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Thursday, September 20, 2007

Thursday News

Well, all is not happy in Ducks land. Coach Carlyle is questioning the passion of his players as they have not been performing up to par. I have some analysis of last nights game from AnaheimDuckFan, one preview of the team, a video of Ryan Getzlaf (brief) courtesy of Easton Sports and the Power Players pictures have been updated with the new members. The worst news is that Beauchemin is out with a sore groin.

Randy Carlyle speaks about his team - Link

The OC Register has a look at training camp and the fact the Beauchemin is out with a sore groin.

ANAHEIM — Given what had taken place the previous night at Honda Center, Thursday's events at Anaheim Ice were predictable.

Save for a brief respite for resurfacing of the rink, the Ducks spent two hours and 20 minutes on the ice, going through what Coach Randy Carlyle called a "regular" practice, a specialty-teams session and wrapping up with a demanding "conditioning skate."

Certainly such workdays aren't unheard of in training camp, but the connection to Wednesday night's lackluster 1-0, exhibition loss to the San Jose Sharks was not to be missed, either. Despite playing mostly regulars against a largely untested Sharks lineup, the Ducks generated only seven shots on goal through two periods and created precious few scoring opportunities.

All of this came only hours after Carlyle had asked for more passion from his club.

"My message is if I don't feel we're getting that necessary ingredient, we're going to have to skate more often," Carlyle said. "That's not a threat. That's the reality of it. I think it comes down to necessary mental sharpness, to prepare yourself to play to a higher level. It's our responsibility as coaches to find some catalyst to spark that."

The Ducks complete the exhibition season tonight at San Jose and Sunday against visiting Vancouver before opening the regular season Sept. 29 against the Kings in London.

"We weren't shooting the puck, driving the net and all the small things that our team is know for — battling, keeping the puck in the corners," left wing Chris Kunitz said. "I think we were a little off on timing.

"It's all work ethic."

Read the rest here - Link

MVN has a look at training camp as well

The Ducks took a break from training camp on Tuesday and returned to the practice ice today after a game against the San Jose Sharks that Coach Randy Carlyle said was lacking in passion. Carlyle was of the belief that if the guys were not doing the necessary things, then they would skate more often until they got it. His practice today was clearly a catalyst meant to spark a mental and physical discipline that he felt was lacking.

This was the first time the pared down roster practiced as one group. The defense was paired as follows: Chris Pronger and Sean O’Donnell, Aaron Rome and Joe DiPenta, Kent Huskins and Shane Hnidy, Brent Skinner and Maxim Kondratiev. Francois Beauchemin was missing from practice and reportedly has a sore groin suffered in the game against Vancouver. There is no time frame on his return at present.

Carlyle continued to try variations of his top two lines with Chris Kunitz and Andy McDonald skating with Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf skating with Bobby Ryan and Todd Bertuzzi. The desire is to have two solid scoring lines and they are still fiddling with what does and doesn’t work and with chemistry. Carlyle wishes the chemistry was instantaneous, but it doesn’t happen overnight. Todd Marchant seems destined to take Sami Pahlsson’s spot on the checking line between Travis Moen and Rob Niedermayer, based on last night’s game and today.

Read the rest here - Link

The OC Register has their take on the way the Ducks have been playing

Ducks coach Randy Carlyle spoke Wednesday morning about what he wanted to see from his team in its final three exhibition games, beginning with Wednesday night’s matchup against the San Jose Sharks at Honda Center. “Passion, grit and more overall responsibility” headed the list.

So what did Carlyle get in a 1-0 defeat, a game in which the Ducks skated pretty much the lineup they will go with in their regular-season opener Sept. 29 against the Kings in London, and the Sharks iced a mish-mash of veterans and rookies?

“I wouldn’t say I would be totally impressed with the passion that was displayed,” Carlyle said. Talk about an understatement.

“We tried at times, but we complicated things,” Carlyle said

Read the rest here - Link

The Miami Herald has picked up the Sports Network's preview of the Anaheim Ducks

Anaheim does have a few question marks heading into this season, as two big pieces of its championship squad mull over the possibility of retirement.

Scott Niedermayer, the Ducks captain since joining the team for the 2005-06 season, is still undecided about whether or not he wants to play this year. The 34-year-old defenseman would once again be considered one of the top blueliners in the league should he choose to return for another year.

The other player yet to make a final decision on his future is right wing Teemu Selanne. The 37-year-old Finn finally fulfilled a dream by winning his first Stanley Cup in 2007, and after posting 48 goals and 94 points during the regular season, it's obvious that he could still help the Ducks.

While Niedermayer is still under contract with the Ducks, Selanne is an unrestricted free agent. However, Selanne has stated that if he does decide to come back for another year it would only be to play for the Ducks.

Even if Niedermayer and Selanne decide to retire, the Ducks will still have defenseman Chris Pronger and goaltender Jean-Sebastien Giguere, two of the best players in the league at their respective positions. In fact, Giguere figures to be in Anaheim's plans for the foreseeable future, as he signed a multi-year contract this offseason.

Hockey has never looked this good in Southern California, and the Ducks have the talent to become a perennial Cup contender.

Read the rest here - Link

AnaheimDuckFan has her thoughts on last nights game

I hate the games where no one scores until the very end of the 60 minutes. It makes for a very long, very boring game. I was all pumped up for this game against our rivals, the San Jose Sharks. Even though there was one fight (Mo & Semenov), it was still not the best game I’ve ever seen. The Ducks showed us the same shitty skills they showed us at the beginning of last season. What a let down after suchs an amazing end to last season.

Part of the problem with the game, was the lack of SOG by either team. The Ducks had just 19, and the Sharks had 21. In defense to the Ducks, a lot of pucks were being blocked, but there was also a lot of time spent in the neutral zone.

This loss gave the Ducks there third loss at home in the pre-season, with the only two wins coming from road games. I don’t really care about the pre-season losses, as long as the Ducks get their crap together before September 29th. Maybe these sub-standard games will show Teemu Selanne & Scott Niedermayer just how much we need them, or maybe I’m just hoping!

Also what was up with the new PA announcer. He sucked...please bring back Phil...we love him and its not the same without him!!!

Read the rest here - Link

Getzlaf has a photo shoot with the new Easton Stealth S17 hockey stick

Video of Dany Heatley of the Senators, Marian Gaborik of the Wild, Zach Parise of the Devils and Ryan Getzlaf had a photo shoot. You can see Getzy toward the end. Thanks to Easton Sports PR for the info

Pictures of the 2007-2008 Power Players have been posted. See their pictures and profiles here - Link