Wednesday, November 18, 2009

Game 19: Tampa in Anaheim

I cannot love the Ducks, in fact I think I may hate them. The hate I feel for them feels like it has gotten stronger over the years. It's something about the players on the Ducks that I just don't like. Ryan Getzlaf makes me want to kick kittens.

Enemy Blog: Check out Anaheim Calling, because although I may hate the Ducks, Arthur and Daniel are actually nice guys.

And because I don't like the Ducks, it makes me pleased to see them at the bottom of the Pacific division. The Ducks have lost 10 out of the last 13 games which has put them at 6-10-3. During their roadtrip out east, which they just got back from, their record was 0-3-1, and that has dropped them back to the bottom of the West.

With rumors swirling last week that Randy Carlisle's coaching job was on the line, the GM came forward and squashed those rumors. So, if it's not the coach being fired, will we see some players traded soon? Perhaps. The Ducks' defense haven't looked as good since Pronger was traded last year and although they have scoring from Getzlaf and Perry, the need more scoring from their other players.

I'm going to enjoy this fabulous feeling of the Ducks sucking while I can.

The Lightning on the other hand 4-0-1 in their last 5 games. Last game in Phoenix, the Lightning had goals from all the players that really had to deliver: Lecavalier, Tanguay and St. Louis. Smitty also had a solid game in net, which has earned him the start tonight against Anaheim. Does this make sense? Winning one game gets you the start in the next one even though Niity has played so well in a string of games before? Well it does when Tocchet is your coach, who may or may not want Smith to succeed and Niity to fail (which is completely based on no fact whatsoever). But neverless, it's a good reward for Smith after playing a good game.

Now all this has sounded like the Lightning are perfect, um not so much. Cristodero raises a great point, that the boys have been outshot in eight straight games, and in 13 of its past 14. Which really does say that the goaltending by primarily Niitymaki, and that last game from Smith has really bailed them out.

Tocchet rattles on about having the players going hard to the net, which is good advice for the players that can do it, though I don't agree about his view that he doesn't want perimeter players. Some players are perimeter players, who, yes, need to get pucks on net, but I think you need to play your strengths by shooting and if the initial shot doesn't go in, well then there need to be players who are at the net to put in the rebound.

Line-up Notes:
  • Mike Smith in net
  • Mattias Ohlund is expected to play, but spent the Wednesday in a walking boot
Game time: 10:00pm ET on, um nothing locally, but it is broadcasted on Prime for Anaheim fans.

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