In praise of Bobby Ryan

In praise of Bobby Ryan
"The biggest thing is just his poise and his hands are unbelievable. I played with [Evgeni] Malkin and [Sidney] Crosby, and those guys are probably the two best in the league. Bobby's hands are right with those guys... He's a superstar in the making, it seems."
---Ryan Whitney, former Ducks defenseman

Tuesday, December 8, 2009

Even more changes

Yours truly will be attending tonight's contest between our hometown heroes and the Dallas Stars, but between now and the last game I attended (vs. Los Angeles Kings), there've been some changes.

Baffling me are guys in Ducks jerseys numbered 42, 39, and 28. That's Dan Sexton (who had impressed me with his performance alongside my boy Bobby Ryan during the preseason exhibition), Matt Belesky (who was recently called up to replace Kyle Calder), and Kyle Chipchura, formerly of the Montreal Canadiens. Chipchura, whose name makes me want a chimichanga with a side of fresh guacamole, was a mysterious trade for a 2011 4th round pick. Hopefully GM Bob Murray knows something we don't about this kid, because I'm sure he's not just here to keep fellow ex-Hab Saku Koivu company.

Back in also are Joffrey Lupul, whose back spasms have apparently let up enough for him to get back on the ice with the boys, and Brett Festerling, a gritty defenseman who appeared in a few NHL contests last season. Lupes has returned in a big way, scoring goals in his first few games back.

Ryan Carter and Kyle Calder remain on injury reserve, and now Teemu Selanne has joined them with a hand fracture incurred during the game against Dallas last week. I hate to admit that Teemu's absence is going to cost our Ducks wins (wins that are already so hard to come by), but the Finnish Flash has contributed so much this season, how can we not suffer from lack thereof?

Especially in the shootout.

Yes, yours truly will admit to being a big Bobby Ryan fan, but I simply don't understand why Carlyle isn't utilizing Bobby in the shootout. Both Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have failed to really impress in this area, Getzy finally got his first season SO goal during Sunday's loss against the Ottawa Senators, so I see nothing wrong with trotting out some new shooters. Since Teemu's out for the next 4-6 weeks, we might as well try to win a shootout with some new guys.

And, as much as I like Saku, playing him in the shootout against the Minnesota Wild last Friday? Whose bright idea was that? The boy is a playmaker, not a shooter. If I had a spin in the coach's chair, it would be Perry, Bobby, and Lupes in the shootout.

But I digress...

Our Ducks are going through a number of changes, and they've gone through probably too many changes starting from the preseason on. Too many different line partners, too many different coaching styles (Pete Peeters, I'm looking at you), too many different guys from different teams who are not familiar with the Ducks style (or the style of the Western Conference, for that matter). But we're also suffering from a lot of the same reasons all season long: too many of the same careless turnovers in the neutral zone, too many of the same stupid offensive zone penalties, too many of the same excuses for why our boys can't play a full 60 minutes.

Our boys need to turn things around, and they need to do it soon. We've been saying this all through October, and now all through November. Let's not add December to the list too. C'mon Ducks, your fans are waiting!


My Zimbio
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