowler needs a real Top 4 guy to be his partner if the Ducks are going to make the playoffs. The Ducks need an upgrade on D and Murray has to go out and get it. If he does, he can infuse some energy into this club and keep the current good times going on a little longer. There's been some bargain hunting by this team of late, and the acquisition of a solid defender will give this team the push it needs to start thinking of a strong finish. Otherwise, the Ducks might not be able to get the space they need to have a comfortable stretch run.
Well, first, I have to say that I don't think Murray WILL make a move until the deadline. I also think that if he does make a move, it will be a small move at forward, like Lapierre, and akin to what the Sharks have done here i.e. replace some forward depth they are temporarily without when it is clear to everyone that the problem is on defense.
And I think defense is where a move may be necessary for the Ducks to keep pace in the Pacific Division. Ultimately, we're not surprised to see Jonas Hiller steal a win or to watch a few forwards catch fire. But I feel like we've lowered our expectations for the defense. We're happy they're buying into the system, happy they're moving the puck a little, happy Andy Sutton is playing non-pylon shifts. But really, Lilja's scratch last night and Mara's shelf time before that prove the defense hasn't overcome our lowered expectations (or Carlyle's) just yet. And you're right that a solid Top 4 is a playoff necessity.
It makes sense for a move to happen before the deadline. Not just in returning Getzlaf to the lineup, but in restoring Voros to a roster spot. Still, I'll believe it when I see it.