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"Ducks guerilla blogger"
http://itlan.is-a-geek.com/ • United States • 38 Years Old • Male
A huge win on Tuesday delayed what would have been a steep hill to climb. Being down 3-0 in a series is a death certificate. The winning team goes on to win the series 98.7% of the time. To say the win was crucial would be an understatement. It was necessary.

Not only did the Ducks breathe life into this once dismal series, they gave themselves a huge boost of confidence. The Ducks' swagger was back for the first two periods, and the scoreboard (finally) reflected it. The Ducks headed to the 2nd intermission up 4-0 on the road.

But those same Ducks didn't leave the locker room and jump on the ice. Instead it was the Ducks of Games 1 and 2. It started with a parade to the penalty box, and 2 unanswered PP goals. It ended with a 4 minute penalty kill for a high-sticking call on Schneider. And gave Duck fans a good cardio workout.

Randy Carlyle threw Scott Niedermayer and Chris Pronger together for the first time (at even strength) since the playoffs last year. In the Stanley Cup finals, the two HHOF-bound defensemen skated together to shut down the heralded "pizza" line of Heatly-Spezza-Alfredsson. It worked then, and Carlyle may do it again on Thursday. Pronger had a great game making several key plays and chipped in 2 goals.

Ducks and their fans get some more good news as Corey Perry will probably skate in a game for the first time since his MCL was accidentally slashed exactly 6 weeks ago. He has been practicing with the team for over 2 weeks now, and participated in full contact drills for at least a week. Perry skated in practice with Getzlaf and Brad May. A surprising combination that worked well on Tuesday for the Ducks. The second line combo was Carter centering Selanne and Kunitz; another combo that has worked for the Ducks in the past before Carter broke his wrist. Skating on the fourth line was Bertuzzi and Weight with Southerby riding shotgun. That's one expensive fourth line!

The historical odds of the Ducks winning Game 4 when the record is 1-2 (and Game 1 was played at home) is 56%. This number really surprised me until I thought about it. Being that Game 1 was at home means that the team trailing in the series was the higher seed (and better team). It also is due in part to the trailing team pouring it on to stay in it. At any rate, the Ducks face another must win game. Going down 3-1 in the series against any team is not a position the Ducks want to be in.

The Ducks need to continue their gameplay from the first two periods of Game 3. They also need to do better containing Morrow and Modano. Another key from Game 3 was traffic around Turco. 2 of the 3 goals were scored at the top of the crease. Turco sees the puck so well, you have to crowd him and get a rebound or cross-crease pass to beat him.

Strong forecheck, smart physical play, key goals early, another strong game from Giguere. All of these will help edge that 56% odds higher in favor of the Ducks.

Itlan @8-)
Please make your comments in the Forum.
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Filed Under:   Playoffs   Stars   Ducks   Itlan  
April 17, 2008 2:08 PM ET | Delete
Nice work. I'd like to see Sammy get all up into Morrow's face tonight and just be stuck to him like glue. Sammy has been unusally invisible in the first 3 games. He needs to shut down Morrow/Rib.
April 17, 2008 5:26 PM ET | Delete
From what I've seen in the past few games, the Ducks' reputation for being physical has gotten a tad into their heads in the respect that they won the cup last year for being physical and maybe somehow they've gotten it into their heads that physicality will win them another cup. While this is partially true, it is exactly that - partially true. What I've seen in the past few games is that the Ducks get frustrated, and thinking that being physical will get them back on track, they do exactly that. Needless to say, this leads to penalties and doesn't do much against a Stars team that has played us all year. Physical play won't win this series. Why have we been boxed into the defensive zone for long periods of time on even strength during games 1 and 2? It seems like our players are playing the players, not the puck. All it takes for the Stars to take advantage of this is to dodge the oncoming hit. With that, a Ducks' missed hit is a player out of the play for a second or two, opening up the passing or shooting lanes just long enough to get the puck through. Count on the Stars to be smart enough to take full advantage of this. Against more fragile teams like the ones we encountered in the playoffs last year, intimidation and physicality goes a long way. Against the Stars... well, they know our team TOO well to have that work against them. What would I like to see in game 4? Play the puck. If there's a body in your way, play the body to play the puck.
April 17, 2008 5:26 PM ET | Delete
Message Posted
April 17, 2008 6:58 PM ET | Delete
I was baffled as to why they gave up the middle of the ice on the PP in the third period. Dallas was clearly uncomfortable playing on the perimeter in the first two periods. Clog up the middle Ducks! Let Dallas play on the outside and try to get post shots through. Hopefully, Jiggy will give up no more fat rebounds either. That led to Morrow's second goal. Maybe Perry can contribute, but just having him in the lineup bodes well for the Ducks.
April 17, 2008 7:00 PM ET | Delete
I almost forgot, thanks Itlan! It's nice to be able to post on a Ducks blog for a change.
April 17, 2008 7:31 PM ET | Delete
Nemmy700: I totally agree. Beauchemin is the worst at passing up a puck just to hit someone. The Checking Line does it best, they hit and while the hitting is going on they have their stick on the puck ready to flip it to someone.Oh, and can you guys comment in the Forum instead of here? Link is at the bottom of my blog. Thanks!
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