Green, Macenauer to AHL; opening-day roster takes shape.

Josh Green and Maxime Macenauer were assigned to AHL affiliate Syracuse on Monday, making them the final cuts of training camp. The Ducks have 26 players on their roster, but three (Toni Lydman, Joffrey Lupul, Jason Jaffray) are expected to start the season on injured reserve. That ought to bring Anaheim down to the league-maximum 23 active players two days ahead of the deadline.

It also clinches the team’s final forward positions for Dan Sexton and Troy Bodie, and eliminates the possibility of a third line centered by the 21-year-old Macenauer. Barring any moves between now and Friday’s season opener against Detroit, this is the team Randy Carlyle will ice against the Red Wings.

Going down the list of pre-camp questions, then:

Final roster cuts? Check.
Team captain? Ryan Getzlaf.
Team identity? Not yet.
Cam Fowler? In the NHL.
Bobby Ryan? Probably a left wing again.

There are still plenty of challenges in store – namely solidifying the defense pairings and finding three scoring lines – that Carlyle probably would like to have nailed down by now.

The Ducks’ final practice in Anaheim is tomorrow, and the team leaves Wednesday for Detroit.

Kings 8, Ducks 3.

It’s only the preseason, but Randy Carlyle could not simply brush this one off. For a moment after the Ducks’ 8-3 loss to the Kings, the coach was at a loss for words.

“We didn’t do anything to start to build on,” Carlyle said. “The
frustration; the lack of discipline, structure; we started to play
outside of our system — you’d almost think we never practiced defensive
zone coverage, when you watch the game the way we played in our own
zone.”

That’s not putting it kindly because, really, there was no way to. The insults coming from 12,520 tongues in Staples Center were almost as juicy as the rebounds coming off Curtis McElhinney’s chest pad (and there were plenty).

Each goal was a little less excusable than the one before – a 5-on-3 goal by Dustin Brown, a 5-on-4 goal by Wayne Simmonds, a Ryan Smyth backhander off a close-range rebound, a long-distance bomb by Jack Johnson. Those four gave the Kings a 4-0 lead by the end of the first period. Los Angeles held a 23-7 shots advantage after one (the tally was 18-3 at one point). After a slight Anaheim pushback in the second period, the Kings scored four straight goals to take an 8-1 lead midway through the third.

On a night that saw the Ducks’ energy line provide the most offense (the Josh Green to George Parros to Todd Marchant combination proved potent twice), Carlyle couldn’t let this one slide.

“I reacted,” he said. “Not real emotional, from a standpoint of yelling and screaming, it’s just a matter of fact the way we played is unacceptable. The lack of discipline on the first penalty. Next thing you know the momentum of everything swung in their favor. It’s 2-0 and we’re back on our heels.”
Continue reading

Vancouver 4, Ducks 1.

Roberto Luongo was in midseason form – playoff form, at times – as the Canucks spoiled the preseason debuts of Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Todd Marchant in Vancouver. Luongo’s 28-save performance handed the Ducks their second loss of the preseason, following back-to-back wins over the San Jose Sharks.

Selanne and Bobby Ryan were linemates, as expected, until late in the third period. That’s when the Ducks got their only goal – except it was the fourth line of Trevor Smith, Josh Green and George Parros that finally solved Luongo, with Green re-directing a Sheldon Brookbank slapshot in front of the net with 7:18 left.

Henrik Sedin, Guillaume Desbiens, Daniel Sedin and Jordan Schroeder scored goals on Jonas Hiller (21 saves), whose best chance of stopping any of the four came on Daniel Sedin’s second-period, mano-a-mano slapshot. Yet even that scoring chance was created by a careless play by Selanne, who turned the puck over in the neutral zone.

The Ducks return home to play the Kings on Tuesday night at Staples Center.

More notes from Day 3.

A few notes from Day 3 of camp, easily the most interesting of the three days so far:

The politically correct locker-room term is “chippiness.” Call it what you will – 6-foot-6 defenseman Andy Sutton had to be separated from a couple teammates after making contact in open ice, and Corey Perry punched Dan Sexton in the head during the scrimmage.

Sexton upended Perry along the boards during the first 30-minute scrimmage session, sending both tumbling to the ice. Perry didn’t like it, and jabbed his teammate’s helmet. He also poked his stick into Sexton’s back as the two reached the bench. The 5-foot-9, 165-pound Sexton didn’t retaliate either time. Said head coach Randy Carlyle, “guys get tired playing and practicing against one another. We always call the third day of training camp the ‘hump day.’ … They get a little grouchy playing against one another.”

Teemu Selanne scored past two goalies with one shot. How? The black team was in the middle of a goalie change (Igor Bobkov was about to be replaced by Curtis McElhinney) when Selanne put a backhand on net. The two netminders exchanged an awkward look, sort of like that “I got it/you take it” look between two infielders deciding who should catch a pop fly. No one touched the puck as it slid into the empty net.

Selanne scored another goal, and Maxime Macenauer, Lubomir Visnovsky, Josh Green, Danny Syvret, Rob Bordson, Corey Perry and Sexton all scored one each in the White Team’s 7-2 win.