Monday, February 04, 2008

Why All The Fear Of The Not-So-MIghty Ducks?

You know, it’s funny. I keep hearing about the Anaheim Ducks. How they are the defending Stanley Cup champions. How they are big and physical and tough - too big and physical and tough for the Red Wings.
How Teemu Selanne is coming back, and how the Red Wings need to counter that move as soon as possible. Or the Red Wings are going to be in big trouble.
But it seems to me, the more pertinent question at this point, is whether the Ducks are going to make the playoffs.
Anybody notice they have lost six games in a row? Anyone look at the standings to see the Ducks are only three points from following out of the top eight in the Western Conference?
In fairness to the Ducks, all but one of their recent losses. But in all fairness to the Red Wings, they are 16 points up - a full eight victories - on the next best team in the NHL. Six losses in a row? The Wings have lost 10 games all season. Oh, and that home loss during the Ducks’ losing streak? It was to the Red Wings.
Sure, the playoffs are what really matter. Of course, the Red Wings and Ducks remain on a collision course to meet in the postseason. But come on - as a one-seed versus an eight-seed in the opening round? If the Ducks don’t pull out of this tailspin, you never know. It just might happen that way.

Random Thoughts

- I was shocked the Giants won the Super Bowl. I thought, honestly, they had no chance. I was glad it turned out that way, however. It made for a much more compelling game. Oh, and it doesn’t bother me in the least to see Bill Belichick get so obviously outcoached on such a large stage.

- The best thing about the Johan Santana trade from the Tigers’ standpoint: The Mets are in the National League. The last thing the Tigers needed was Santana landing with the Red Sox or the Yankees. He will be even more dominant in the National League without facing a DH regularly, and because there just aren’t quite as many quality hitters as in the American League.

11 Comments:

Anonymous Tim said...

Pat,

Thanks for paying so much attention to hockey. It's seems to be getting to be more of an afterthought in "Hockey Town". I would like to see more analysis like yours instead of the useless articles you see in the Detroit News, for instance. The News seems more into promoting the Wings than covering them. The Free Press is better at coverage of hockey though. I don't often get to see the Oakland Press, so I'm not sure about your paper.

The stars are aligning for the Wings vs. Ducks in the first round of the playoffs. That matchup scares me, but then most first round opponents with good goalies scare me. Despite their record, the Ducks are loaded with talent. Give them time with Selanne and Niedermeyer back and they will gel. They are not to be taken lightly.

Regarding the Super Bowl, you had to know something was going to go wrong when all of the "experts" predicted a Patriot blow-out. The keys were putting pressure on Brady and steady play by Eli Manning. The Pats should have abandoned the long pass and concentrated on quick 5-10 yard passing plays. That's my opinion anyway.

Thank you.

10:56 AM 
Blogger Fred Brill said...

Book,
Thank God I’m not betting man. I would have bet the farm against the spread in a heartbeat.

I don’t know if the Pat’s offensive line was that bad, or if the Giant’s defensive line was that … inspired. I also wonder if Brady’s ankle didn’t slow him up just that tiny hair that would give him an extra first down or two.

It was as if Brady didn’t want to give Moss the satisfaction of a big game. So very few tosses his way. But I did like the Aikman quip that you don’t really under-throw a guy on a 75 yard pass.

I was sorry not see the fruition of a perfect season. But I did enjoy Eli stepping out of his brother and fathers shoes into his own right. That truly was a great final four minutes of Superbowl.

It is great news that Santana is with the Mets indeed. But I still stand by my earlier statement that we usually beat him.

I guess I should look up that stat. I wouldn’t bet on it.

11:13 AM 
Blogger Barry said...

That great that Santana going to the Mets, I glad so far that Yanks and Red Sox are not in the Bedard sweepstakes. We do not need him going to the Mariners either. I hope he stays where he is.

11:48 AM 
Anonymous Bryan152 said...

It is nice that the Tigers won't have to see Santana any more, save maybe the World Series. But in recent years, I feel like the Tigers have handled him pretty well. It seemed like whichever Tiger pitcher went up against him that night would bring their best stuff. I can't wait to see the gaudy numbers he puts up in the Big Apple though.

Best lineup in AL: Detroit Tigers
Best lineup in NL: Houston Astros

Count me as someone who thought that was the best quarter of Super Bowl they'd ever seen. The drive Manning orchestrated in those final two minutes was really something special.

I wonder if Kitna still thinks his Lions are the better team...

11:48 AM 
Anonymous Anonymous said...

Hi Pat

The regular season records mean absolutely nothing in the NHL. If nothing else, history has demonstrated this time after time to Detroiters. Absolutely nothing.

I did want the Pats to win and shut up the Dolphins, but I enjoyed seeing the underdogs prevail. The Pats must have taken a crash Martz course on how to ignore the running game to your quarterbacks peril.

Allan

3:55 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Tim,
I know the playoffs aren't going to be easy, even in the early rounds for the Red Wings because it seems like most of the Western Conference teams (Vancover, Anaheim, Phoenix, Calgary, San Jose) have goalies capable of stealing a series. I didn't think the Patriots made very good in-game adjustments offensively, either.
Caputo

5:44 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Fred Brill,
There goes the myth the Patriots have a great offensive line. It was schooled by the Giants. I know the Giants were rolling coverages toward Moss, but it was still a blunder to not throw to him more.
Caputo

5:45 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Barry,
Yeah, the Mariners have potential to be very good this season, particularly if Hernandez develops.
Caputo

5:47 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Bryan152,
LOL on the Kitna comment. We dug it up at the radio station and it is very funny in retrospect. It's true: The Tigers have done well against Santana. But it's relative. Usually doing well against him means scoring three runs.
Caputo

5:49 PM 
Blogger Pat Caputo said...

Allen,
I do think it means something this season. The key for the Wings will be not losing their edge before the playoffs start.
Caputo

5:51 PM 
Anonymous madog52 said...

Personally Book I agree on the WIngs. I been saying all along I like this years team more then I have in a while. I like the lesser guys on this team. I like the toughness Downey brings. I like what lebda is doing. I think if anything they could use just a tad more bruisers for the playoffs, but I don't think they need anything jurastic. Last couple years good record I wasn't convinced of a good playoff run. I was shocked they got as far as they did last year. This year I am convinced.

The Giants vs Pats to me is what is so awesome about the NFL and that game particulary. Who out side the Giants thought they would be in teh superbowl let a lone win it. Everybody and their mother all but had GreenBay/Dalls vs New England penciled in the first week of december. The Giants beat all 3. Billy B. I lost all the respect in the world for him. He'd be the first to want you to kiss his ass when the pats win now he lost and he runs and puts on his wifes makeup. What a sissy. be a man and take your loss like a champion. What happen your video guy get caught staring at the cheerleaders or celeberties.

santana going to the mets is ok to me. I am excited and can't wait for baseball to get here and start going to some games to hit up that margarita station. To get me an octane and jungle juice mix lol. anyways the thing that has me more curious is this bullpen. At the same time I feel like the bullpen would be fine if the Tigers starters can give 6 to 7 innings most times out unlike last year.

3:26 PM 

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