Ducks @ Islanders: Pain

What is love? Oh baby don’t hurt me, don’t hurt me, no more…

– Not the Ducks who will never stop hurting me, ever

Much to the joy of 63% of Ralph Lauren’s consumer base and 42% of America’s frat bros*, the Ducks very astutely responded to their Opening Night come-from-behind victory with a resounding defeat in New York’s equivalent to California’s Orange County: Long Island**

*Numbers are likely an underestimate.

**There’s an Orange County, New York but some dairy farmer from Middletown has nothing on a Long Island lacrosse bro in matching Huntington Beach energy.

Ducks’ Flaws Are Not Limited To Offense

Source: Natural Stat Trick

Last game, I wrote about the Ducks’ flaws with their offensive scheme while glossing over their visible defensive flaws because, in true Gibsonian manner, Gibson managed to steal a victory.

However, in spite of his Herculean efforts to keep the Ducks from going 0-82, Gibson is only human and so his regression to the mean is a perfect opportunity to talk about how the Ducks are flawed on both sides of the puck.

Aside from bad giveaways – 8 throughout the game – and being outskated by the Isles, nearly every puck battle in the defensive zone went the Islanders way. When combined with poor coverage, there is nearly nothing redeeming to say about the Ducks’ defensive play (as one might expect when allowing 7 goals). While the drubbing was a team effort, Shattenkirk (22) has particularly stood out as being five steps behind the play and was especially complicit in the Islanders’ second goal of the night.

Among the questionable decisions made by Eakins two games into this season, perhaps the most egregious is keeping Shattenkirk in during pivotal moments in the game: his penalty kill minutes were the highest on the ice among all Ducks players at 4:40 in spite of allowing 12.85 5v5 scoring chances (also the highest on the team) when adjusted for score and venue (5v5 SVA). With a SCF%* of 32.00 so far in this season vs. 49.94 in 2020-21 and 45.62 in 2021-22, we shall see whether this decline reflects a small sample size or a continuation in his regression.

*SCF%: Percentage of total Scoring Chances while that player is on the ice that are for that player’s team. SCF*100/(SCF+SCA). Source: Natural Stat Trick

At Least We Don’t Have This L

Maybe things aren’t so bad for Ducks fans after all.

Keep scrolling to learn more about Emma D.A. and follow her on Instagram at @emmaaajay 🧡

All statistics sourced from Natural Stat Trick.

Author: Emma D.A.

Emma D.A. is a doctor who grew up idolizing J.S. Giguere and Paul Kariya. As a fan of growing the sport of hockey in Southern California, she is one of the few people who actively roots for both the Ducks and the Kings. You can find her on Instagram at @emmaaajay or at a local sports bar mourning the bad luck of her favorite teams.

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