Anaheim Ducks Drop First Three Games: Andy Sutton Injured, Andreas Lilja Signed

Liz BrownsteinContributor IOctober 12, 2010

Koivu has the only two Anaheim goals of the season, one against Nashville and one against St. Louis
Koivu has the only two Anaheim goals of the season, one against Nashville and one against St. LouisJeff Gross/Getty Images

Anaheim started off the year on the wrong foot losing the first three games of the season against Detroit, Nashville and St. Louis.  The Ducks were shut out by the Red Wings 4-0 Friday.

In a Detroit-based Joe Louis Arena that has never favored Anaheim, the enigmatic Ducks defense looked amateurish at best allowing four Detroit goals in just 40 minutes of play with Anaheim's offense failing to convert on any of the 21 shots on Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. 

Jonas Hiller looked abandoned in net facing 43 shots from the rampaging Detroit, 16 of which were power play shots.  Note that none of the 16 power play shots made it through Hiller with the one spark of hope being that Anaheim's power play units killed all of the many penalties that Anaheim took that night. 

The second game against the Predators did not spark much hope for Anaheim fans either.

Anaheim's showdown against Nashville was just as disheartening, however Anaheim did not get shut out in their second or third games.  After a scoreless opening 20 minutes, Nashville was the first to score, and a little over a minute later, Saku Koivu scored the first Duck goal of the season, tying the score at one, making the time from 5:25-8:33 in the second the first time that Anaheim was not trailing in a game. 

Nashville then scored a power play goal and a third goal in the second period alone, and in the third the Preds netted a fourth goal sealing the games goals at 4-1.

The third game was against the Blues, in St. Louis when again Anaheim fell behind by two in the first, including one bid by former-Duck Andy McDonald. 

The second was just as much of a disgrace with Crombeen putting the Blues up by three with a shorthanded goal with Koivu pulling the Ducks back within two, but that  is as close as Anaheim would get.  The third would close the game with a fifth Blues goal on the power play with the closing score 5-1.

One word to sum of the Ducks' playtime would undoubtedly be "undisciplined" with Anaheim taking more penalties than their opponents in each contest, including the top line of Getzlaf, Perry and Ryan getting in fights, three names that should never be in the penalty box when we need goals scored. 

For the first time in a long time, I am questioning the work of Randy Carlyle, because general manager Bob Murray did his absolute best to revamp a weak defense, and with so many Olympians and all-stars, how are the Ducks 0-3-0 only three games into the season?

Unfortunately, these three games also spelled the temporary end for Andy Sutton who had his broken thumb operated on and will miss six-to-eight weeks for recovery.  With Lydman and Sutton out, Murray went out on the market and wisely signed ex-Red Wing defender Andreas Lilja who has been cleared through immigration and will join the team in the next game. 

Hopefully he can relieve Vishnovsky of the outrageous minutes that were dumped on him.

There's no doubt that things need to change in the Ducks methods, if someone says otherwise, they haven't seen this group play this year.