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.
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head 111
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller 94
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ 105
- Lecavalier out 3-4 weeks with non-displaced fracture in back 8
- Islanders players hold closed-door meeting after ninth straight loss 14
- Penguins’ Neal has phone hearing for knee on Bruins’ Marchand 89
- Shawn Thornton confirms hearing with NHL Department of Player Safety (Updated) 87
- Video: Penguins’ Neal knees Bruins’ Marchand 69
- Penguins announce Brooks Orpik ‘alert and conscious’ (Updated) 47
- Shawn Thornton: ‘People could probably criticize that I’m a little too honorable’ 78
- Video: Penguins’ Orpik stretchered off ice; Bruins’ Thornton given match penalty (180)
- Pens put Orpik on IR (126)
- Neal suspended five games for kneeing Marchand in the head (119)
- Bruins coach admits Thornton crossed the line, slams Pens for not being ‘truthful’ (105)
- Report: Dion Phaneuf will face hearing for hit on Kevan Miller (95)