The Anaheim Ducks preseason is quickly coming to a close. What have been the biggest takeaways thus far?
With only one preseason game left, the Anaheim Ducks regular season is quickly approaching. We’ve seen both good and bad from the team, but what have been the biggest takeaways? Before you, the reader, continue reading this article, I should present a couple of provisions. A disclaimer of sorts, if you will.
Firstly, as a fan, I take little stock of the preseason. Certainly, I do not consider the score and very rarely evaluate skill errors when they occur. Players will make mistakes and it may take some longer than others to shake that rust off. Similarly, I also take very little stock in the effort a player may or may not exude, at least until the point that it appears to be a reflection of the style they may be tasked to play in the coming season.
Secondly, the preseason, to me, is a time for the coaching staff to teach, and to evaluate whether or not certain players will fit within the system they are attempting to implement going forward. The team will want to come out of preseason, hitting the regular season in full flight; players in game shape and systems functioning.
We, as fans, are extremely unlikely to see a finished product out on the ice, and at no point would I consider that what we’ve seen so far is the answer to any questions we as fans may have. However, we will certainly catch glimpses of what the team is attempting to undertake. A play here, trends there. These are the few things we can accurately determine from a preseason game.
Thirdly, for those who don’t know me from other places, I took a relatively dim view of Bob Murray’s hiring of Dallas Eakins. While I fully believe that a person or a coach should be given a second chance, I also believe that they should undergo an apprenticeship of sorts. Go back and learn under other coaches. Expand their idea base. Acting in a head coach capacity since his last NHL stint, a tenure which was arguably the worst of any coaching regime since the NHL expansion began, Eakins hasn’t really had the opportunity to do so.
Daryl Sutter coming in, in an over coaching role, is a great idea to further this ideal. However, perhaps it would have been better to groom Eakins as an assistant under him for a season or two first. Furthermore, I also haven’t been impressed with the prospects that have come from his San Diego team. To my mind, nearly all of them have looked lost and out of place at the NHL until the NHL coach at the time had time to mold them and re-teach them positioning and structure.
So with that said in advance, there have been a number of things that have stood out in my mind during the televised preseason games. However, it should be noted that there is a caveat of my missing the initial San Jose game, as I currently live internationally, and was not able to view the telecast.