Another game, another disappointing effort by the Ducks. Similar to last night's affair in Nashville, the Ducks fell behind early and were really never able to recover. They did manage to tie the game up in the first period on a great 2-on-1 from Teemu Selanne and Bobby Ryan, but once Columbus started throwing the body around, Anaheim lost all composure.
By the time the dust had settled, the Ducks racked up 28 penalty minutes and found themselves giving Columbus their second win of the year. As bad as 3-1 score looks, the real truth is that the game was never even that close.The Good
- The Bobby Ryan - Saku Koivu - Teemu Selanne line was responsible for the Ducks' only goal of the evening and was once again the most potent line while they were together. All three members of that line finished with a +1 rating and the trio recorded 6 SOG.
- Cam Fowler had a strong game, skating circles around the Blue Jackets forecheck. He seemed to be the only effective Ducks defenseman on the ice tonight and he also finished with a +1 rating.
- I thought the third line made some solid contributions tonight, with Andrew Cogliano, in particular, generating some offensive chances. Cogliano also stunned the world when he dropped the gloves and went toe-to-toe with Kris Russell.
- While I personally think he should have stopped the second goal, Dan Ellis played well tonight. He made some timely saves to keep the Ducks in the game and he certainly was not the reason (or even one of them) that the Ducks lost tonight.
- Yet again, the Ducks gave up an early goal that seemed to shake their confidence. Columbus capitalized at the 1:36 mark on a 5-on-3 power play as Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu were both in the box for high sticking and boarding, respectively.
- The Ducks only managed 20 SOG through three periods. While Columbus should certainly be lauded for blocking 18 shots (!!!), the Ducks just couldn't get any sustained offensive possessions. When they did manage to get shots through, they were either weak efforts from the perimeter or were gobbled up by Steve Mason (who had apparently decided to dress up as Steve Mason circa 2008-2009 for Halloween).
- The power play, which appeared to be back on track earlier on this road trip, now looks just as lost as it did in the first few games this season. Neither unit was able to ever get established on their three chances with the man advantage and it probably didn't help that Ryan Getzlaf was more interested in jawing than quarterbacking the PP (more on that below).
- This team just has no composure right now. Just as they were knocked off their game last night by a couple of hard shots from the Predators, the Ducks once again lost all focus when Columbus started taking the body. I mentioned this at BOC, but it feels like we've got a bunch of drunk frat boys as hockey players. Any time someone even remotely challenges them, the first instinct is to go into tough-guy mode and completely lose sight of the task at hand.
- Corey Perry and Ryan Getzlaf have to be more disciplined. This team is barely scoring goals as it is; we really can't afford to have two of our most talented players voluntarily take themselves out of the game. Getzlaf decided to fight Cody Bass and Perry retaliated after the whistle to earn himself a minor penalty for roughing. There's a line between standing up for yourself and getting goaded into dumb penalties. These two need to find it, quick.
- The overall lack of offense is starting to become a legitimate concern. After tonight's lone goal, the Ducks are managing a measly 1.91 goals per game. Just how bad is that? Only the Minnesota Wild have had a harder time finding the back of the net than Anaheim. I don't pretend to know how to fix this situation, but it seems that we're not attacking the net when we do have the puck. It feels like teams are constantly pushing us to the edges and we're really not able to generate much from there. On the off chance that a goalie kicks out a rebound, there's rarely someone in the slot to capitalize on it.