Gamedays against California teams are fun because
fuck California there's always two blogs covering the team and twice as much coverage for our enemies. Last time we did this, nobody read the answers from our Battle of California correspondent Get'rDunn because they sucked the game happened too early in the day for everybody to be awake. Everybody gets another chance today as we've got Jared Dobias to answer questions about the Ducks.
1. No lie, I was seriously going to ask you to come up with another name for the Ducks that isn't so dumb, but Get'rDunn beat me to it. Instead, I'm going to ask you what you'd rename the other two California teams if given the authority.
I'm assuming you want some real answers and not a weak attempt at an insult like the San Jose Shitbags, so I'll go retro with this one. For LA, I'd go with the Los Angeles Sharks from the WHA days (thereby combining the two lesser California teams in to one), mainly because their old WHA jerseys are awesome.
San Jose, in keeping with the retro theme, would then become the Oakland Seals. I know you only gave me authority to rename and not relocate, but I'm hoping that by renaming them, it'll take care of itself and they'll decide on their own to relocate.
Patrick Marleau would look darling in those white skates.
2. To what would you attribute the Ducks' good start this season?
I think it's primarily the work of Bruce Boudreau. Unlike what some believe, I don't think Randy Carlyle was a particularly awful coach, but there's no question that he had lost his locker room. With a new coach who is now actually being listened to, and the much more reasonable training camp he brought (Carlyle's training camps were apparently so grueling that the team was exhausted by the time the season opened) combined with it being shortened as it was by the lockout allowed the Ducks to come out the gate strong, as opposed to making us all wait until the second half of the season for them to get going, as has been the case so often in the past. Though I guess technically this is the second half of the season... Thanks, lockout.
Boudreau has managed to get production out of all four lines, instead of putting all of the pressure on Ryan, Getzlaf, and Perry and working that first line to the ground. The more balanced approach is a no-brainer of course, but thankfully Boudreau's found a way for the team to get there whereas we simply haven't been close in the past.
3. Could you describe the level of dislike the fanbase feels for Justin Schultz after he held out for long enough to become a UFA just to avoid signing with the Ducks and then chose Edmonton over Anaheim? I mean... that seems kind of dumb to pick Edmonton.
After leading the franchise on for years (and promising our GM he would sign with Anaheim in the months leading to him jumping ship), Ducks fans would have hated Schultz either way. But the LeBron James-esque spectacle he created while stoking the media hype surrounding his poor decision certainly didn't help matters.
In an old Ducks blog I used to edit before coming to Battle of California, I documented some of the hate directed at Schultz coming from the Ducks' fanbase. This would later be discussed on Edmonton radio waves, used as evidence of how undignified Ducks fans must be (but please ignore Edmonton's reaction to Pronger's move to Anaheim, that's different).
Anyway, it's too bad that the lockout wiped out an early season matchup at the Honda Center with the Oilers, as it would have been a great reception for Schultz. We still get to see Edmonton in Anaheim in April, and while I'm sure there will still be a lot of passionate fans to greet Schultz, I can't help but think it won't be as lively as it could have been with it all as fresh in everyone's minds as it would have been in October.