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.
- BREAKING: Kessel traded to the Penguins 8
- Oilers get Sekera for six years, closing in on Letestu 4
- Avalanche sign veteran d-man Beauchemin for three years 5
- Neely was ‘surprised’ that Hamilton didn’t want to sign with Bruins 11
- PHT’s 2015 free agent frenzy tracker 26
- NHL, Coyotes deny report that team is moving to Vegas 32
- Report: Richards’ border incident involved oxycodone 63
- Trade: Bieksa headed to California — but it’s Anaheim, not San Jose 25
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago 91
- Hamilton signs six-year deal with Flames 19
- Trade: Flyers send Rinaldo to Bruins for 2017 third-rounder (105)
- Trade: Jackets land Saad, Anisimov and Dano headed to Chicago (91)
- Bypassing a buyout? Kings terminate Richards’ contract for ‘material breach’ (90)
- Trade: Flames land Dougie Hamilton for package of picks (75)
- Trade: Busy Bruins send Lucic to Kings (66)