By Michael Walters
After the holiday break, the Anaheim Ducks hit the ice again today for practice. The line combinations saw some tweaks as expected. Here was the lineup today as reported by Eric Stephens:
The top line for the Ducks has produced 19 goals so far this season, but the drop off from there has been drastic. The second line has seen Kesler produce four goals and Silfverberg three goals. Hagelin, Sekac, and Nick Ritchie have all had turns at the left wing position. Hagelin has three goals this season. Sekac was slowed by injury and has just one goal. Ritchie provided some energy while Sekac was out, but didn’t record a goal. A few times this season Silfverberg has been moved from the second line.
The Ducks desperately need a second line to provide some consistent scoring. Stewart has provided the most offense of all the newcomers with six goals, which is third most on the team. He has been on every line this season and it would be interesting to see what he could do on the second line with Kesler for an extended period of time. The chemistry Kesler and Silfverberg had during last season, especially during the playoffs hasn’t been there since Matt Beleskey left the team. Maybe if Kesler and Stewart could get something going, then Bruce Boudreau could figure out who could play left wing with them.
The concern for this season was expressed by Bob Murray recently, “At this moment you would have to say the results have been greatly disappointing, at least so far.” Murray went on to talk about the team chemistry and how so many moves can affect it. He also said that any player could be traded at this point in time because of the results on the ice haven’t been there. If you want to read more about his comments, then visit Stephen’s article here: Ducks Headed For A Lost Season
In response to the current situation, Cogliano said, “We still have time to make things right. We still have time to get things kind of back in order and we need to do that now.” Cogliano is right in the Ducks still have time as the Pacific Division has been nothing but terrible outside of the Los Angeles Kings. Speaking of their cross town rivals, the Ducks are in a similar situation to the 2011-12 Kings, which ended up barely making the playoffs and taking it all. For more in depth analysis on that and the current state of Anaheim, please visit here: Anaheim: From Title Town To Trivial Town.
It’s a new season starting tomorrow for Anaheim, time to see what they are made of.
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