Oct 7, 2011, 4:31 PM EDT
Teemu Selanne‘s every move was applauded in Finland on Friday, but the Anaheim Ducks’ dreadful defense stole the spotlight.
Maybe you can attribute some of their troubles to the Buffalo Sabres’ waves of quality forwards or a rusty Jonas Hiller, but Anaheim’s biggest weakness was clear in a 4-1 loss. Even considering Lubomir Visnovsky‘s impressive scoring numbers, the blueline ranked as the Ducks’ Achilles heel last season and it’s hard to imagine that changing.
Sure, 25 shots allowed isn’t bad, but the Sabres were able to assert themselves in a troubling way on three of their four goals. (Check out the video highlights at the bottom of this post for examples.)
A pillow-soft defense puts incredible pressure on the Ducks’ top-heavy offense to rack up goals and Hiller to stand on his head. That formula worked – barely – last season, but it’s dangerous to expect the team to walk that tight rope again.
Then again, there are two important qualifiers:
1. It’s just one game.
2. The Buffalo Sabres might do this to a lot of teams.
Simply put, the Sabres’ scoring depth might make a lot of defenses look silly. One cannot help but wonder if the Ducks defense will look daffy one too many times this season, though.
- After prepping for three years, Franson excited to test free agency 7
- Sabres’ Kane (shoulder) ‘ahead of schedule’ with recovery 16
- Lightning ‘answer the challenge’ in Game 7 to reach Stanley Cup Final 35
- Vigneault: McDonagh was playing with a broken foot 20
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers 76
- The Ducks got Kesler for a game like Saturday’s 32
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win 58
- DeBoer predicts ‘big bounce-back’ in San Jose 14
- Sabres name Bylsma head coach 46
- Lundqvist on Game 7: ‘You’re definitely nervous, but it comes down to teamwork’ 18
- Kesler on wearing down Chicago: ‘No human can withstand that many hits’ (77)
- Bolts strike Stanley Cup Final berth thanks to Game 7 win over Rangers (76)
- From healthy scratch to hero: Vermette scores OT winner for Blackhawks (66)
- Duchene slams Russian players for storming off after Canada’s 2015 WHC win (58)
- Report: Bylsma to Sabres being held up by compensation issue (56)