Our on-field reports (CJ, Felix, and Jake) talked about how the Anaheim Ducks were booed off the ice after last night’s defeat. This game was played at Honda Center, might I add. And the loss came to a team that made it blatantly obvious it wasn’t expecting to make playoffs. These fans at Honda Center demand excellence. They know the Anaheim Ducks are capable of it, but not as it stands right now.
There are issues with the team that we thought the management was working toward solving, but in the final stretch we’re right back to square one. I’m talking mostly about the fact that the Ducks are putting both Beauchemin and Bieksa on the ice, not to mention playing them as a pair. If I sound like a broken record, it’s because this has been a problem since the first game of the season.
Coach Randy Carlyle was questioned about having them on the ice at the same time. “We felt we have four other defensemen that are capable of playing up against the top lines. We felt the veteran presence of Beauchemin and Bieksa should be able to provide us the fifteen minutes of safe and hard hockey”. If this so called “safe and hard hockey” isn’t happening when they are paired with better partners, why is there belief it will happen when the two are together?
Carlyle was also asked about the two being unable to move the puck. “I think they can move the puck. The issue is the management of the puck in the right situations, and advancing the puck. The new era of hockey is about advancing the puck and playing fast.” Now how can a guy who gives this answer, believe that Beachemin and Bieksa are capable of getting it done? They are 36 and 37 years old and are anything but fast. They’ve had all year to work on managing and advancing the puck and haven’t got it done. The writing is on the wall Randy. The Ducks are a better team when at least one of them isn’t in the game.
Best and Worst
Worst - Beachemin and Bieksa. Once again demonstrating that they are outdated, the two gave up multiple scoring chances, were forced to take a penalty due to said turnovers, and were minus 4 collectively.
Best - Ryan Getzlaf and the top line. Getzlaf remains one of the best centers in the league. His line was generating most of the scoring opportunities and his set-up for Perry was perfect. Rickard Rakell and Corey Perry were both out there getting in the right position and getting chances.
Worst - Depth scoring. When the Ducks were winning games, they were getting chances from three lines. As of late, only the top line has been lethal. The Henrique and Kesler lines need to find ways to score if the Ducks want to win games. It can’t all be on the back of the top line.
Three Stars of the Game
3. Derek Grant - Grant was able to get in front of Allen, screening him, and then got a tip on the incoming shot to sneak it in net. Everything you’d had of him in the situation, he did.
2. Corey Perry - With the goal tonight, Perry is riding a three game point streak. He continues to be a leader for the team. #PerryIsStillGood
1. Ryan Getzlaf - Setting up Perry’s goal tonight gives Getzlaf a five game point streak where he’s amassed 9 points. Without Getzlaf in the lineup, the Ducks would be no where near playoff contention.
The Ducks are back in action Wednesday against the Vancouver Canucks. Puck drops at 7pm PST.