Has anyone seen Chris Kunitz? Where did the banzai-skating, run everything that moves, open up space for your line mates and fastest player on the ice go? Either the NHL told him to slow down and stop running opponents or someone whispered in his ear and told him he was a finesse-style player and could avoid contact and still be effective. Either way, he is lost and we need him found.
With Sammy Pahlsson out with his abdominal injury, the 3rd line has been creating a lot of scoring chances. Against Dallas, Ryan Carter, Todd Marchant, and Travis Moen were flying and had something like 8 SOG including a goal by Marchant. This year, when Moen, R. Nieds, and Pahlsson play together, they are doing a decent job shutting other top lines down, but their offense has been non existent. Maybe some minor moves on that 3rd line will keep the scoring chances up?
I honestly feel bad for Brian Sutherby. He has to be the best NHLer with a single point. The guy plays a fast paced game and creates as many scoring chances as anyone. However, he can't seem to finish and neither can his linemates. If he had 7 goals and 15 assists, I would not be surprised. I hope the wall breaks and the floodgates open for him. He deserves it.
Thanks for winning a few games Jiggy. Through the first 40 games or so, it looked like you were never going to steal one on your own shoulders again. Nice job.
As an open minded sceptic of the $4M per year Bertuzzi off season move, I am very happy to see Bert playing well. Not just to prove all of the nay-sayers wrong, but to re-prove himself and to prove Burke right. In the first part of the season, Bert looked a little lost and dis-interested. In the last 10 games, he has been on fire, is one of the best players on the ice, and visably looks like he is having fun. He has made some highlight reel moves and passes and looks like he is back on the pond for some good old fashioned fun hockey.
In the first 10 or 11 games since Scott Niedermayer returned to the Ducks, you could see the rust. I even saw Scott Niedermayer breathing heavy and hunched over with his stick across his shin pads trying to catch a rest and I saw it multiple times. However, it looks like the rust has slowly fallen off and the last two games have been different. Welcome back. You are fun to watch.
Ryan Carter winning 64% of his face-offs is a great story as he has filled in on the 3rd line for Sammy Pahlsson in a shut down role. Here is a young man who played up with the Ducks in the playoff run last season. In the AHL and the NHL, his Coaches could not trust him to take face offs and win. In the off-season, Carter worked on his draws and the results have been astounding. Not only is he shutting down some of the top lines, but he is creating a lot of scoring chances and pushing the puck towards the net. The "cat chasing its tail" play known as the cycle still gets used, but Carter is pushing that line to take the puck to the net as well - with scoring as the end goal. Cycling to cyle just wastes time and can be what is required sometimes. But cycling to cyle for the entire game is just boring and ineffective. Carter has changed that line and he is making an interesting statement with his play. What will the Ducks do when Pahlsson returns?
I've been wondering the same thing about Ryan Carter. The guy's playing too well to sit him when Sammy comes back. But Pahlssen, Neidermayer and Moen have a chemistry and you can't seperate them. If for nothing else the pure joy fo watching Joe Thornton lose his cool every time we play the Sharks. Sammy OWNS thornton and Thornton knows it. Back to Carter, I say move him between the second and fourth lines, Kind of like a roving Center. This will also give Doug Weight a little rest and keep him fresh for the playoffs.I disagree with your comment about cycling. Having the D constantly chasing the puck wears them down and will pay dividends later in the game.You didn't address the most important player question. Where will Teemu play? It's got to be on the second line with Weight and Kunitz.
You know where Teemu will play. On the right side of Weight and Kunitz. Which moves Bochenski to the 4th line along with Marchant and Carter. Add in Sutherby, May or Parros and you have a dynamic 4th line that can change like a chameleon depending on who the opponant is that particular game. I think Marchant, Carter and Bochenski is a scoring 4th line and I would like to see that line play and produce as well as the 2nd scoring line.
I think Kunitz is doing just fine. Maybe taking on a leadership role has somewhat changed his style of play.
Oh and I love that 4th line-chameleon analogy you came with lol.
If the "A" has changed Kunitz's style of play, then take it away from him quickly and give it to Todd Marchant. Did you see how he played when he strapped on the "A" for the single game that Rob Niedermayer was out against Dallas? Marchant's best game of the year. Anyone notice that one?
Message Posted Bert is doing great because he has played against no one.
Hank - What? Are you a troll? Who do you want Bert to play against? Your beer league team?
hankthetank is on crack