It is undeniable that the Anaheim Ducks have entered into the new season broken down on struggle street. Even the staunchest of supporters have lamented the lack of structure on the defensive end and the unorganised old-school dump and chase offensive system they seem to be attempting to implement.
In many ways, the stellar play of all-world netminder, John Gibson, has papered over a number of cracks in the Ducks foundation. Certainly, it’s important to win 1-0 games in this league, yet it’s perhaps more important to not only win 1-0 games.
Yet, that is the current lay of the land. They’ve been outshot and out-chanced in all but three games thus far this season. The current group of young players, including former golden child Troy Terry, has begun to be rotated in and out of the team after taking further steps back from last years decline.
The veterans that exceeded their expected performances last season have regressed somewhat to the norm. As a result, the Anaheim Ducks are struggling and the catcalls for change have shifted from a soft whisper hidden in the dark depths of the interweb to a violent crescendo that even those of the greatest faith has begun to sing.
As a long-time proponent of change within the Ducks organization, this shift in the atmosphere warms the cockles of my cold dead heart. Yet, I would have to ask if these calls are warranted or if they’re the bleating of sheep more used to the sustained success the Ducks have had in recent times, to the harsh realities of much of the sporting world. To these fans, I offer a contrarian viewpoint, one that is somewhat different from that of which I may most often express.
The State of the Team
Before we go too far, I would ask you to ignore the thoughts of the Anaheim Ducks being a playoff team. For many, the disappointment of this current team falls heavily on the back of the lofty expectations seemingly pushed by the team prior to the season commencing. Yet, maybe we should all ignore that.
If anything the comments seemingly came about from some comments made by Kevin Shattenkirk after he signed with the Ducks as a free agent, and not directly from the mouth of Bob Murray himself. It’s at least conceivable that this was mostly player speak and not something that really was an expectation by the franchise internally. Perhaps I myself was part of driving that “playoff” narrative. Though, if I’m honest, I’m not conceited enough to believe I have that kind of sway with the Anaheim Ducks faithful.
Nonetheless, If we then ignore the idea of playoffs, then do the Anaheim Ducks fall more into line with what their expectations perhaps were prior to those Shattenkirk comments? Do Murrays moves, or lack thereof, make more sense towards forward planning? I’m going to argue that they do.