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Open Letter to Bruce Boudreau

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Hi. First time writer, long time watcher. Here is my letter!

Kirby Lee-USA TODAY Sports

Dear Bruce,

Can I call you Bruce? Mr. Boudreau seems formal, but Gabby seems informal. Bruce it is.

I know you aren't a big proponent of the "enhanced stats" the NHL recently released. As you know based on your interviews mentioning Corsi and PDO, however, these "advanced stats" have been around for a bit. I mean, look, I like factual nuggets of information that better inform my knowledge of a thing, but to each his or her own.

But I do want to share something with you. See, supposedly, you and your staff compile per game "scoring chances" internally. I don't know your methodology, but I think tracking chances is fabulous! See, scoring chances correlates strongly with goal scoring itself.

While there isn't nearly as much research on the matter in terms of its relation to winning or controlling play overall, anything that can predict goals is great. We like goals. You like goals - I have seen your celebrations, I know you get wild!

In three of your last four ice hockey games, you have played a certain line together. It is sometimes your third line but mostly your fourth line. It comprises Rickard Rakell, Emerson Etem, and Jiri Sekac. We have taken to calling it Ricky Etem Cakes! (Say it out loud, you'll laugh.)

See, I'm writing you today because that line is pretty good. I took the liberty of compiling some scoring chance charts alongside their shifts on the ice, so you wouldn't have to do extra work to read this. My methodology for tracking a scoring chance is pretty simple; in fact, since this is a digital letter, here's the link to the definition I'm using!

Here's the last three games in which you've played them regularly together:

I added a few red-line boxes to really call your attention to those moments when the trio produced some good chances in the same sequence. This is against the Kings! Not bad, right?

Here's the game against the Coyotes, and notice that like the Kings game, there's a few very productive sequences here. It's almost like they might consistently generate offense, right?

This is against Cakes' former team, the Canadiens. You went away from them toward the second half of the game, because I think you might have forgotten how dynamic they are in the short amount you've seen them - but look what happened in the second period when you finally played them! That's right, a goal!

One of the games in the last four your Ducks played is one you didn't really play them together. I'll show that to you, because your team was pretty bad at generating consistent offense.

You guys won the game against the Stars, because playing against a former goalie of the worst team in the history of the league can allow that, but this trend here doesn't seem really sustainable. And look there, this line wasn't consistently shifted together, so they couldn't help your squad generate chances!

I wonder if playing them a bit more consistently, both together and more frequently, would have created some jump for your group. I know they're young, so maybe they don't have your full trust. But it seems like weighing the "trust" factor against the potential for creating chances is one you should consider.

I write all this to you because I am a fan of the Ducks, of you, and of Ricky Etem Cakes. I'm also a fan of offense, of long playoff runs, and of positive possession hockey, because it is very fun to watch!

Anyway, I hope this letter finds you well. Have a really nice rest of the day.

Kid