It can not be said that the transformation of the Dax, which did not fall into the playoffs in the two seasons of the previous three, and last spring was the third since the end of its conference, is too unexpected. Representation of the true capabilities of the team season-2011/12 did not, it showed a good hockey, but for a number of reasons did not reveal its potential. However, few predicted a “duck” take-off in the current championship – the team is unpredictable, the majority controller Lubomyr Vishnevsky has left, and the figure of head coach Bruce Boudreau, who first prepared Anaheim Ducks for the season (and even in such cramped conditions), was doubtful. So in the forecasts for the achievements of Dax this year, everyone tried to be as cautious as possible.
Anaheim striker Patrick Ivz in the season-2017/18 had only two matches, after which he got into resuscitation. At first, the doctors thought that he had Guillain-Barre syndrome, then they went through all possible and impossible diagnoses and could not establish the cause of the deterioration of health. But Patrick, who hardly breathed and barely moved his legs, was able to recover and again tears to the ice.
“I’ve never been so scared”
The first signs that something is wrong with Patrick Ives, appeared in the first match of the season-2017/18 for him. Although, judging by the scoreboard, everything looked very good.
Eves scored a goal in the goal of Yaroslav Galak, but his family was worried and overwhelmed his wife Kathy with questions about what happened. Patrick himself was not on the ice.
“Everyone wrote to me – what’s wrong with Patrick? Is he all right? “Says Cathy. It turned out that it was far from right.
“I was furious, because I could not play as I wanted. I could not skate, avoid contact. Even before the match, I realized that something was wrong, but overpowered himself and played a meeting. This is our work, “he added.
October 11, 2017 Eves began his first full season in the “Anaheim”. No matter how badly he felt himself that evening, two days later his condition worsened. “Ducks” played with “Colorado” in Denver, which is high in the mountains. Anaheim Ducks will play against top teams in NHL. Yves had problems with breathing before.
Apparently, not in vain. “Anaheim” gave the best start in their own history (18-3-3) – better even than in the championship season, when the team never lost in regular time in the first 16 games, but in this tournament segment (after 24 games) had all the same for a pointless. However, now this is not a start, this is the middle of the championship. And while the 13 teams of the Western Conference are not just going to the table tightly, they just sit on each other’s heads, only “Chicago” and “Anaheim” can – do not relax, of course, no – breathe quietly and think about the May prospects .
Why did this happen? What has appeared in the “Anaheim” this season, which was not in the past?
The usual first point in the answers to such questions is look at the leaders of the team. In the season-2011/12, the best scorer of “Anaheim” was Teemu Selanne. This, of course, does honor to the Finnish long-term, but does not honor his partners. Ryan Getzlaf spent the worst season in his career. And now – just a king. (Exactly such, incidentally, the situation with the “Chicago” and Patrick Kane). I do not want to associate the new heytslaf flourish with the need to sign a new contract, we’ll just assume that these two events overlapped each other. He himself, by the way, explained his last year’s gray hockey heavy burden of captaincy and cares about the family in which the addition happened. In the summer, I consulted with former teammates Scott Niedermayer and Brad May, how to find a reasonable balance to pay attention and emotional strength to both children and partners. I think the merit of the two ex-Anaheim players is that the captain is playing now as he plays, rather big, if not basic.
And Ryan signed the contract. Miracle-contract, which in a new collective agreement can be calculated units in the entire league. For eight seasons he will receive an average of 8.28 million dollars a year (his current salary is 6.125 million). This, of course, is also a positive factor for him personally – Getzlaf wanted to stay in Anaheim, his family, again, feels good in Southern California. In addition, according to Ryan, he received assurances from management and from the owners of the club – Henry and Susan Samueli – that they will do everything for the progress of the club, which, after winning the Stanley Cup in 2007, won just one series of playoffs.
In a link with Getzlafom his friend Cory Perry constantly leaves, and more often – Bobby Ryan. And it was noticed long ago that their game largely depends on the state of the captain – both spiritual and physical. And, it seems, not only them. Suddenly, greatly played 32-year-old defender Francois Boschman, who is now called neither much nor little as a candidate for the “Norris Trophy.” He is the leader of “Anaheim” in terms of playing time and blocked throws, and his coefficient of utility (plus 17) is one of the best in the league. Positive indicator was his last time in the champion season, when he went out in the same pair with Scott Niedermayer.
Now he is paired with veteran Sheldon Surey (who, by the way, has the same “plus 17”), and on the right. Boudreau became the first coach in the NHL, which put the left-handed Boschman on the right side. The Boschman “Dax” was returned in the spring of 2011 from the “Toronto”, where he did not work out; Surey came to California last summer. And as a result, “Anaheim” got a reliable pair of defenders, which he did not have all the last years. In addition, thanks to them, “Dax” has almost forgotten about the absence of Vishnevski in the majority. Moreover, if in the last season the realization of the numerical advantage accounted for “Anaheim” a pathetic 16 percent, now the “ducks” are the best in the league in this component (27.8).
Now about the goalie line. A year ago, the “Anaheim” was not quite healthy Jonas Hiller, who was supposed to play almost without substitutions due to the lack of a stable substitute. And the problems with Swiss health, as doctors established, were associated with overwork. In this championship, almost half of the matches were played by rookie Victor Fast. And Hiller is better, and, most importantly, Fast himself is simply gorgeous. It was impossible to foresee this, because call me another goalkeeper who would have made his debut in the National Hockey League in 30 years. On “Calder Trophy” due to age, he can not claim, but with his performance and with his play it’s time to think about “Vezin”!
I somehow called the story of Fast’s appearance in the NHL instructive. In the sense that patience and work can turn mountains off. And also that there were in his career a few, at first glance, accidents that turned into his good. Before the age of 27, Victor (whose father was also a goalkeeper, but he dreamed that his son played in the attack) did not even think about the NHL, he never even played in the Swedish elite series. In the evening he trained and played in the fourth division, in the afternoon he worked as a teacher in the college. Moreover, he could even finish with hockey due to a serious knee injury, but just in this missed year, he worked very hard with both the goalkeeper trainer and the psychologist trainer. Just this psychologist – Martin Bloom – said that the season was for Fasta a turning point: by the time the goalkeeper returned, he had made tens of thousands of rescues in his head and was absolutely ready to make them on the ice.
Fast played for “Veksjo” – big clubs were afraid to take him because of a possible recurrence of injury, but then a new accident helped. AIK came on the stage, whose goalkeeper also suffered knees, and club manager Anders Gozzi offered Fast a contract, paradoxically judging that there could be such bad luck that both broke. Since that moment, Victor’s career as a “Golden Puck” started for the best player of the Swedish championship, a brilliant game at the World Championships (where he too was accidentally wounded due to Stefan Liv’s refusal) and, finally, the NHL.
Fast became the third goalkeeper in the history of the league, who started with eight consecutive wins – only one did not reach the absolute record of Ray Emery. He has already managed to extend the contract with “Anaheim” until 2015. Many see in his goalkeeper-style features of the “old school” – he holds the stick in a special way to move the puck into the corners, turns to the throwing front, tries as little as possible to drop to his knees. In any case, while this works, and the “Anaheim” closed position, which was previously a problem. Simple statistics: last season, “Dax” lost 37 of 42 matches, in which three or more pucks passed.
The fact that the “Anaheim” is all right with the defense, does not mean that the team does not play in the attacking hockey. The chain of restaurants “Hooters” has already discovered that it is very expensive (“5 heads – 5 wings” – something like the Ottawa history with “pizza” to feed the Dax fans with wings for those days when the “ducks” score at least five washers) -line”). Bruce Budro showed a style, and the style is very attractive, and he has already dispelled several negative myths about himself – that he does not know how to get along with the stars, that his teams are limping discipline, that he can not teach his players to defend themselves, etc. “Anaheim” after all and last season, when Randy Carlisle was fired for bad results, with Budro almost scrambled out of the abyss: shortly after the Christmas break, the team began to win the match for the match and almost caught up with the Cup Eight.
Now it is not the Anaheim that should be catching up, others must catch up. The club itself simply must bet on this season – because of a possible financial trouble. The contract with Getzlaf was signed, but in the summer free agent can become Corey Perry, and this is also the most important figure in the team. Gen manager Bob Murray says that he is not really a fan of long-term contracts, but Goetzlaf otherwise could not be kept, but where else would he find such a center? Well, what about Perry? He is not a center or a captain, but in a free market he can find a club that will give him the same salary as Getzlaf. On the other hand, the consideration that his closest friend stays in Anaheim for a long time, can also force Corey to stay. One way or another, Murray needs to solve this problem, and to solve in a timely manner – examples of “Montreal” (two years ago), “Chicago” (after the championship season) or the current “Nashville” show that the delay can come out sideways. In addition, Murray in recent years has operated in the area of two or three million below the ceiling of salaries, that is, he always had some backlash – and now he will not, and the ceiling itself will be lower next season. Probably, it is no accident that now Murray took as his assistants Brian Burke, who himself was an assistant in those years when Burke was building a champion team.
However, in the end, this business is future, and “Anaheim” should be won now. The team entered the difficult period of the calendar – 17 games in 31 days, and this tough schedule, given the solid age of several leading players (Selanne, Saku Koivu, Surei), can be a serious test. Budro says: “If you’re sure you can win, it helps in all situations.” One must think that the current “Anaheim” after a remarkably held first half of the championship is quite sure of itself.