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Open Gameday Thread Wild @ Ducks

Eyes Closed Save!
Eyes Closed Save!

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Minnesota Wild
@ Anaheim Ducks

Sunday, Dec 12, 2010, 5:00 PM PST



Your Enemy: Hockey Wilderness

Complete Coverage >

I'm writing this one very early (saturday afternoon) because my calendar is airtight until some time Monday afternoon.

The Ducks have had plenty of embarrassing streaks this season: your garden variety losing streaks, a losing streak allowing four goals or more, a losing streak of one-goal games. But perhaps the most ridiculous is three-straight games where a two-goal lead resulted in a shootout.

Minnesota recently snapped a five game losing streak of its own, and the team had just two wins (and only one in regulation) since beating Anaheim in overtime on November 17th. Meanwhile, the Penguins are probably winning another game somewhere.

Streaks are convenient storylines. Team X is doing a lot of Y, and they have to find a way to Z if they're going to make the playoffs this year. Team A is finding a way to B, and that proves they have a lot of C, which will make them the team to beat in the playoffs this year.

The Ducks' real problems are probably better summed up by the scratching of Andy Sutton. Here's a bread and butter stay at home defenseman who's finding a way to turn the puck over in the middle of the ice. It's enough to make you wonder if Selanne's passing skills this year have opened up a wormhole into Bizarro world.

It's dumb to depend on results and hindsight to determine what a team is doing wrong. Not every win and loss is earned in a strict ledger of skill and effort. But when you see players not doing what they're supposed to be doing, that usually spells trouble, whether it happens three games in a row or not.