Ok, admit it. That game surprised you a little. It sure as hell surprised me. I thought the Ducks would go into this game completely defeated. They were missing their ever-improving young defenseman (Luca Sbisa) and leading goal scorer (Corey Perry). Plus they are inches away from official playoff spot elimination. That should have been a recipe for disaster with this year's Ducks team. No matter how much positivity Bruce Boudreau put out there, I thought that the Ducks were gonna phone this one in.
Leave it to the old guy to change things around. Teemu Selanne had been quiet on the goal scoring front for a while. He's been chipping in with assists here and there, but nothing remarkable. As the power play has weakened, so has Selanne's ability to contribute. Tonight was - and I hate this cliche but it works - vintage Teemu Selanne. He scored a crucial goal on the power play to tie the game up in the waning minutes of the third period. Not only would that push the game into overtime, but it would make history. Teemu is now the leading Finnish scorer in NHL history with 1399 points, passing his boyhood idol Jari Kurri. Following the game, Kurri released this statement:
"I couldn't be more proud that Teemu is the all-time top NHL scorer from Finland. Congratulations to a great player, a great friend and an even better person."
Amen to that.
-- TEEEEMUUUUUU! Even in what is likely a lost season, Teemu keeps it interesting. He is the epitome of 'never say die'. I don't know what it is about Colorado, but they always seem to end up on the opposite side when Teemu makes history. Tonight it was passing Kurri. A couple years ago it was his 500th goal.
-- Jonas Hiller is just ridiculous. Once again, he kept the game close for the Ducks when the players in front of him weren't helping him out. I wish the Ducks were winning so he could get more mainstream media attention. He has been incredible.
-- Devante Smith-Pelly is getting better with each game. I love that he takes runs at people. As he gets bigger and stronger, he's going to terrify a lot of defenses. The Ducks need someone with skill to open up the ice for the scorers. DSP is going to be that guy. I would have liked him to take a whack at Gabriel Landeskog in a scrum towards the end of the 3rd. Landeskog YANKED DSP out of the group by the collar and DSP just stood there. It was a perfect time to try to goad one of the strongest Avs into a penalty.
-- All but three players recorded shots on goal for a total of 40 in the game. They may not be going in, but at least the pucks are getting on goal.
-- Hey! Both the power play and the penalty kill were 1-for-1 tonight! Baby steps!
-- I have to give it up to Semyon Varlamov, he played one hell of a game. There were some saves that had me rewinding the DVR a couple times.
-- We all agree that Toni Lydman and Lubomir Visnovsky are shadows of their former selves, right? Horrible game for both of them and it was their play that lead directly to the first goal and the last goal by Colorado.
-- In OT, Boudreau threw Bobby Ryan and Ryan Getzlaf over the boards first. Then it was Jason Blake and Andrew Cogliano (I think). When I saw Blake, I kind of flipped out and said, "Where the hell are Teemu and Saku??" Well, I got my wish and then Landeskog scored. I love me some Finns, but they struggled on the back check tonight.
-- Jason Blake is earning his ticket out of Anaheim. Tonight he had the second lowest ice-time with 9:25. He's playing his role, but not doing it well. If you go from second line to fourth line in a week, something is wrong with your game.
-- I continue to be unimpressed with Kyle Palmieri. He scores a billion goals in the AHL, but can't find the back of the net with the big show - even when playing with one of the game's best passers in Getzlaf. I know you guys love him and will chastise me in the comments.
-- That first period was horrendous, as are most first periods for the Ducks this season. They follow a standard pattern: crap first period, stellar second period, and marginal/scary third period. You aren't going to make the playoffs like that, and looky-here, they aren't.
-- We play the Red Wings on Wednesday...that always goes well.