There was a Puck Daddy article (I know, I know) published a while ago comparing and contrasting two elite NHL centers. The centers in question were the Sharks' Joe Thornton and the Chicago Blackhawks' Jonathan Toews. Thornton was described as a player who "loves to win," and Toews was described as a player who "hates to lose."
As much as it pains me to admit this, I think that Ryan Getzlaf is a Thornton-type player. Both men are big, strong, playmaking centers, but they also have lengthy stretches of lackluster, unfocused play. Toews is capable of putting the Hawks on his back when necessary - Getzlaf can do the same for the Ducks, but it often seems like he doesn't really care.
That being said, it's not just Getzlaf. There was way too much 'standing around' by most of the skaters tonight. And there are many fundamental hockey issues that the Ducks need to address. But I'd like to see Getzlaf step up more consistently (the burst of speed that he displayed during the third period was impressive) and set an example that the rest of the team will follow. We'll never be able to string consecutive wins together unless Getz decides that he "hates to lose."
- Jonas Hiller kept us in this game despite the repeated defensive lapses that occurred (the Andrew Desjardins breakaway attempt comes to mind). And don't forget the Brent Burns one-timer. I never want to be on the receiving end of a Brent Burns one-timer. Ouch.
- Jason Blake's energy. We like to complain about his price tag here, but he plays - consistently plays - with a level of commitment and intensity that isn't often seen from our skaters. He was also +1 for the night.
- Luca Sbisa's ability to throw the body. Unlike most of the people in the AC community, I still believe that Cam has a higher ceiling than Luca (if Cam can eventually put it all together). But this team desperately needs tough, defensive play like Sbisa's.
- Bobby's reverse spinorama attempt. That would've been the highlight of the night if Antti Niemi hadn't stopped it.
- The SoCal punk played at the Honda Center. The song "Who is Who?" by Orange County's own Adolescents summarizes my feelings about this team.
- Ed. Addition - The Ducks had little hockey players on the ice during the anthem. A tiny little Salei came skating on the ice to stand next to Matt Belesky. It was Rusty's son Aleksandro. I got a little misty seeing that.
- Brad Winchester's double-minor -don't hurt our Little Lubo!
- The shot differential. Yikes.
- I spoke highly of Jonas' play in the ‘Good' section, but he does need to work on his rebound control. And with that being said, time to discuss the Ducks' actual problems.....
- Did I say defensive lapses? The Sharks scored 2 goals within 37 seconds, and Cam Fowler basically set up Brad Winchester's game tying goal (even though Cam didn't have a bad game overall). Sheldon Brookbank was responsible for the third Sharks goal. [Ed. Note: Anyone else catch that BB is pairing Sheldon with Toni Lydman?]
- All together, everyone: Bad turnovers! Bad turnovers!
- The power play. The third period's Douglas Murray minor resulted in two quality shots on goal from Perry and Visnovsky. But up until that point, the Ducks had failed to register a shot on goal with the man advantage.
- I listened to the AM 830 broadcast, and I never want to hear the phrases "Big Joe Thornton" or "the Ducks can't buy a goal" again.