Well...so much for positivity. I won't bore you with long analysis, that's what good/bad/ugly is for. I will say I think this is the best game the Ducks have played in a long time. I was very pleased that they didn't role over and die when things got tough. They kept coming; the top line kept hitting. The third and fourth line both got shifts in the final 5 minutes of the game.
Maybe it was just me, but I think the only thing I didn't like about the way we played tonight was that we lost. I suppose when you're losing every mistake ends up in the back of the net, and that's exactly what happened tonight. The Ducks didn't play a perfect game, but they played a good one. Unfortunately, it wasn't good enough to win. Alright, lets try this good/bad/ugly thing, please forgive my unconventional observations.
Ok...let's get back to this one.
Deflections: When things are going bad, the bounces are against you, and the Ducks seem to be victims. Luca Sbisa deflects a puck passed Jonas HIller for the second goal; Cam Fowler doesn't tie up Joey Crabb's stick for the third goal - a deflection. The empty net goal at the end deflected off of Ryan Getzlaf. I saw countless tips go just wide in the offensive zone. The past few games the Ducks haven't been able to get too many lucky bounces, remember Devante Smith-Pelly putting the puck off the shift of Jimmy Howard's goal stick? The Ducks have been the victims of these types of plays for the entirety of this streak. Tonight it just seemed to stand out to me.
Brian Hayward: I swear by the great feats of Paul Kariya if I have to listen to this man say "Gee, the Ducks just can't buy one", one more time, I channel my inner Barstool Bob and throw a chair at the man. I love Hayzie, but the man just isn't helping. I imagine it's difficult to say something different when you keep seeing the same things happen over and over again, but, as a fan, I need a little variety to keep me interested.
Hiller's stats: Robby mentioned this in the thread, and I have to agree. Poor Hiller has been left abandoned on so many goals this season. You have to wonder if eventually he's going to be like Token in that "Lord of the Rings" episode in South Park, walk into the locker room and say "I'm out".
The Movemeber Mustaches: I can't be the only person who thinks those mustaches are the source of all our bad magumbo, right? Ever since these guys started growing the facial hair the losses have piled up. Maybe it's just me being paranoid, but I'm starting to believe that when the 'staches go, so do our losing ways.
The losses: I don't know who or what to blame. I could blame Murray for over estimating the talent on this team. I could blame Carlyle for not squeezing more out of the roster. I could blame Getzlaf for not playing desperate until the last two games, or the entire roster minus Teemu for simply not meeting expectations. At this point, I don't care. I just want the losses to cease. Everything is going against the Ducks at this point, and it just needs to stop.
The Good...For Reals:
Devo's game keeps improving: Once he finally starts cracking the score sheet, I think he'll get his crack at the top line. I would have rather seen him there than Matt Beleskey late in this game. The kid always goes to the front of the net and isn't afraid to take a shot. He's been the best thing about this season, in my opinion. He'll be a good player in this league, and that makes me nervous, because the second good thing is...
Someone is getting traded: The season is still salvageable, but only if Murray acts now, and I imagine he will. Personally, I don't think the Ducks need to make a major deal. However, they'll have to move a prospect because they don't have any picks. The Ducks still need that good defensive center that can be counted on to shutdown the other team's top line. They need someone Carlyle can roll over the boards to preserve leads. Either that, or they need to package Bobby Ryan for an elite defenseaman. If Toronto doesn't offer Dion Phaneuf or Luke Schenn, they don't get Bobby. Boston doesn't want to part with Zdeno Chara or Dennis Seidenberg, so they can't have him either. In a trade, it's important to get the best player. Murray has to make sure he does that. No matter who gets moved. A change will come and hopefully it's enough to get the Ducks out of this funk.