I don’t even know what to say…
The Ducks are on a bit of a break here, and normally I’d say that it gives them some time to regroup, assess, and come up with a plan to push forward to victory. But I’m not so sure any more.
The more time that passes, the more I just want this season to be over with. I mean, it’s not even New years and we’re already writing off the playoffs, separated from last place by a single point and losing ground on 8th place every. single. day.
I’m not even sure where to place blame for all of this. Defense? Goaltending? Scoring? Nothing is lining up, nothing is firing on all cylinders.
I have to admit that I am biased towards goalies. It’s not all that often that I lay blame at the foot of the goaltender. Maybe for *a* goal, or for mishandling the puck, but for losing an entire game? Rarely (except for maybe Philly… sorry, guys). The level that a starting goalie has to play at is just so incredibly high. I mean, if these guys aren’t as close to perfect as possible they get shouted down and are put out to pasture. Which is why it wasn’t until recently that I started to look past the Duck’s miserable defense back to Hiller.
I feel for the guy. He stole the job fair and square from an already proven, well respected goaltender. And last season he had a remarkable year. So remarkable, in fact, that I think that the Duck’s atrocious defense was much less noticeable. The dude was a backstop, saving his teams ass time and time again. After the All Star game he went down hill fast. I’m assuming it was the puck to the face from Letang in that game, but who knows.
He came back this season to a hero’s welcome only to be playing… okay? I’m not laying the blame square at his feet by any means. Lord knows that the rest of the team is playing miserably. The first line isn’t producing, the defense is getting undressed every game, turnovers, and shots wide of the net abound. And maybe I was the only one giving Hiller a pass, the only one who was still clinging on to that notion that Hiller was playing up to his abilities of last season, or at least that he would if he were given an ounce of help from the guys in front of him.
But unfortunately I don’t think that I can say that any more. He’s got whatever funk the rest of the team seems to have.
So here we are, biding out rime, hoping to just be able to ride this season out. At least I’ve got the Leafs and Devils to give me some hope.