Anaheim calling to the hockey world...
Ray Emery wasn't tested much in relief of Dan Ellis, but as the Game 1 starter was pulled in the Ducks' 4-1 playoff opening loss, the name of the starter for Game 2 is inevitable fodder for discussion. Arthur, would you start Ray Emery in Game 2?
I would, but not because Emery is automatically the better option, especially with his health maybe not at 100% yet.
This is going to be a goaltenders' duel; Pekka Rinne sent that message loud and clear. For a duel, you'll need your confidence as much as skill, and right now, Emery has more reasons to be confident.
But the goaltending is just barely an issue right now. In reality, the Ducks need to play well enough to get the flow of shots in their favor. It's not like Anaheim outshot the Predators 2 to 1 and the goaltending gave it away. Dan Ellis made some big saves early on, and he was taking away the cute plays that the Predators were working at the side of the net. It's not like he gave away a game that the rest of the team had sewn up.
I agree. The problem last night had little to do with goaltending and everything to do with the Ducks losing patience after giving up an early power play goal. Nothing went right in the first game.
I don't think this is a knock on Ellis, but Emery strikes me as more of a battler. As a traditional butterfly goalie, Emery has a calming effect. He'll always be squaring himself to the shooter, and he's going to use his frame to take up a lot of the net. Right now, the Ducks need a goalie who can steady the play in the defensive zone by absorbing shots and negating second chances. They need a goalie who doesn't need to scramble to be effective. Yeah, it looks sexy when you come up with the save, but it's 12 kinds of stressful while you're waiting for the whistle.
Moreover, Emery HATES to lose. I know all professional athletes dislike losing, but Emery legitimately hates it. He hates it the way Ducks fans hate Red Wings fans, the way Ohio State hates Michigan, that good, pure hate. That attitude permeates throughout the team when he's in net. The Ducks have to be hungrier, and they need to be smarter with the puck. They need the focus that only comes with an innate disgust for losing. Emery can give them some of that between the pipes. As such, I think he deserves the nod.