Well that pretty much sucked. There's no cute excuses or clever ways to describe tonight's 5-2 loss against Vancouver other than these two words: unmitigated disaster.
The game saw the Ducks go down by scores of 2-0 and 4-0, at the end of the first and second periods. While they mustered something of a fight in the third period, eventually pulling to within two at one point in the third period, Vancouver just overwhelmed Anaheim at every opportunity. Things got so bad in the third period that Bruce Boudreau actually dropped Ryan Getzlaf down to the second line to center Bobby Ryan and Teemu Selanne. Tell me the last time you saw THAT happen.
Ugly x 3 coming up (not really, but it feels like that at this point).The Good
- Midway through the second period, Dan Ellis came in for Jonas Hiller and played a very strong 30 minutes. He did give up a goal late in the third, but Ellis made 14 saves on 15 shots and came up with some really good saves. Jonas didn't play a bad game, but Ellis looked much more steady in the net. He should definitely get the start on Sunday.
- Nick Bonino and Bobby Ryan both continued their goal-scoring streaks. Bonino's goal in the third (video above) was a thing of absolute beauty and his strong play earned him increased ice time later in the game. As much as it sucks not having Saku Koivu out there, Bonino has been a revelation the past two games. He may finally be showing some of the talent we've been waiting to see.
- Despite six power play opportunities (including more than 30 seconds of 5-on-3 time), the Ducks could not get much going with the man advantage. Vancouver seemed to have almost as many chances short-handed as the Ducks did during the PPs. I'm not really sure what's plaguing the Ducks PP at this point, but a 16% success rate on a team loaded with top-end offensive talent is unacceptable.
- No Anaheim forward finished with net positive rating. Andrew Gordon, Rod Pelley, Matt Beleskey, and Bobby Ryan all finished with an even rating. That was the best among our forwards. Among defensemen, Sheldon Brookbank and Luca Sbisa ended up +1 while everyone else was a minus. Cam Fowler finished with a team worst -3.
- Effort seemed to be lacking overall tonight. There were multiple occasions where Ducks players looked tentative and unsure while Vancouver constantly pressed the advantage. As the announcers pointed out multiple times on the broadcast, pressure from Vancouver's defensemen seemed to give the Ducks fits all night and it led to several odd-man rushes for the Canucks.
- Toni Lydman had a terrible game. He was pretty much directly responsible for the first two goals, the first being the result of a giveaway and the second being the result of lazy pressure on Cody Hodgson. After finishing a team-high +32 last season, Lydman has regressed badly this year. He currently sits at -10. Only Corey Perry, Ryan Getzlaf, and Cam Fowler have worse +/- ratings on the season.
- While Vancouver buried seemingly every chance they got, the Ducks could not buy a goal until the third period. And it wasn't as if they didn't have their chances. Matt Beleskey, Corey Perry, Bobby Ryan, and Teemu Selanne all missed one or more wide-open looks. Early in the year, it was easy to dismiss these chances as bad luck. But the trend has continued throughout the season to the point that Ducks forwards just look like they have no confidence. Case in point: Perry and Getzlaf are on 3- and 4-game pointless streaks, respectively. It's the longest streaks for each of them so far this season.
- I know that the Ducks aren't drawing real well at home these days, but it does get a little embarrassing to hear the crowd on TV as if the game is being played in Vancouver instead of Southern California. I can't really claim any moral high ground on this as I've been selling tickets like crazy this year and I have no idea if they're going to Ducks fans or not. But it was really bad tonight. Like the kind of crap you'd see in Florida.