Monday, 26 October 2015

Andersen Can't Do Much More

There's no question that the Anaheim Ducks are struggling. They're currently playing the Chicago Blackhawks in front of me on my TV and are looking like they might be turning the corner, but they have started in a bad way and it's hard to believe that they started they way they did with the talent on this roster. One guy who is holding his own, though, is Frederik Andersen, and I'm not sure that the goaltender can do much more to try to salvage this ship full of holes known as the Ducks. Andersen has been outstanding tonight and in the last few games, but he receives no offensive support from his team whatsoever.

Frederik Andersen is currently 0-3-2 on the season. That's not the best record by any means, but the rest of his stats tell a different story. He has a 1.71 GAA, a .940 save percentage, and he's winless on the season. Now you might be asking why, and there's a very good reason. The Ducks have only scored six goals in eight games, but have only scored one goal while Andersen has tended the nets in the six games he's played.

One singular goal. Let that sink in for a second.

The Ducks are a team with a former fifty-goal scorer in Corey Perry. He has one assist in eight games.

The Ducks are a team with a consistent 70-point man in Ryan Getzlaf. He has one assist in eight games.

The Ducks have three players with more than one point: Mike Santorelli, Rickard Rackell, and Hampus Lindholm.

The Ducks have no players who are on the plus side of the plus/minus. Not one single player.

The Ducks have a goalie with a 1-2-0 record who owns a 4.06 GAA and an .875 save percentage in Anton Khudobin.

While there's no doubt that GM Bob Murray will be lining up the cross-hairs on head coach Bruce Boudreau if things don't turn around in a hurry, this mess is entirely a Bob Murray production. There is literally no one on this roster that is performing at or near his ability at this point, and it appears that Bruce Boudreau is running out of options and reasons why the Ducks simply cannot score.

Here are a few snippets of Boudreau's post-game comments after he's watched his team work hard to redefine the NHL's examples of anemic offences to start a season.
  • "There's pressure every time they touch the puck. The pressure mounts, especially when you have chances and don't score. Not a fun time."
  • "Yeah, it's a different feeling but hopefully we start getting better."
  • "I told the players you have to hang in there. When it gets down to the lowest time, and then you pull out of it, it's amazing how you turn things around and go the other way. As long as we keep pushing forward and feeling defiant and being mad instead of feeling sorry for ourselves, I think we'll be OK."
The problem is that things aren't ok. The Ducks failed to score again tonight, and Jonathan Toews scored in overtime to give the Ducks the 1-0 win. When Chris Stewart is skating on the top line, you know that Boudreau is pulling out all the stops to try to find some sort of spark in this Ducks team.

If nothing else, the Ducks need to go back to the basics: get to the high-traffic areas, put pucks on net, screen the goaltender, and jump on rebounds. At this point, anything that results in a goal should be duplicated because they need to find a way to dent twine.

Just don't ask Frederik Andersen to pitch shutouts every night. The man has statistics that most other goalies envy outside of that win-loss record. There's honestly not much more that Andersen can do for the Ducks.

Until next time, keep your sticks on the ice!

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