Aside from Corey Perry's beautiful (and incredibly lucky) one timer to win the game in Overtime and Tuomo Ruutu's kneeling baseball swing goal to open the scoring for Carolina, this was a pretty bland game. I'm not sure if it's because I've long since lost hope for this season, or because it was against an Eastern Conference opponent that is struggling just as much as the Ducks are, but for some reason this game never really grabbed me.
Both teams played decent enough. They each had their chances but it was by no means pond hockey. There were a couple of nice hits, but still not particularly physical. It was a clean game, only three penalties between the teams. No fights, nothing controversial [Ed. Note: Carolina fans may feel differently], for all intents and purposes, just another date on the schedule.
-- Perry's goal, as mentioned above was not only a good goal, but great luck. Less than five seconds before the puck ended up in the back of the net he got away with clearly tripping Jussi Jokinen behind the net. Calgary may have been lucky to get the last game into overtime with that ridiculous major penalty to Luca Sbisa, but the scales evened out with this one.
-- Both Anaheim regulation goals came as a direct result of point shots from the D with traffic in front of the net. Lubomir Visnovsky's shot in the first period deflected off the foot of Nick Bonino and Saku Koivu potted a juicy rebound off of a Luca Sbisa shot to tie the game up in the third. Also Sheldon Brookbank served the puck up on a silver platter for Perry's game winner. It's always a good thing to see secondary scoring and production from the blueline, especially when the power play has had a tough time finding twine.
-- It was not good performance from Jonas Hiller. On several occasions he was caught out of his net trying to play pucks, waiting in the trapezoid, or playing it away from his defensemen. Luckily it didn't come back to bite him. Eric Staal's goal caught him creeping slightly off the near post, but should probably be more attributed to a bad bounce off of Rod Pelley's skate, directly to the Canes' captain.
-- Cam Ward's calm, cool and collected, technical style, making every save on his side of the ice look easy probably contributed to Hiller looking like a fish out of water in comparison, and to my perception of the game as a bit of a ho-hum affair. Ward did leave a lot of rebounds for the Ducks to pounce on that got more dangerous as the game went on, eventually leading to Koivu's game tying goal. Early on he was kicking pucks past the danger in front with authority and seemingly every glove save he made looked like a walk in the park.
-- Nothing stood out as particularly atrocious for me tonight, but that the guys in the seats next to us insisted on yelling "Getzlaf Sucks!" about every two minutes, except when the perfect opportunity arose as Getzy embarrassingly blew a tire on a rush in the third period. Annoying and strange timing, I think that qualifies.
-- In my opinion, there are no big games, or important points to gain in the standings at this point, but it was nice to get a win before heading out for eight road games in 14 nights, beginning with an almost certain loss in Detroit on Friday. Sorry to end on such a downer, but Daniel kept it so positive in the opening; I figured I had to balance it out.