Hmm. Well, that was interesting. I guess I'm not really surprised that the Ducklings lost 7-4. It was an extremely young lineup. How young? Had the team won, Teemu Selanne, Saku Koivu and Lubomir Visnovsky would have had to buy the beer for their teammates to sneak back to their hotel rooms.
Since this is the first recap of my reign of terror, I'm going to try out a couple recap ideas and see what sticks. For tonight, we're going to break things down in to the good, the bad, and the ugly.
-- Prior to the national anthem, the Ducks paid tribute to all the lives lost over the off-season with a video showcasing the players. Ruslan Salei's picture was the last to appear, and the clip of his overtime goal in the playoffs was played. Before the moment of silence, it was announced that Salei's family was in attendance. A spotlight was focused on a club level box where the family and the rest of the Ducks wives and girlfriends were together. I got a little choked up.
-- Teemu Selanne is fine. He was flying around the ice, and his own teammates had trouble keeping up.
-- The Ducks finally got rid of that creepy flying sheep and replaced it with a black Ducks blimp
-- Emerson Etem is finally beginning to show how good he could be. He was drawing penalties, incredibly quick, and has a good shot. Earl Sleek also noticed that Etem gets hit really well. I guess that's a good thing?
-- As he said in the video, Andrew Cogliano played left wing for the entire game. He ended up with 1 goal, 1 assist, and was +1. We all were pretty sure he was going to be a center on the 3rd line, but I'm thinking now that Carlyle will want to keep him at wing and get one of the Ducklings at center.
-- And that Duckling could be Peter Holland. He was second in TOI with 21:33 and played 27 shifts (tied with Lubo for the most). He ended up with 1 goal, 1 assist, and was even on the night. His faceoff win-loss record was 11-13. He could be like Ryan Getzlaf, but without rage issues.
-- With the exception of the power play, Carlyle split up Koivu and Selanne most of the game. This might shock you, but I think that's a good idea. By playing the vets on different lines, they're able to get the kids involved in every shift. There were many instances where Teemu would have normally taken shots, but instead he was passing trying to get the Ducklings moving around.
-- Nate Guenin is a nasty player, and kind of creeps me out. He scored on the most random fluke goal. We watched the replay a couple times on the jumbotron and it looked like puck was being remotely controlled as it switched directions. On the upside, he had 5 blocked shots...as he went -2.
-- Who the hell is Sean Zimmerman?? 1 goal on 1 shot and 5 hits. Sleek gives him a "+". I have no idea if that's a good thing.
-- Kyle Palmieri had a good night with 1 goal and 1 assist, but I wasn't impressed. It was like he was trying too hard. His minutes were shortened (12:53 total). He took 1 face off the whole night. There just wasn't anything that made me want to see him play more often.
-- Both goalies, Captain America John Gibson (his mask is covered in American flags) and Bond villain Igor Bobkov showed their inexperience. There was lots of flailing. I won't hold it against them, though. They held their own on the big stage considering they will be heading back to juniors following training camp.
-- The crazy, loud cougar sitting in front of Earl and I at the game.
-- Dan Sexton was terrible. He was getting leveled by the other team, and could not find the net. For some reason, they thought it would be a good idea to put him on the penalty kill. He's not Corey Perry. He doesn't know what to do when he gets a breakaway.
-- Joseph Cramarossa had one great hit where he dumped one of the Coyotes into his own bench face first. Beyond that, the kid was in way over his head. There were several times that he'd turn the puck over and as the Coyotes were skating down the ice, he'd drop a loud f-bomb as he skated back to the bench.
-- I don't know what is going on with Devante Smith-Pelly. He shows flashes of greatness by slamming his opponents into the boards, only to find himself screening his own goaltender later. He had one of the lowest TOI with 10:05. Maybe he's hurt or maybe Carlyle doesn't like something about his game. He's just not getting any better.