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Dallas Stars v Anaheim Ducks: Q&A with Battle of California

Fresh off a 2-0 loss to the St. Louis Blues, the Anaheim Ducks make their way into Dallas for the first of three meetings this season. We talk to the ever reliable Jer Dobias of SB Nation blog Battle of California about Coach Kirby and his flock of waterfowl...

Bruce Boudreau runs the Ducks through a typical practice session.
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The Anaheim Ducks were terrible to start this season. And then they became really quite good. There's hope though that they've become terrible again, and I think the scoring of two goals total in their last three games can back me up on that one. Who knows? Either they break out of their scoring slump tonight (very likely, given the Stars charitable work this season in the giving of goals department) or they become the terrible team we all so dearly wish them to be. Time will tell.

Just so you all know, I called in backup for this one. I had a few questions ready to ask, but then Obscene Alex had a few more questions to ask, which made me think of a few more, and finally we ended up burying Jer under a deluge of questions about the team he for some obscure reason supports. Jer Dobias, if you don't know already, writes for the humor blog Battle of California, which is really the only way the Ducks should ever be written about. Anyone who writes about the Ducks in earnestness is, quite frankly, a terrible person. Oh, and for all of you keeping count out there, these questions were all asked and answered before the Ducks played the St. Louis Blues last night. So yes. The Ducks record is worse than stated herein.

Anyway, my our questions, his answers:

1. The Ducks beat the Blackhawks on Tuesday, scoring a measly 1 goal in the process. So you know, the Stars don't participate in such boring games. Do you think the Ducks can live up to the Stars' high standards by both scoring and allowing at least 3 goals tonight?

At the time of this writing (prior to the Ducks' game against St. Louis) it's too early to guess who will be in net, but Andersen is looking at a GAA of 1.69, and John Gibson, even after his numbers being skewed by the meltdown in Pittsburgh, is at 2.33. The Ducks have scored 3 or more goals in 8 of their 10 games (only two of the 8 being less than 4). As a Ducks fan I wouldn't be too worried about it, even if the Stars actually had a decent netminder. Instead, they have Kari Lehtonen

2. Help me complete the rhyme: ____ the Ducks.

Ryan Kesler, formerly of the Canucks, traded to the Ducks.

3. Anaheim might be 8-2 on the season, but you did recently lose to the Sharks on home ice in embarrassing fashion. How does this make you feel?

The Sharks were on a losing streak, and had just suffered a pretty worrying defeat courtesy of Buffalo. The Ducks were nice enough to take the hit to get them back in their groove. It's a good idea to ensure that your own division remains competitive, otherwise you end up with the type of bush league dog and pony show they have out East, with one or two mediocre teams dominating a crop of unwatchable clubs.  [Ed. Note: Summary: it makes him feel bad. - OA]

4. Any truth to the rumor that Bruce Boudreau is actually Sontarian Commander Strax from Dr Who?

No, but rumors that he's actually Nintendo's Kirby are still being investigated.

5. And following on from that, Boudreau has never coached a team past the second round of the playoffs. Are you afraid that with him at the helm the Ducks will soon gain a reputation akin to that of the Sharks?

There are 30 other head coaches in the league; they're not all going to make it to the finals every year. For example, the last time Stars coach Lindy Ruff made it past the 2nd round was a year before Boudreau even started his first NHL coaching job. Boudreau has done great things with this team [Ed. Note: he means in the regular season - OA] and I'm excited to watch him progress.

6. The Ducks' dynamic duo of Perry and Getzlaf is being out-dynamiced by the Stars' Benn and Seguin. Are Perry and Getzlaf really on the wane?

Perry and Getzlaf combined for 169 points last season, and Seguin and Benn combined for 163. Pretty comparable, and it's continuing on to this season: As of me typing this response (prior to the Ducks' game against St. Louis Thursday night), Perry and Getz are at 24 points and Seguin and Benn are at 26. [Ed. note: For the record, Perry and Getzlaf's point totals didn't change after that game against St. Louis.] Pretty tight race, and it's a little too early in the season to be celebrating anything.

What's important is that, when it actually mattered, Perry and Getzlaf absolutely embarrassed Benn and Seguin. In their head-to-head playoff series last season, Perry and Getzlaf earned a combined 14 points. Benn and Seguin barely showed up, with a combined 8. Both Perry and Getz individually almost got as many points as Benn and Seguin did combined.

If Perry and Getzlaf are on the wane, but they're still able to make fools for your dynamic duo, I'm okay with it.

7. And speaking of Perry, what is his obsession with poking groins?

What? Who would ever do such a thing? [Ed. Note: Look at Perry in that video, acting as though a shot right there would even hurt him. ]

8. John Gibson was recently sent down to the AHL, prompting me to drop him from my fantasy team. Then after a weekend's holiday in wherever your AHL team is located, he returned to the team and shutout the Blackhawks. Enlighten me as to this curious goaltending situation.

Look, sometimes backup goaltenders, especially young inexperienced ones who need a confidence boost, go back to the AHL for conditioning. I'm not sure what else to tell you... I don't think I'm going to be able to help you out with your misguided fantasy strategy. [Ed. note: Forgive me for missing the memo where getting demoted after having a poor pre-season and allowing six goals in the season opener is now referred to as 'conditioning.']

In all honesty, I've been pleasantly surprised with our goaltending situation, but it's very early and I'm waiting for the other skate to drop.

9. The St. Louis Blues swung through Dallas on Tuesday, still complaining of feeling a bit sick after touring SoCal. What did you guys do to them?

Like the Wild, who also battled an illness, they had the misfortune of swinging through the Staples Center on their trip out West. I'm not sure how, but obviously LA's slovenly, unshowered fans let some sort of bacterial infection spill in to the Kings' locker room. I'm happy that the Ducks are on a road trip now, before it finds its way down the freeway to the Honda Center. [Ed. Note: I heard Dustin Brown got it from Wild Wing - OA]

10. [Ed. Note: Due to its obscene nature, the following question has been omitted. You can find it in its entirety at III Communication, where Obscene Alex is actually allowed to write.]

11. And lastly, how badly will the Ducks lose tonight's game?

To be fair, I wouldn't be surprised by a loss tonight. The Ducks will probably take this game off to rest a bit after their St. Louis matchup. Ducks tend to play down to competition, and they're not going to focus much on a team like the Stars who are easily neutralized come playoffs. [Ed. Note: Pot? Kettle? Black?]