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Tag:Ryan Getzlaf
Posted on: November 11, 2011 2:51 pm
Edited on: November 11, 2011 5:36 pm
 

Weekend Preview: Ducks searching for wakeup call

By Brian Stubits

Weekend schedule: Friday | Saturday | Sunday

You know it's bad when we're still early in November and the Anaheim Ducks call a closed-doors meeting. It stinks almost as much as the Avalanche calling Thursday's tilt against the Islanders a "must-win game." They did, barely (4-3 in OT).

But desperate times call for desperate measures. And right now, things are getting close to desperate in Orange County. The Ducks are the coldest team in hockey having lost six in a row. In a world without the overtime loser point, Anaheim is 5-10. That is not good.

"You have to eliminate any confusion, any doubt before you can take the next step forward," Carlyle said about the meeting.

"A lot of times coaches are talking and nobody says a word and you go to the ice and say, 'Well, I don't think that's work[ing]," Teemu Selanne offered. "It's important that the players can give their input also about the situation. It was really good. It was really honest conversations. I think it was a huge step forward."

They better get things figured out quickly. With Dallas playing as well as it is and San Jose in the division, the Ducks could dig themselves a hole too tough to get out of. They have the fewest goals scored and the most goals surrendered in the Pacific Division. In 15 games they have 29 goals, that's less than two goals per game.

How can a team with Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, Ryan Getzlaf and Selanne be struggling to score this much? Well presumably that's what the closed-door meeting was for.

I can't help but think it's the lack of power of the mustache. Since the month of Movember came around and the Ducks all began growing out their best 'staches, the team hasn't won a game. This is making me rethink my entire stance on the world. Here I was holding the mustache in such high esteem.

Or maybe it could be more rationally explained by figuring out where Lubomir Visnovsky has gone? The defenseman who had 18 goals and 50 assists last season has just four points (1-3=4) in 15 games and is a minus-9. Him finding his game would go a long way in helping the Ducks remove the ugly from their game.

So who do they get to try their presumably new tactics against first? How about the Vancouver Canucks on Friday night? Just the team for a struggling squad to face (the still-not-invented sarcasm font was on there).

But that's not all for the weekend. On Sunday the Ducks welcome the last team they beat, the Minnesota Wild. Of course since that win, these two teams have flipped their fortunes. The Ducks have become the coldest team this side of Columbus while Minnesota has been red hot.

SoCal struggles, Part II: This was supposed to be the season the Los Angeles Kings stepped forward, made a run for the franchise's first Stanley Cup championship. It obviously still could be, the season is only a short way in. But right now they could use a swift kick in the rear to get in gear.

Los Angeles has followed a 5-1-1 start with a 2-5-2 stretch, including a five-game losing streak that has people wondering if the boot isn't being polished up before delivering the kick. After all, the Kings have not scored more than three goals in 13 of their 16 games. For a team that acquired an offensive talent like Mike Richards to go with a solid group already, that's not going to cut it.

"The offense, certainly myself at the top of the list, should be scoring more, getting to the net," Justin Williams said following Thursday's loss.

So do you put the blame for the struggling stretch on coach Terry Murray? After all, head coaches are always the first scapegoat. I find it hard to blame Murray. He's trying all that he can, mixing and matching the lines to try and create a spark. But as they always say, you can't really fire the players. I mean you can, but it's a lot more difficult.

One of the issues right now is the play of Jonathan Quick. Remember that shutout streak back in October? That's a thing of the past. In his last six starts, Quick has zero wins. He is giving up nearly three goals per game in that stretch.

About the only thing going well right now for L.A. is the play of Drew Doughty. His game has been on point recently with five points in the last three games.

Like their SoCal neighbors in the O.C., the chance to get on the right track will come against the Wild, Saturday night at Staples Center. Oh, Minnesota enters the game having won five of the last six.

What the ....? You know who's not struggling? The first-place Florida Panthers. Yes, you read that right, first-place Panthers.

Dale Tallon threw together a team that everybody anticipated would struggle to jell, but it came together like jell-o. The Panthers have tallied a point in six consecutive games, including back-to-back wins on the road in Toronto and Winnipeg.

If they want to make it seven straight, they will have to get through the Flyers, who are in Sunrise on Sunday.

This is where I'd like to spread a little love on Kris Versteeg, the forward who is on his fourth team in a two-year span -- the one before the Panthers being the Flyers. He has apparently found the right fit and is scoring at a pace of better than a point per game, leading the Cats with 17 points in 15 games. Brian Campbell hasn't been too shabby either with 15 points in 15 games.

The surprises are all around on one of the NHL's biggest surprises this season. Jason Garrison is a sniper from the blue line? Who knew? But he's tied with Nicklas Lidstrom in the NHL lead for goals among defensemen with six. Jose Theodore can still be effective as a No. 1 goalie? Just talk to the folks in the Washington press box to see how hard that is to believe.

There's no telling how long this will last. First place in a division with the Capitals is asking a lot. But with a start like this, they can at least dream of ending that 10-year playoff drought in Florida.

Texas two-step: Want to know if the Dallas Stars are really as good as their 11-3-0 record indicates? Other than the fact that you are what your record says you are, as Bill Parcells would say, the Stars are in the midst of about as tough a three-game road stretch you can conjure up in the NHL.

They already went through the Capitals, handing them their first loss in D.C. this season. Now they have back-to-back games starting Friday in Pittsburgh. The game was viewed as a potential return date for Sidney Crosby, but that's not happening now. However it is still the top two teams in each conference and James Neal vs. the team that traded him.

If that's not enough, Dallas will take the trip to Detroit where the Red Wings await on Saturday.

I'm not sure how many more tests the Stars have to pass before this start and this team is believed to be for real by the masses. It might be already. I know I'm a believer. But just to be safe, a few more points in this weekend double-dip couldn't hurt.

The Bruins got their groove back: It only took a month, but now the Boston Bruins are showing the form the hockey world expected. After all, ask Boston fans and they will tell you last season was just a whole heaping of bonus -- this was the season when they were expected to be legitimate Cup contenders.

The team that in the early going couldn't score now can't stop scoring. Especially in bunches. Five times in the month of November the Bruins scored two goals within 49 seconds of one another. Five times!

Without a doubt, the most impressive player has been Tyler Seguin. The sophomore is showing why there was such a debate between himself and Taylor Hall before the 2010 draft. He is so quick and always seem to get his stick on the puck near the net.

The above items considered, it should come then as no surprise that the Bruins have won four games in a row and are streaking into their game against Northeast Division foe Buffalo.

The question there is which Sabres goalie will be entrusted with slowing down this now potent Bruins attack? That’s the question every day now in Buffalo where at the moment -- and I stress at the moment -- the goaltending job is a 50/50 proposition between Ryan Miller and Jhonas Enroth. If Miller gets the call, it could be a tough situation to find a slump-busting performance.

Defense rules

The Tampa Bay defense, specifically the 1-3-1 trap that coach Guy Boucher loves to use, is the topic of the week in the NHL. The crux of the issue: people want to see more scoring, less stalling.

If that describes you, maybe you should find something else to do on Saturday night when the Lightning and St. Louis Blues meet. Offense might not be too plentiful.

With Ken Hitchcock now on the St. Louis bench and his preference to play a defensive-minded game, it could be a pretty slow and plodding game. Nothing as bad as the scene on Wednesday night, but still not offense friendly. In the two games under Hitchcock, the Blues have given up two goals.

Of course after all this you can now expect for the teams to hit the over.

Photo: US Presswire

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 10, 2011 12:23 pm
 

The growing rivalry that is Predators-Ducks

By Brian Stubits

It doesn't feel like there are a lot of rivalries left in hockey. Hatred like that between the Canadiens and Bruins still exists, but the rivalries born from play on the ice and ones that go beyond geography/history? Not too many. The Red Wings and Avalanche had one a while back, but that has petered out. Oh sure, fans, particularly those in Colorado, will tell you they still hate the other team, but the height of the rivalry? It's in the past.

However we might have a new one emerging. I'm hoping so, they make the games that much more fun and interesting.

The Anaheim Ducks and Nashville Predators seem like unlikely combatants being that they are two time zones apart and some 2,000 miles. But familiarity breeds contempt, and these two have been getting familiar since last season. In this case, let's say the relationship is moving at an accelerated pace.

"We got to know each other a lot," Preds coach Barry Trotz said following Nashville's 4-2 in Anaheim on Wednesday. "I don’t think we really care for each other."

Every win is nice in the NHL, I would never argue otherwise. But how often do wins just seem to be extra sweet in early November? Not a tremendous amount of them. But judging by Preds agitator Jordin Tootoo's response, this one was as sweet as candy.

“Yeah, you have to go in with kind of a ‘[forget] you’ attitude,” Tootoo said (with Cee Lo Green channeled). “They talk all the time and talk is cheap. It all comes down to results and tonight we got the two points so they can [chew] on that.”

Where exactly did this hatred begin percolating? Exactly where every good blood battle does.

“It started in the playoffs last year,” Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf said before the team's first matchup this season in October.

If the playoffs was the birth of the rivalry then that first meeting was a growth spurt. There was one play in particular that had Getzlaf in a rage. It came when Corey Perry legitimately slashed Tootoo, who fell to the ice in a pretty dramatic scene.

We won't rehash the entire story from that game, so if you want to read all of the quotes from Getzlaf, here they are. But they were rather incendiary, accusing Tootoo of flopping and lots of use of the word embarrassing.

Here's how you know that a rivalry is getting good. A coach even got in on the sniping back and forth. Trotz had this to say before Wednesday's game.

“They have some guys who aren’t exactly lilywhite, some of their tough guys,” Trotz said. “You watch them behind the play when the ref’s not looking, they do a lot of [stuff]. That’s just whining to me. Go on the ice, play and if you have a problem with someone, take care of it. Don’t go through the paper. That’s all.”

How great is that? Not only is a head coach joining in the barb tossing, but he's throwing in words like lilywhite? Just awesome.

A proposal for the NHL. When you reach your final realignment verdict, can we squeeze the Preds and Ducks into the same division? No? Tis a shame. Just when this rivalry is budding, it could be halted. Well, at least there are two more games this season and, if the Ducks get their act together, maybe another postseason series? I'll be waiting.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: November 2, 2011 1:02 pm
Edited on: November 2, 2011 7:53 pm
 

Slumping Ducks finding 'a way to lose right now'

By Brian Stubits

WASHINGTON -- This was going to be a story about the ageless wonder that is Teemu Selanne when the game was 4-2. If you had to name the best player on the ice in D.C. on Tuesday night, it would be the 41-year-old Finn. He had two goals. He assisted on Anaheim's other two. Simply put, he is still sensational.

After his four-point game, he now has 14 points in 12 games. Again, he is 41. I was getting my "Teemu Selanne is so awesome ..." jokes warmed up. Seriously, we haven't seen this type of production from somebody over 40 since Gordie Howe.

But then his team lost its lead and, well, it sort of changed the feeling in the room. (Good thing, my jokes sucked anyway.)

It was a game the Ducks had in their grasp. It was right there for the taking, all they had to do was hold off Washington's third line from scoring in the final minute. Instead they ended up losing 5-4 in OT, their sixth loss in seven outings.

"We began to self-destruct," coach Randy Carlyle said after the game.

That's just how things are going for the Ducks right now. They finally get some offensive production but the defense doesn't hold up its end of the bargain.

"We just seem to find a way to lose right now," goaltender Jonas Hiller said after the game. "We definitely have to forget about it and concentrate on the good things and I know everybody can play better. I have to start first with myself."

After Tuesday night, that was certainly a fair starting point. This was the second time in his last five starts that Hiller gave up five goals. The time, against Phoenix on Oct. 23, he was pulled.

"He's paid to stop the puck," an angry Carlyle said. "Simple as that."

The play in particular that was most egregious -- or most telling of Anaheim's recent "luck" -- came in the second period with the Ducks up 3-1. In what looked like a breakaway for the offense turned into a push from Caps goalie Tomas Vokoun the length of the ice, stopping just behind the goal line next to his crease. A few seconds later, Dennis Wideman was firing a laser shot into the net.

"What I think what happened was he was indecisive to go," Carlyle said. "I thought he should have played the puck above the goal line, get out of the net and just stop it."

"I thought when our guys were coming back ... I thought one of our guys was coming back because it was an icing," Hiller explained. "I thought 'well, we'll take that icing call' and then I was surprised nobody was there. But that's what I'm saying. Being in the wrong position at the wrong time."

So that was the problem on Tuesday night, goaltending. But it hid one other problem, the lack of offense. Let me explain.

Here are some numbers from the game that really drew my attention: 6-5-4. No, those weren't the daily pick-em lotto numbers, those were the number of shots per period by the Ducks. Add a bagel for the two-plus minutes of overtime and you have 15 shots in 62 minutes.

Entering Tuesday's game, the Ducks were tied with the Islanders for the lowest goals per game at 2.00. Through 12 games now, the Ducks are the third-lowest in the league with 24.8 shots per game. Only three times have they outshot their opponent. On Tuesday, Washington outshot them 40-15. None of those are recipes to winning.

Look at the production from this team, Tuesday included. As a whole, the Ducks have 25 goals on the season. Exactly one of those have come from a forward not on the top two lines on Tuesday; that was Maxime Macenauer's tally. Every other goal has come from a top-six forward of defenseman.

Obviously the top two lines are supposed to do the bulk of the scoring, but there needs to be balance in there.

Andrew Cogliano was just moved off the center position to the wing and bumped up to join Selanne and Saku Koivu on the second line. It looked like a perfect fit, it was clearly Anaheim's best group of forwards on Tuesday. They also have a pretty darn good top line in Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf.

"We were playing our game for the first half of the game and we were up 3-0," Perry said when I asked if they were creating enough offense. "We were scoring on our chances. It says a lot right there. When we're skating and moving the puck -- chipping it in, chipping it out, no turnovers -- it's effective.

"We got to look at what we're doing right and take the positives out of the game. A little down right now, but if we bounce back and play the way we did in the first half of the game, we'll be OK."

"All you can do is work harder and battle a little more," Hiller added. "At some point those bounces will go your way but it seems like we aren't trying. Everything seems to bounce against us and that's definitely tough but you can't blame whoever, whatever for that. At the end it's us who are playing out there and it's up to us to work harder to get those bounces.

Maybe they can just double Selanne's shifts?

"He's done his part and he continues to," Carlyle said of the ageless wonder. "Other people have got to step up. Simple situation is we can't accept that from this group."

OK, here is one of those bad Selanne jokes: Teemu Selanne is so awesome, that he made a metal wall cry. (Or maybe that was just from the water bottle he threw at the wall after the game. But I'll choose to believe he made that wall cry. I told you they were bad. Sigh.)

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 30, 2011 3:41 pm
Edited on: October 30, 2011 3:45 pm
 

Getzlaf on Tootoo: Get guys like that off the ice

By Brian Stubits

The Nashville Predators have one of the best pests in hockey in Jordin Tootoo. He knows how to get under opposing players' skin.

Take Saturday night's example against the Anaheim Ducks. Tootoo was very active in the third period, drawing a couple of penalties. None was more discussed than the slash he took from Corey Perry.

Have a look at the play for yourself.

I couldn't help but chuckle a little to myself seeing Perry's reaction to Tootoo's fall to the ice. He's standing by him not in an attempt to deny his guilt, but rather you can just see him thinking to himself: "Really?!?"

He wasn't the only one thinking that way. It set off Ducks forward Ryan Getzlaf. Apparently he won't be buying Tootoo any postgame beers in the near future. Here is what he told Eric Stephens of the O.C. Register after the game.

“We keep talking about all this stuff and changing rules and head shots and all that kind of stuff,” Getzlaf said. ”That’s not the stuff that’s hurting our game. It’s the lack of respect on the ice. I’m tired of watching Jordin Tootoo out there, a guy who runs around and hits and does everything else but the first little slash, he’s laying on the ice and he’s out the next shift.

“It’s embarrassing and I’m sick of it. If they want to change the game and they want things to be better and they want more respect on the ice, get guys like that off the ice then. I’m sick of it.”

Needless to say, Getzlaf didn't see it as a dive worthy of a 9.8 from the judges. It was lacking a little, shall we say, artistic merit.

Getzlaf continued by explaining where the anger was coming from.

“It started in the playoffs last year,” he said. ”This isn’t the Anaheim Ducks complaining. This is me. I think it’s embarrassing for our game that a guy like that is out on the ice taking a slash ... yes, he got slashed. Guys get slashed every single shift. They don’t lay on the ice and flop around and embarrass themselves. And I hate that part of our game.

“The refs, they can only call what they see,” he said. “I don’t expect the referees to be able to differentiate all the time. It’s hard. It’s not their fault. That was a high stick at the end. He took a good, hard high stick and he went down. I don’t fault him for that.

“I know what it’s like to get hit in the face. He went down hard. That’s not the play I’m talking about. A high stick in the face is a high stick in the face. It hurts. And it’s a reaction. When a guy slashes you on the hand or the pant or something and you flop on the ice and lay there for two minutes, it’s embarrassing.”

Embarrassing (times four), sick of it (times two), flop (also times two), hurting the game. Wow. He didn't really hold back anything, did he?

Whether Tootoo flopped or not, it clearly shows he has the ability to irritate like any good pest would, drawing penalties as well as heat off the ice.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: October 20, 2011 6:01 pm
Edited on: October 20, 2011 6:08 pm
 

Key players still looking for first goal

By: Adam Gretz

Entering play on Thursday Toronto's Phil Kessel is your leading goal-scorer in the NHL, currently setting the pace with seven tallies for the Maple Leafs, including the game-tying goal he scored in their 4-3 shootout win against the Winnipeg Jets on Wednesday. While Kessel is leading the way for the still unbeaten (in regulation, anyway) Maple Leafs, some other notable players around the league are still searching for their first goal of the 2011-12 season.

1) Jaromir Jagr, Philadelphia Flyers: It's not that Jagr is playing poorly for the Flyers following his three-year absence from the NHL, because he and Claude Giroux have been an excellent top-line duo for the Flyers in their first five games, he just hasn't managed to find the back of the net yet. Earlier this week he joked (we think he was joking, anyway) that he doesn't consider himself to be a good goal-scorer. Which is crazy, seeing as how in the history of the league only 11 players have scored more. He has a chance to break into the goal column for this season on Thursday night against one of his former teams (the one that he's probably least known for playing with), the Washington Capitals, in a matchup of the top two teams in the Eastern Conference. Throughout his career he's scored 29 career goals against the Capitals.

2) Ryan Getzlaf, Anaheim Ducks: Getzlaf's style of play is built more around playmaking and setting up his teammates as opposed to filling the net for himself, and it's not uncommon to see him start a season with a lengthy goal drought. Three times in the previous six years he's had to wait until at least the seventh game of the season before scoring his first goal. He's currently been held scoreless through five games to start this season. It hasn't stopped the Ducks from winning as they currently sit with a 4-1 record, having won four in a row since losing their season opener to Buffalo. Getzlaf and the Ducks take on Dallas on friday, a team that he's managed to score just six goals against in 39 career games.

3) Patrick Marleau, San Jose Sharks: You have to go all the way back to the 2002-03 season to find the last time Marleau went longer than four games to start the season without a goal (he had to wait until game No. 13 that season). He's generating shots on goal, currently third on the team with 14, and sooner or later he's going to start scoring. He's scored at least 32 goals in five of the past six seasons. The Sharks start a difficult six-game road trip on Friday that takes them through a couple of tough defensive teams, including three straight against Boston, Nashville, New Jersey and Detroit.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 5, 2011 1:48 pm
 

Selanne says he'll announce intentions in Sept.

By Brian Stubits

The Anaheim Ducks are patiently waiting to hear word from Teemu Selanne whether or not he will return next season or retire. Apparently, they will have to wait until September.

Selanne told a Finnish newspaper (God bless Google translate) that he will wait until then to make an announcement, saying it is fair to both the team and himself to wait and see how his knee is doing. It was revealed after the Ducks' playoff run that Selanne had actually been bothered by a bum knee, which required arthroscopic surgery on July 1.

While he is a free agent, it's been made clear that if Selanne returns for another season, it will be with the Ducks, the team he has played for the last six seasons (and an earlier five-plus year stretch). And it's not as if the Ducks will have a problem waiting. Selanne had a tremendous season at the ripe age of 40. In 73 games he had 31 goals and 49 assists, better than a point per game. Seems the Finnish Flash still has some juice.

His teammates would love to have him back, too. Hart Trophy winner Corey Perry has sent Selanne text messages, trying to encourage him to return. Ryan Getzlaf has also been in contact with Selanne about a return.

If Selanne does return, he'd help the Ducks go for a deeper run in the playoffs, aiding the core of Perry, Getzlaf, Bobby Ryan and Cam Fowler. He was the team's second-leading scorer last season, so his loss would be a big hit for the growing team.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: March 29, 2011 2:45 am
Edited on: March 29, 2011 4:47 am
 

Morning Skate: At 40, Selanne still has some zip



This was the same player who flirted with retirement the past few offseasons?

The Finnish Flash is a little less of a blur at age 40, though Teemuu Selanne had more than enough pace to victimize the Colorado Avalanche. He became the first player 40 or orlder to net three goals and  two assists in a game as the Anahiem Ducks squeaked past the Avs, 5-4, on Monday, a victory that moved Anaheim back into seventh place in the Western Conference.

It was his 22nd career hat trick and first since Oct. 29, 2008. His final marker was vintage Selanne. Selanne took a rebound at the side of the net and with little room to work he shifted to his backhand and flipped the puck over Avs goalie Brian Elliott with five minutes left in the third period for his 235th career power play goal. Here's a look at the replay.

“When you get older you're not so greedy anymore,” Selanne said in a broadcast interview after the game. "You get two goals and you kind of stop playing. When you're old and try to get a hat trick it's almost embarrassing. When I was young I really wanted hat tricks.”
Line Changes

He was young the last time he scored on a penalty shot, something he did in first period. His last successful penalty shot came while he was a member of the Winnipeg Jets in 1993.

A lot has changed for Selanne in the 18 years since, although he still wears the same old Jofa helmet.

He was traded to the rival San Jose Sharks in March 2001 and left for the Colorado Avalanche, where he joined former Ducks linemate Paul Karyia for 2003-04 season. That one-year experiment was hampered by injuries and Selanne rejoined the Ducks for the 2005-06 season. He’s has been skating in Orange County even since -- minus the 2007-08 season when he joined midway through -- and was on the 2007 team that won the franchise’s first Stanley Cup title. 

Selanne has continued to add to his Hall of Fame resume. Here's a quick rundown: 
  • He scored two more late goals last week to become the first player in NHL history with four-game tying goals in the final three minutes of regulation in one season.
  • Selanne is 14th all-time in goals (634), 49th in assists (701), tied with Mike Gartner for 29th in points (1,335).
  • His 235 power play goals are the seventh-most all-time. 
  • His 75 points this season (28 goals, 47 assists) is the third most by any player 40 or older, although he still has a ways to go befor he catches record-holder Gordie Howe (103 points)


And those at the Honda Center Monday didn't want to see those numbers stunted via retirement as fans chanted, “One more year!”

“We're not going that far yet,” Selanne replied.

MONDAY'S RESULTS
Chicago 3, Detroit 2 (OT)
Anaheim 5, Colorado 4

-- A.J. Perez

Photo: Getty Images  
 
 
 
 
The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com