To expand on Sophia’s video above, we have noticed the Ducks seem to take the same approach to starting each series: Grind the other team’s defence into dust.
The game plan for all three of the Game 1’s Anaheim has played so far is to attack the defence right away in the first period. Out of the 21 hits the Ducks laid on Jets defenders in Game 1 of their first series, 10 were in the first period. Every Jets defender was hit at least once in the opening frame, with Tyler Myers getting hit three times.
By the end of the third period, the Ducks had targeted Tobias Enstrom the most with six hits against, while Byfuglien, Myers, and Ben Chiarot were hit four times apiece.
Anaheim was even more predatory with Calgary. Supposedly TJ Brodie was playing with an ankle injury, which perhaps slowed him down just enough for the Ducks to hammer him seven times in Game 1. Five of those hits came in the first period. Dennis Wideman also got hit five times, four of which were in period one.
On to Round 3. The Michal Rozsival injury hurt a Blackhawks defence core that was already giving limited minutes to aging Kimmo Timonen. You might think the obvious target for the Ducks’ attack would be Duncan Keith given that he is undeniably the Blackhawks’ top blueliner. Well the problem with that is…
The Ducks managed to hit Keith only twice in the first period. The guy they chose to pick on instead was Niklas Hjalmarsson. The Ducks hit Hjalmarsson eight times in Game 1, five of which were in the first period. Brent Seabrook faced an unpleasant five hits in Game 1.
The Stanley Cup Playoffs are a time where you have to be playing your best. The Ducks seem hellbent on preventing whoever they meet from being able to do that. Unfortunately for Anaheim…