I'm angry. There is no way I can spin this into something positive because it's the same f#$@ing story every single game.
In the beginning quarter of this season, the Ducks were getting blown out. They were unable to create any offense on a team that has five players that scored 65+ points last year. Ridiculous. Now in the second quarter of the season, they have a new coach, can score goals, but can't protect leads to save their life. Inexcusable. If it wasn't the coach, then what is it? Lack of confidence? Poor construction of a team? A void in leadership? To all that I call BS.
Time to pull your heads out of your collective asses, Ducks (Teemu not included). You're a joke. When your fans are pulling for Columbus to lose every night just because they don't want to be in last place, you should be ashamed of yourselves. And fans have every right to be angry. We pay the money for tickets and merchandise only to see a group of athletes come out and half ass it through parts of the game. It shouldn't be a mystery why Honda Center is only half full, or when it is full, it's 75% fans of the visiting team - play like crap and get crap in return.
I'm tired of the excuses and the idiotic sports cliches to describe what the team is going through. Just act like you care for the entire game. I wouldn't be pissed off if no one on the team took a shift off or got depressed when things start going bad. You're professional athletes, not emergency room doctors. People do not die because the opponent scored a goal. Do your job, do it well, and be grateful for the talent you've been blessed with.
(Actual game notes after the jump, I promise.)
-- If it wasn't for Teemu Selanne, who knows how much worse the Ducks record would be. When all seemed lost after Dallas scored two quick goals while on consecutive power plays taking the score to 3-0, Teemu got the scoring going on the power play, taking his scoring streak to nine consecutive games. Like most games, his teammates followed suit scoring two goals to tie the score at 3-3 going into the third period.
-- The line I thought played the best tonight was the line that gets paid (and plays) the least - Kyle Palmieri, Nick Bonino, and Matt Beleskey. Incidentally, the were the only players to be in the plus column tonight. If any of the older players need inspiration, they should look at these three kids. They are all out every single shift because they know their spots on the team aren't secure. Sure they make some dumb mistakes, but the intensity and drive are there.
-- Finally we're seeing some consistency on the power play. The PP unit went 2 for 3 tonight, thanks to sneaky shot by Teemu and a bomb by Lubo. Having Lubo back on the power play has been a gift, but that's about it (more on that later).
-- I think we all can agree that Corey Perry can handle himself when things start getting physical after the play. Since George Parros sees about as much ice time as I do, he's not out there late in the games when Perry gets under the skin of teams the most. I was happy to see Nicklas Hagman get in between a couple Stars when they started retaliating against Perry. Ryan Getzlaf started to do the same, but he took it too far earning himself yet another late in the game stupid penalty. Lesser players should always stick up for the stars, regardless of how much of a prick said star is. I'd rather have a Hagman in the box than a Perry.
-- I said it in the recap a couple nights ago, but Andrew Cogliano is becoming worse and worse each game. As Kristen has pointed out multiple times, Arctic Ice Hockey did an analysis and named him the worst center in the NHL. (He went 3 for 11 tonight on the dot.) Add that to his falling over with or without contact and inability to hit the net almost all the time, and once again Edmonton screwed us.
-- Was Bobby Ryan traded? I swear I saw him five times max during the game. Kid needs to kick the streaky scoring and get going. He looks lost out there without Saku Koivu (pray minions, pray that he's back on Thursday), and obviously Cogliano is not an even replacement at center. I've said it a billion times, Teemu should not be carrying that line, let alone the entire team.
-- I don't know what to think of our goaltending. In the past two games alone, Dan Ellis and Jonas Hiller have given up 10 goals. It's obvious that Hiller is no where near the level he was when he fell ill the previous season. Ellis is a capable, but shaky replacement. There's no Ray Emery to save the day this year.
-- Penalty kill is starting to slide by going 2-4 tonight against a power play that's 22nd in the league.
-- Earlier in the season we would applaud the Ducks battling back from an 0-3 deficit as some sort of moral victory to boost confidence. That's not the case any more. It simply wasn't enough.
-- Getzlaf, Perry, Hagman, and Francois Beauchemin were on the ice for three of Dallas' five goals. Too much offense and not enough defense?
-- Per Eric Stephens twitter account: The Ducks last road win was October 27th in Minnesota. Twelve straight losses since (0-9-3).
-- With the exception of his four shots and one goal, Lubo was awful. It's clear that last year was his career year, and it's all down from here. Lubo has appeared to have lost all his hockey sense that he had in his first game back at Honda Center He and Toni Lydman haven't reconnected at the level they were last year. They have no idea where the other is on the ice. By the way, we have the exact same d-core as last year. Just sayin'.
-- LOOOUUUIIIIII!!!! Can someone please give Loui Eriksson some laxative laced brownies right before playing the Ducks? He is an absolute Duck Hunter. I can't find the actual stat, but he's got something obnoxious like 24 points in his career against the Ducks. Add two more points to that list tonight.