We're having tryouts for new writers here at Anaheim Calling, and I've opened up the gameday duties to the members of our community who are eager to get behind the curtain. Is this, the Ducks first postseason appearance during our tenure at SBN, really the best time to let the inmates run the asylum? Probably not, but I'm in court this afternoon, so the alternative was a rushed post from yours truly. [Editor's Note: The Ducks won the last time I wore a suit to the Pond, so here's hoping that that magumbo is valid in the playoffs]
Dearest Anaheim Calling readers,
This is the matchup that we have feared. The Preds have an excellent defensive tandem in Ryan Suter and Shea Weber, and Vezina-caliber goaltending in Pekka Rinne. Pekka also has the lowest GAA in the league (2.12), and the team’s penalty kill is a major strength. And even though we outshot them during a January contest, 41-24, they still managed to beat us 4-1. Suter, Weber, and Rinne seem to create an Axis of Defensive Doom, an impenetrable wall that will prevent our Triplets from working their magic. Yet, for all of the anxieties that Ducks fans have projected onto the Preds, we Followers of the Fowl forget one crucial piece of information:
The Preds defense lacks depth.
Beyond the first-line pairing of Suter and Weber, the Ducks will have to contend with the likes of Shane O’Brien and Kevin Klein. O’Brien is big and tough, but despite these qualities, he has struggled to control larger forwards. And according to what will now be known as the Enemy’s Bunker, Klein "panics nearly every time the puck is on his stick." Ouch. Not good. (Take advantage of this, Teemu/Saku!).
The Silver-Getz-Pears* line will likely go toe to toe against the skilled Suter-Weber pairing, but I’m not concerned. Our Triplets have size, chemistry, and a telepathic ability to detect each other on the ice, and this Quarterfinal series will give them the opportunity to etch themselves into Triplet history (alongside the likes of Emmitt, Troy, and Michael).
Where in the world is Corey Perry? Beware, Pekka. He’ll be hanging out in your crease.
*I understand that Bobby Ryan played on the third line on Saturday, but I would really love it if the big guns made a statement tonight.
P.S. For those of you (basically all of you) who were too busy watching the Ducks-Kings tilt on Saturday, Minnesota-Duluth beat Michigan to win the Division I NCAA Hockey Championship.
P.P.S. In more irrelevant news, I am in love with Michigan goalie Shawn Hunwick – even though his team lost. He’s still a beast.
And to borrow a phrase from the Yale University Precision Marching Band: You have knives on your feet, Ducks. Use them!