Oct 7, 2011, 4:31 PM EST
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.
- Blue Jackets proud as Columbus shows it’s a hockey town 7
- From contract dispute to All-Star MVP, Johansen’s had quite the year 13
- Marc-Andre Fleury would like to remind the Columbus crowd that the Penguins beat the Blue Jackets in the playoffs 23
- Cannonball Run…and gun: Team Toews wins highest-scoring game in ASG history 22
- Supercut: Every goal from the highest-scoring period in All-Star Game history 5
- Video: Team Foligno survives shootout, wins Skills Competition 4
- Video: Weber wins hardest shot with 108.5 mph blast 13
- Video: Lightning’s Drouin wins fastest skater 7
- WATCH LIVE: NHL All-Star Skills Competition 2
- Will the Youngstars even have a chance? (Updated) 12
- Columnist: Flyers ‘orchestrated’ fight night versus Pens during meal at ‘a local steakhouse’ (130)
- Flyers’ Rinaldo: ‘I changed the whole game, man’ (112)
- Video: Rinaldo tossed for boarding Letang (79)
- Report: Flyers’ Rinaldo waives right to an in-person hearing (61)
- Video: NHL offers Flyers’ Rinaldo in-person hearing (57)