Thursday, May 17, 2007

On the Ducks' defence

Since penning the previous post, I've been doing a little bit more reading on the lesser lights of the Anaheim blueline, and the best piece I've found was from CBC Sports' Doug Harrison last week:
"I'm used to being under the radar. I played five years in the minors and went unnoticed," DiPenta, who's competing in his second post-season with Anaheim, told CBC Sports Online.

"That's the kind of role I play. I don't get a lot of points, I don't get a lot of goals and I don't get in a lot of fights, stuff that fans think about."
The most interesting thing, and something Harrison gets into a little bit in the article, is that both Joe DiPenta and Kent Huskins skated for the Manitoba Moose in 2004-05 — a team coached by none other than Randy Carlyle (and the farm club of Brian Burke's former digs in Vancouver).

When Carlyle took over the Ducks, he almost certainly was the one pushing to have his pluggers airlifted in for an NHL tryout, something that wouldn't have been difficult given the regularity with which depth players are punted around the AHL.

Still, it's amazing now to see him bringing those same steady blueliners into the battle in such a big game tonight. There's something to be said, apparently, for familiarity.

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At 12:28 a.m., May 18, 2007, Blogger Rick said...

We used to read this same thing about how St. Louis wasn't deep behind MacInnis and Pronger, especially after Duchesne left.

The reality is, it just depends on how you quantify depth. If it's the most quality per man, they are probably deeper than any other team. And saying that there's a big drop off could mean that the top 2 are really good, not that the bottom is very bad. I mean, is it a good thing in most cases when your third pair gets as much ice and has as many points as your top pair.

The reality is, their loss in game 3, and their ultimate loss of this series, if it happens, is not going to be because of any easy to pinpoint problem like lack of depth at D. is it even possible in a cap era to have the kind of depth that would eliminate this kind of conjecture while still have two CURRENT norris finalists???

I think this problem is overblown, and the fact that they just won 5-3 without Pronger makes it look even more ridiculous.

No offense. Just seems like a very, very bizarre thread to be picking up.

To me, talking about Carlisle's relative inexperience as a head coach in the face of his team's total mental breakdown would have seemed to be a least consistent with the real problem in game 3.

At 5:07 p.m., May 18, 2007, Anonymous Kevin Forbes said...

I always thought it was interesting that like DiPenta and Huskins' connection with Carlyle, the Ducks last coach, Babcock also brought his own defenseman in the form of Kurt Sauer.


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