I logged in some more time over at Anaheim Calling again this past weekend. This time it was the offense I tackled. Those of you who haven’t made it over there yet, go on and see if you agree with my assessment or not. You can comment there or here, it doesn’t matter, I’ll see it either way. :)
Archive for January 2011
Dear Crunch Fan,
As I write this, I have a mere two weeks left in my hockey season. For that reason, I thought it was time to come back home for the first time in a long time. Read the rest of this entry »
On Jason’s show tonight, injured d-man Newton made a comment that the coaching staff has been some of the most positive people around the players during this frustrating season. He said, and I quote, “…(during) a three game losing streak, we’d expect to go in and run down and backs after a loss, but instead the coaches would say, ‘all right, guys, that game’s done, let’s move on and work hard today.’” There are, apparently, no punishment sessions at practice at all, ever.
Now, I’m not one who believes that these guys should be punished all the time just because they’re losing. There are fans who are calling for an end to community appearances and games played at practice–such as the strip shootout that was reported last week–and I’ll admit, I don’t think that’s the answer. You can’t make these guys dread their life. Hockey is what they do. They can’t be afraid to wake up and go to work in the morning.
But, is there something to be said for having a practice where they run punishment drills after they’ve had a bad game? I’m curious how the fans feel about this. Personally, I don’t really like that these coaches seem soft on the players. As I said, I don’t think the players should live in fear. But, I do think there should be accountability and some kind of consequence during practice if games aren’t going well. This is their job, and right now many of them are not performing well. Therefore, shouldn’t there be consequences?
But, playing devil’s advocate here, I must ask the question: is losing enough of a consequence? We’ve had teams in the past where the practices have been punishing, and yet all it seemed to do was embitter and wear out the players. The coaches we have this season seem to think that it’s smart to let a loss speak for itself, and not “rub it in,” as it were, the next day. Maybe they’re right, as these are young guys and you don’t want to sour them too soon.
What do you think?
1. Our inconsistent PP has been a silent killer of games this season. I don’t often notice PP stats, especially when the team is on the road and I’m not at the arena watching the games. But I know that when our PP is on and scoring goals, we win games. Matches like tonight, when our man-up unit doesn’t score, become uneven and generally without momentum. We all know whistles kill momentum, but then we also know PP goals build it back up. Goal-less PP units majorly slow us down, and this team is not a team that can bounce back from being slowed down. We need to hold the momentum for pretty much the whole game in order to win. This is why a PP that can score is so important to us right now.
2. I don’t really like the idea of passing the “C” around like a bucket of candy. To me, the only person who should wear the “C” is our permanent captain. There shouldn’t be an “interim” captain, unless this injury is a hell of a lot worse than we’re being told and DiPenta is out for the season. And you know, even if he is out of the season, I think I’d still prefer three alternates for the remainder. Screw this replacement captain bull shit. The captaincy is a mark of honor, earned by one player–one player only–who kicks ass.* Passing it around diminishes the importance and rarity of the role. You only have one captain per team. There’s a reason for this.
*This rule does not apply to anyone with a last name that begins with “Push-” and ends with “-or”.
3. I don’t know anything else about this Jason Jaffray thing than what we’ve been told by the media, but that alone makes me suspect of any and all “information” (read: opinions). We don’t know what’s going on. It’s pointless to speculate (read: get pissed) until we do. However, IF he does get dumped, I do want to say that I don’t necessarily agree it would be another example of the Ducks screwing Syracuse. How can you screw us out of something we never had? It’s not like he played for us, was awesome, and then was suddenly gone one day. He hasn’t put on a Syracuse jersey yet. I think it’s pointless to waste energy hopping up and down over potentially losing unproven (in Syracuse) potential.
4. Cheetah and Chuk shared this opinion with me a few weeks ago, and I think I’m beginning to see what they mean: all NHL clubs treat their AHL clubs pretty much the same. Although I still feel that our anger at CBJ was justified more times than not, I’m also beginning to see that there is no holy grail of parent clubs. Unless you’re a team like the Bears (and Hershey fans, correct me if I’m wrong, but this is the impression I’ve gotten) who have some kind of autonomy and control of their roster (read: money they are allowed to spend), you are going to constantly find yourself on the wrong end of hockey business decisions. There’s a lot of anger out there at the Ducks right now. We have AHL “writers” on Twitter already nudging Crunch fans into looking at other parent clubs for future years who could be/should be/might be/potentially be better than ANA. But really, I think some maturity and common sense is called for here.
Which leads me to…
5. Fact is, the AHL is a tough league to be a fan of. It’s difficult to imagine a situation where fans are going to be thrilled all season with the decisions made for them. In fact, we’re pretty much screwed from the start, as no one is usually thrilled with decisions made for them, not by them. We like to have control over our lives, or at least be able to revel in the illusion. But to get real control in the AHL, you need to go independent. There’s been some talk about Rochester going that way. If they do, I hope it works out for them. But I firmly believe that going independent is a very bad idea. Independent teams have a host of new problems they have to deal with, including players who are just playing to get out of that town (because, really, they’re just biding their time until someone picks them up), a roster that changes pretty much daily, players with no loyalty or need for dedication, fans with no one to look to for answers, a roster made of “bottom of the barrel” leftovers that no other team wanted…the list goes on. There are positives out there, and I’m sure someone will bring them up. But, unless you have money you are allowed to spend, there’s just no real answer other than to trust a parent club.
6. Sometimes I think I’ve been a Crunch fan for so long that I only perpetuate it because I wouldn’t know who I was if I stopped. I’ve been going to the games for 7 years. I talk about the team constantly. I know more about this sport than I thought I’d ever know about anything. I’ve met a lot of good people through this team. I’ve become so close to my two best friends that we’re practically the same person because of this. It’s part of my wardrobe choices, my bedroom and office decor, my font colors, my computer desktop, my username on social networking sites, my memories, my social schedule, my vacation plans. It influences almost every part of my life. Most people around here, whether it be in the neighborhood, at church, or at work know me as “The Crunch Fan.” What would I do if I chose to lose that? What would I be? Who would I be?
Am I just scared to find out?
This last one I’m putting behind a jump because it mentions a player I’ve gotten yelled at for “continually” talking about. You don’t want to read it, don’t click “more.” I will not approve any comments that yell at me for talking about it again, because I warned you.