It's still so early in the season that before every game I'm nervous and slightly panicked. I'm worried that the team is going to skate onto the ice, dance around for 60 minutes and I'm going to wonder who the hell they are.
Who am I kidding. I feel that way for 82 games.
It's been an insanely long time since I can remember feeling this good after a stretch of games, and this team is certainly starting to make me feel good. Please don't let this be an illusion.
For a tired Anaheim bunch, they definitely played hard and pushed the envelope...far too many times perhaps. Regardless, they're starting to take advantage of, dare I say, weaker teams. I know it's early, but come on, beating San Jose is just awesome.
Lets change it up and start with some GREAT!
- Beating San Jose for the second time in three nights and taking 4 standing points...EXCELLENT, AWESOME, FABULOUS, OUTSTANDING!
- Teemu Selanne finally breaks through to score two goals early on. His first goal of the night puts him 5th all time in the NHL with power play goals (now tied with Brendan Shanahan at 237). No reason he can't score a few more and climb that list. He's one goal away from 640, putting him at 13th all time. Even better, if it means the second line starts clicking, sign that guy up for a few more tallies.
- Dan Ellis came out and played like a rockstar. He doesn't want to be overlooked on that bench, and he's making a strong case. 20 or so games from this guy seems like a pretty decent option right now.
- Super physical game despite the back-to-back for Anaheim. The big hits are starting to remind me a bit of this hockey team I saw play in 2006-07.
- Too many power play opportunities and not enough scoring. The Ducks had multiple back to back opportunities in the first period and barely found the net. Even worse, they didn't find themselves with many more opportunities throughout the night. They've got to find a way to make those moments count.
- Delay of game penalties are killer. Thankfully, the Ducks penalty kill has been outstanding.
- Scary final moments in the game where the team was unable to clear the puck from the zone. It's definitely something the team has improved upon thus far, but I'm not really looking to have a heart-attack this early in the season, boys.
- A close game and extra time on the PK meant extra time on the bench for both George Parros and Matt Beleskey who eeked out about 3 minutes each. That's extremely unfortunate for Beleskey who could use some offensive zone time to regain his confidence and get his name back on the "good" list with the coaching staff.
- Face-offs are continuing to be a real problem. Thankfully Saku Koivu was able to win 15-28(54%) of his, but Andrew Cogliano lost all 6 of his face-offs, and Ryan Getzlaf was a paltry 3-9 (33%). It's a good thing Koivu is doing a bulk of the work there, but come on guys, somethings gotta give.
- Scary-ass close calls that made everyone hold their breath. Lubomir Visnovksy limps to the bench and doesn't play in the final minutes of the first period leaving Ducks fans freaked. Francois Beauchemin leaves the ice bleeding all to reminiscent of Ryan Getzlaf getting hit in the face with the puck. To throw some "good" out there...thankfully they both returned to action.
- All of those penalties lead to way too many shots against. Understandable that with bad penalties come excessive shots, but why push the envelope? Whether the shot total makes sense or not (6 PP opportunities for San Jose versus only 3 for Anaheim), San Jose nearly doubled up on Anaheim 43 (SJ) 22 (Ana).
The team doesn't have another game until they face Dallas on Friday. Expect a rested Ducks team to come out firing. At least they'd better come out firing.