The Ducks are home for Christmas, a time to recharge and recuperate in the middle of a long season and a tough schedule thus far.
It seems mean spirited at this time of year to do yet another post that says, "the Ducks aren't playing consistently well, huh?" So let's try something different.
Daniel, pretend you're Santa Claus. Pick a player, coach or front office Duck and describe the one magical present you would give them to help turn around their season after Christmas.
I want to give Bob Murray some courage. The Cowardly Lion could have shown this man a thing or two. Murray's ability to sniff around the bargain bins and not make the big move has been extraordinarily detrimental to the Ducks. He didn't toss in his hat on Beauchemin, and never got a sniff of a Phaneuf trade. I didn't like Wisniewski, but his fire for the game is undeniable. That passion helped the Ducks make the playoffs at the end of the 2008-2009 season.
Murray needs to start making phone calls. Ask the Islanders about Okposo. Call Calgary about Igninla. See if Burke is willing to barter Luke Schenn for some scoring. Ottawa has Matt Carkner on the bottom pair, and Bryan Murray has been looking to shake up his roster. Minnesota has Clayton Stoner, tell me that's not a California name. Ok, that one was for fun. The point is, there are a few teams out there in need of a roster shake up, and the right player might be able to round out our mental deficiencies. Bob Murray needs to do something to shake up this team. The threats aren't working. Let's put together a picks and prospects package and get us a quality player.
I would give Teemu Selanne the health he's probably reclaiming as we speak. He's racking up the assists since returning from his groin injury, and I think if he can get to and stay as near to 100% as possible for the balance of the season, he'll be a major factor in Anaheim's ultimate success.
Don't get me wrong, though. I like Bobby Ryan as a finisher, despite his recent struggles, and I have a lot of faith in Joffrey Lupul, in the event he gets ice time. But Teemu was on fire to open this season. He was even dominating shifts on a sore groin. He's still the power play weapon he's always been, and he seems particularly invigorated at even strength this year.
Picking the right gift for the good little girls and boys is always tough. But if you asked me for the one present that would make the rest of this Ducks season remotely watchable, I'd say a 100% Teemu Selanne down the stretch is the only guarantee of that. Plus, with the growing naughty list for this organization, Santa can let the elves work a little longer on Teemu's present.