November – The month of the Ducks’ first loss (I think)

You know, as a blogger who really has no better skill than his ability to complain, the month of October has been a somewhat tough one for me. Don’t get me wrong, I’m ecstatic to see the Ducks march their way to NHL elitism, but the more the team continues to get points, the more I have to bite my tongue about problems I see with the squad.

Well, my bitten tongue has had enough! Here’s three issues that haven’t hurt the Ducks yet:

Bad news: Teemu Selanne hasn’t scored a goal in his last 10 games. Just for reference, the fewest goals that Teemu scored in any 10-game segment last year was 2. Then again, per Hockey Analysis, Teemu was the best offensive force in the NHL last year (given his linemates and opposition). Still, of the Ducks who have played all 12 October games this season, only Joe DiPenta trails Teemu in the goal-scoring department.

Bright side: Aside from the fact that we’re winning, the less Selanne is able to hit his undisclosed performance bonuses, the more money and cap space Brian Burke saves.

Bad news: The Ducks love their penalty box, giving their opponent (on average) an additional two minutes of PP time per game. In the last four games, it has gotten even worse, as opponents have enjoyed an average additional four minutes of PP time per game to work with. The last three games combined, opponents have enjoyed more than 5 minutes of 5-on-3 time, as well.

Bright side: Potency, potency. Over these last four games, Anaheim has still kept pace with its opponents (3 PPG for in 25:45, 3 PPG against in 42:03), despite the discrepancy in PP time.

Bad news: Ilya Bryzgalov can’t catch a break. Despite the fact that the Russian has better numbers (GAA 1.22, sv% .952) than the "league leaders" (Garon GAA 1.72, Fernandez sv% .942), the guy can’t qualify to be on the leaderboard because he’s only played 2 ½ games. This after being the best statistical goaltender in the last playoffs (GAA 1.46, sv% .944) (Ward GAA 2.14, Huet sv% .929). Oh, and as for the Ducks and their miserable-but-improving shootout history, it should be mentioned that Bryzgalov has yet to go to a shootout in his 34 post-lockout starts.

Bright side: Our second-best starting goaltender has been incredible also (GAA 2.12, sv% .928) against better competition.

BOTTOM LINE: Everyone say it together now: "Shut up, Sleek, and enjoy the results."

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