Its Time To Play Shuffle Duck!
With only seven games remaining on the schedule, Anaheim's chances are slim to non of making it into the playoffs.
Now would be an ideal time for Randy Carlyle to begin mixing up his lines as he started doing against Vancouver and see what kind of chemistry develops between players and begin to look ahead to next season.
With the amount of talent and rookies in the Ducks line up, there should be a mixture of experience with inexperience. Carlyle has already begun to play Shuffle Duck, but these are lines I would like to see him put together;
Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry and Bobby Ryan have had good nights and bad nights. There is just too much talent on this line that mixing it up wouldn't hurt. If and when Getzlaf returns, which I hope he takes his time, I would like to see him center Corey Perry and Matt Beleskey. Both Getzlaf and Perry make Beleskey a better player and the three seem to create more opportunities together than when Ryan is on the top line.
With Getzlaf out of the line up I liked the combo of Perry and Ryan with Nick Bonino at center. What better way for Bonino to get his feet wet than with two of the Ducks top players.
Carlyle has been mixing in different wingers on the second line with Selanne and Koivu, but I like Dan Sexton on this line instead of Jason Blake. Sexton reminds me of an Andy McDonald type of player which is something Selanne is familiar with. Playing alongside both Selanne and Koivu will only create more and more opportunities for Sexton and we've seen what he can do when given those opportunities.
The third line is where the Ducks could possibly be dangerous and score some goals. Here is where I would like to see Bobby Ryan and Jason Blake be centered by Kyle Chipchura or Todd Marchant. The speed of Blake will have the defense turning their heads losing sight of Ryan.
Both Blake and Ryan's style of playing would create a plethora of scoring opportunities. This could be an exciting line to watch and possibly put some points on the board!
Troy Bodie, George Parros, Mike Brown and Ryan Carter have been taking advantage of the ice time given to them and big George has notched two goals in the previous four games.
Bodie has been impressive getting more and more playing time as well as helping on the penalty kill. He could possibly develop into the Ducks new Travis Moen.
With so many guys on the roster it is hard to see which lines will work and who should play and who should sit. Carlyle is going to have to make that difficult decision on who to play and who to scratch. When it comes down to it though, its going to be the ones that want it most and work the hardest in practice.
The Ducks mathematically are still in the playoff hunt. I don't expect them to go undefeated in the last seven games, but I do expect them to put up a fight.
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