NHL: Anaheim Ducks at Chicago Blackhawks

Same In The End: Breaking Down Hawks vs. Ducks

None of what comes in this post is going to be much of a surprise to you. After reading us breaking down the entire Ducks team, you probably know where we think this is headed. But thanks to the NHL and their infinitely genius scheduling, we’ve still got time to kill. So let’s look into the crystal ball.

(Although I guess I understand the series didn’t start tonight, as with Kanye playing the Honda Center tomorrow it probably takes all of today to stuff his aura into the arena).

It’s probably folly to look at regular season games to determine playoff outcomes. There are a lot of factors during the six month slog that don’t apply here, and the Ducks haven’t seen this Hawks team with Vermette and Teuvo actually playing. But there’s some instructive stuff.

In the Ducks’ shutout win here in October, Jonathan Toews’s line against Lindholm and Beauchemin put up a +19 in Corsi. That’s 85% if you prefer percentages. And this wasn’t that score influenced, as Smith-Pelley’s shorty came in the 3rd period. That also game against Getzlaf for the most part, who was out attempted 15-5 by Toews. This was still when Q had Kane skating with Andrew Shaw, though it was pretty quickly after this that he scrapped that idea. Even with that, Kane was able to draw even against Fowler and Kesler at center.

We move to Black Friday, an authoritative Hawks win. Bruce Boudreau, as is his wont, didn’t really bother matching lines with the Hawks. Brad Richards went 11-1 on attempts against Hampus! Hampus! and Vatanen, as Beauchemin was hurt. Andrew Shaw was a +7 on this day.

We move to January. Once again the Hawks racked up a 57% Corsi percentage as a team, and that’s with basically taking off the 3rd period as they had this one sewn up. It was 66% in the first two periods. Boudreau somewhat half heartedly tried to get Beauchemin and Hampus! Hampus! out against Toews, and he skulled them again. Richards and Kane ran riot against Fowler, with Sharp tallying four assists on that line.

So what exactly what’s changed? There are too many threats for this Ducks’ line to cover. I found it pretty hilarious that Josh Cooper on Puck Daddy today asserted that any of the Ducks’ pairings could be top pairings on other teams? What tubes? Where are these tubes? It’s certainly not any of the teams left playing. They don’t have a Victor Hedman. Is it any of the teams just eliminated? Not Minnesota, as Suter and Brodin is better than anything the Ducks have to offer. Caps? John Carlson is probably better than anything wearing that awful “D”. Not better than Giordano and Brodie for sure. There’s no PK Subban here either. There are a couple Andrei Markov’s, and that’s not a good thing.

Even if, for argument’s sake, Beauchemin and Hampus! Hampus! keep Toews’s line quiet in Anaheim, and that’s if Boudreau chases that and those are big ifs, and matches Kesler with Toews, where’s it go from there. Richards’s line had serious possession problems against Minnesota, and if Boudreau could put down the fork long enough to see that and exploits that with Getzlaf, that’s where things could get jumpy. But Q would still have some combo of Keith, Seabrook, Oduya, and Hammer to support. And is Clayton Stoner really keeping Patrick Sharp quiet? That’s Patrick Sharp of the career 14 goals and 29 points in 30 games against the Ducks…

That doesn’t mean things can’t go wrong. You’ll recall that last year when the Hawks ate it to a SoCal team, the Kings’ power play was a real issue. But the Kings could also stick with the Hawks at evens, and combine the two and that’s why you get their decisive wins in Games 2-4. Does anyone in their right mind think the Ducks are sticking with the Hawks at evens? There’s simply nothing to suggest that.

I suppose Frederik Andersen could morph into an Infinity Stone wielding beast. But there’s nothing to suggest that either. He’s got a 30-save shutout of the Flames, and he gave up four goals to the Jets in Game when facing 35. Those are the only two times he’s seen more than 30 shots in these playoffs. He had a decent series against Dallas last year before getting pulled than hurt against the Kings. Again, there’s nothing to suggest he’s capable of stealing a series, though there isn’t much to indicate he’ll lose it on his own either.

Show me an area other than the power play where the Ducks have a serious advantage. Top end scoring? ‘fraid not. Forward depth? The Hawks’ bottom six carries more aside from Andrew Cogliano. Defense? You’ll pull a muscle laughing. Goaltending? Nope.

The Hawks aren’t going to lose a series because of a power play.

It could take an hour. Maybe a day. Actually, it takes 5 games.

  • ZigZags82

    I knew it Fels! All accounts accounted for…

  • Michael Scott

    Happy to see the prediction on Puck Daddy called out – that was ridiculous

    • ZigZags82

      That website is ridiculous. “Too deep” LOL

    • Oregon_hawk

      “Any one of their pairs could be a top pair on another team….”

      How does someone write that without punching themselves in the face?

      It is a playoff series. It will be close. The hawks have a real question in their third D-pairing. The Ducks have a real question of exactly what they’re going to do about the Hawk’s top 9, especially since BB isn’t going to avoid Getz or Kesler drawing Kruger’s line.

      • ZigZags82

        This time of year 3rd pair doesn’t matter.

      • I’m just laughing my ass off at the idea of Clayton Fucking Stoner being trotted out as a top pair D-man on an NHL team. Yeah I know Cooper kinda qualified his statement by saying Stoner was a weak link, but he can kiss a sick monkey’s wet ass with that kind of cop-out crap after writing something that mind-numbingly stupid.

        • ZigZags82

          Preds. Fans.

  • I’m hoping for the same result as the 2010 Sharks series…

    • Jim

      Based on the 9 days we’ll have to rationally analyze this, I’m trying to figure out how the Ducks win one game.

      • Think it would take an injury, Crow shitting the bed or a terrible PK. I view those as equalizers. Oh and if Q tries to think!

        • rhodes

          Don’t say the I-word. Don’t even think it.

        • ZigZags82

          Not happening. *Knocks on wood.

      • HawkIPA

        If the Hawks are undisciplined, take bad penalties, and the kill doesn’t improve, Anaheim can take a game or two.

        • ZigZags82

          Hawks won’t take bad penalties like the Flames, not a novice young team. And the kill was great against the Wild later on. Trending upward. Way up

  • rhodes

    In this series, my only worry really is whether the Hawks can regain the form they found against the Wild—excellent D from the top-4, decent goal tending, and 4 lines contributing.

    If the Hawks can get it all working, I just don’t see how this Ducks team can beat them four times out of seven. And I will even concede Game 1 (you see, I am preparing myself for the Hawks to come out flat because of the ridiculously long layoff).

    Also, look for Perry to have his behavior set to “full douche” to try to generate PP minutes. The Hawks will need to be smart (I’m looking at you, Mr. Shaw) to stay out of the box.

    • ZigZags82

      Ducks can even come out flat too. If anything Hawks come out roaring and itching to dominate.

    • Hags

      don’t worry about the layoff, the Ducks are dealing with the exact same thing.

  • “But here’s a task for you, the reader. Do the Anaheim Ducks have a discernable top pair on defense? Do they have a discernable third pair? I’ll save you the trouble with answering that question now, no. All three pairs could be No. 1 pairs on most NHL teams.”

    D-pairs are like quarterbacks and goalies, if you have more than one top D-pair, you don’t have any. I’ve seen a lot of dumbassery written during these playoffs, much of which seems to be people trying to talk themselves in to why the Blackhawks will lose, but this is a level of idiocy I didn’t think I’d encounter.

    • Jane Doe

      Yep, this asshat is starting to rival Lambert as PD’s 1st line idiot.

  • Jane Doe

    “Yo, Sam, I’mma let you finish, but the Ducks have one of the best defenses of all time. One of best defenses of all time!” [flips the bird to TCI readers]

    -Josh Cooper

    • ZigZags82

      Salty Preds fans hahahahaha

  • TitanTransistor

    I certainly hope you’re right. I am interested to see how Q handles that 2nd line though. It’s easy enough for most teams to just hide or bury their bad possession lines, but for the Hawks, their worst possession is also one of their most potent offensive lines. Weird balance.

  • AirTrafficAJ

    Even if Andersen steals an Infinity Stone, he’d still be no match for KANELACTUS! (sorry, too lazy to photoshop Kaner’s face in there. But this guy kinda looks like Kane, at least in the chin area)

  • mightymikeD

    Josh Cooper has achieved the seemingly impossible: he’s the worst writer on a site that employs Jen Neale. That’s quite something.

    • Cooper “wins” that race because he was employed by an actual newspaper prior to his Yahoo gig. Inexcusably bad.

      • mightymikeD

        This is true. He’s semi-literate.

  • SuperHawk27

    Defense wins Championships.

    • ZigZags82

      And it’s tough to beat the Hawks defense….soooo….

  • Sopel the catfish

    I like to think the reason why Kane’s line seem to lose corsi so often is that jerk just scores right away instead of taking a bunch of shots to do it.

    • ZigZags82

      Good point good point

  • Preacher

    Wow, the Josh Cooper comment on the Ducks’ D is just….um….what’s the word? Idiotic? Foolish? Uninformed? Inconceivable?
    The only real fears I have for this series are Kesler doing serious damage by scoring a lot and Perry doing damage by injuring someone on our team. Given the way the Hawks have played these playoffs I find it very hard to see the Ducks winning 4 of 7, and pretty hard to see it even getting to a game 6. The Hawks would have to become a totally different team in so many ways. You’d need to have 5 or 6 different players totally tank. That won’t happen.
    And I think Hossa will be a scoring machine this round!

    • rhodes

      I don’t worry about Perry injuring a player the way I worry about guys like Matt Cooke or Steve Ott. Perry is a dickhead, for sure, but his style is more to cheap shot guys to provoke a reaction (you see a lot of that after the play especially around the net) or to embellish to get a call. He reminds me of the Sedins in this regard.

      IMO, it’s all done to get guys out of their game and mainly into the box. Hawks just need to ignore it for the most part.

  • To Saad be the glory

    I think the “Not sold on Crawford” comment was possibly dumber than the d comments Josh Cooper has brought the word asshat to new levels unattainable ’til now.He gets paid to write this shit? Sounds like a ducks fan who watched only ducks games all yr. Him and ducks color commentator Brian Hayward must be twins separated at birth. Not like they beat up on the weakest division in hockey for those 109 points. What a dipshit.

    • You know what, I’m so over the Crow haters that as soon as someone brings that up my immediate reaction is “LOL NO!” and then to brand them as an idiot. I know he’s not the perfect goaler the dumb people want him to be (unlike LEMONT BOY SCOTT DARLING) but if he’s ever off his game for more than a shift or two, the mouthbreathing dopes come out and act like he’s Jocelyn freakin Thibault.

      • To Saad be the glory

        Chicago Native!

  • Preacher

    I always find it interesting to read other team’s blogs during the playoffs, especially to get their read on our team. I’ve been checking out the Ducks’ SB blog and what I found was that we, the Hawks’ fans, are entitled, cocky, arrogant, bandwagoners, can’t-imagine-why-anyone-would-think-the-Ducks-have-a-chance, cocky, and entitled. Did I mention entitled? Oh, and we’re almost as bad as Boston fans.
    What do they think of the Hawks? Good players, but this is the time for a changing of the guard. And cap issues next year.

    • To Saad be the glory

      5 conf. finals in 7 yrs and 2 cups in 4 yrs,yep colored me entitled! Shits ours until someone takes it from us (or LA, #sigh). Since the ducks haven’t been this far in awhile a tall cold glass of shut the fuck up would be in order ’til they do. Boston fans lol, not like they won 1 cup and went to the final 2 times in 4 yrs. Um,ooops, never mind ducks fans. Sounds like someones fan base is envious.

      • Sopel the catfish

        Boston fans from all sports can and should fuck themselves. I can take just about any and all smack talk (gotta take what you give right?) but comparing Hawk fans to those fucks is uncalled for. Ducks are going to eat it bad for those remarks.

    • ZigZags82

      Changing of the guard? Cap blowing up the team? Uhhhh LMAO

      • WookRN

        Barring trade, we keep: Toews, Hoses, Kane, Bickell, Teuvo, Shaw, Kruger, Sharpie, Keith, Seabs and Hjammer. Yeah…..we’re SCREWED on guard change…

  • Brandon Murray

    A couple things:

    1. If it takes an entire day to stuff Kanye’s aura into the Honda Center, how long does it take to clean out that piece of trash’s stink? Kanye is quite possible the worst human being on the planet. Also a shitty musician.

    2. This bandwagon crap about Hawks fans is so tiring. Especially when it comes from St. Louis where the arena is jammed full 50% off the time but as soon as they flame out in the playoffs its “baseball season” or in Nashville where more visiting fans than home ones attend the games until they start an FBI sting operation to keep people out or in any California city where they aren’t sure they even have hockey teams until the 3rd round of the playoffs start (which at that point, 2 of the 3 are already out).

    Every city has bandwagon fans, so fuck anyone who says differently. Hawks in 6 because I can’t bear to see the Supreme Douche of the Universe Corey Perry even sniff the Cup.

  • B.I.G. Forever

    Again, I hear nonstop about the ‘BANDWAGON’ shit from other fans of other teams in other markets. The beauty of this is it always gives me a chance to tell OUR story – the story of a BlackHawks fan. And that story is one about the worst, most despicable and incompetent ownership in all of sports. That story is about Arthur and Bill Wirtz.

    What we are seeing today is the result of the greatest second act in the history of sports business. Once they hear about how the fans were treated for the better part of 49 years they seem to understand a bit more than before why so many stayed away. Why so many pulled that jersey out from the back of their closets in ’08/09′ and especially that next year. And why so many new Hawks fans have been created.

    For those of us who HAVE been around all. this. time, this run is surreal. Kane and Toews are surreal.

    I believe this is it for a while (in terms of a Stanley Cup run) but we will be back in top form within two years after this offseason.

    Hawks in 6 games and then a 3rd Stanley Cup in 5 years.

  • Aaeismacgychel

    I made it to Anaheim! Good and ready for Game 1 to finally get under way. A little surprised I saw a grand total of 1 car who had a Ducks decal/flag in the entire 6 hour trip but it is what it is. In any case, I’m psyched. Just hoping we don’t come out too rusty tomorrow.