It was a Teemu-centric night at Honda Center.
And it all started with two quick goals scored by Edmonton winger Teemu Hartikainen within the first six-minutes of the first. Not to be out done, the Ducks have a Teemu of their own, and he scored what would be the final goal of the night with a little over five and a half minutes left in the first. (Do you get the headline now?)
Everyone in attendance wanted a huge night for Selanne, you could feel it - and see it from his teammates. Since this game meant nothing to either team, the Ducks did their best to set Selanne up for every goal possible. I didn't mind at all. Seeing Teemu on the ice for what could be his last time at home (although I don't think it will be) was a joy and something I'll never forget. I've said that every year for the last five years, by the way.
I happily participated in every cheer of "One more year", and rose to my feet in the third period to give him a roaring standing ovation that was copied by his teammates. Even though the Ducks didn't win, Selanne was named the number one star of the night. He didn't really do a lap around the ice, he just kind of waived as he handed out his signed hockey stick. I didn't get choked up at that point, I thought that was going to bypass me this year...until he was interviewed by Kent French on the jumbotron. He kept thanking the fans and was at a loss for words while everyone was cheering. That is when the tears started welling up in my eyes and my dad started laughing at me. I punched my dad in the arm and could only choke out the words, "It's Teemu."
-- Tonight was a fun game to watch. It was super physical and the Ducks controlled a majority of the game. They threw everything at the net, out-shooting the Oil 33 to 15. They may not have scored, but the sure as hell made it interesting.
-- I actually felt bad for Ryan Getzlaf tonight. He hasn't scored a goal since March 2nd (14 games). He almost had a goal at the end of the second period, but it went in milliseconds after time had expired. I am also told that Francois Beauchemin deflected the shot, but whatevs. He lead the team with shots tonight with 6 on goal,and 4 shots that were blocked. Tonight he stood up for Jason Blake by fighting Cam Barker. I have to say that Getzy has picked it up in the last month. He may not be scoring goals, but he's actually trying, which is something that we couldn't say earlier in the season. I see more of a captain in Getzlaf now. He's keeping his mouth shut when he needs to, and he's leading by example on the ice. The latter was my one major qualm with him being wearing the 'C' - his play didn't reflect the leadership role he's inherited. Glad to see he's starting to get it.
-- Devante Smith-Pelly is a brave kid. Bobby Ryan absolutely flattened Corey Potter with around five minutes left in the first period. Andy Sutton was not pleased with this and went after Ryan. All of the sudden, DSP goes FLYING into the melee to get Sutton away from Bobby, and he was followed by Nick Bonino. I was absolutely thrilled to see those two standing up for BR, especially against the oft-suspended (and very, very large) Sutton. Quick side note, there is zero love lost between Bobby and Andy. I went to one practice last season and there were multiple times those two almost got into fights. Sutton would destroy Ryan during drills or in a scrimmage, and of course, Bobby wasn't pleased. They would have to be separated by coaches or the other players.
-- Glad to see that George Parros was back in the lineup tonight. He wasn't great, but he played in front of the crowd that adores him.
-- Congrats to Mat Clark for making his NHL debut tonight. I didn't notice him doing anything horrible, so I consider that to be a successful debut. He replaced Toni Lydman in the lineup who is out with an 'upper-body injury'.
-- I did not win anything at Fan Appreciation Night. Did anyone out there in the AC community win anything?
-- Not surprising, but the power play went 0-for-5 tonight. They did a much, much better job at getting set up, though, and that's the only reason they're not in the 'UGLY' section.
-- Away from the play, Luca Sbisa lost an edge and went careening into Jonas Hiller from the side. Hiller was totally not expecting it and he stayed down on his tummy for a while, then spent the next few minutes crouched over his pads. That was scary.
-- Teemu always says that he's going to make his decision by July 1st. It's never by July 1st. It's usually around the week before Training Camp. I'm not sure how the CBA negotiations will play into that. I could see that delaying his official decision even more.
-- Let's go for the obvious, they controlled a majority of the game and just couldn't get it together. I will give it to Edmonton's defense, they collapsed well around goalie Devan Dubnyk and cleared people out of the crease.
-- The Honda Center crowd had a moment that I would expect of Kings or Sharks fans. A young boy, had to be 7 or 8, was riding on the Zamboni between periods. The PA announcer said his name and that he was visiting from Edmonton. The crowd started booing the little kid, and that's not even the worst part! While they were booing, the PA announcer followed up with, "He's recovering from a severe head injury." Everyone started clapping and cheering for him after that. Guilt does wonderful things.