In another Ducks loss, the Kings have taken even more wind out of Anaheim's wings. This is going to be an admittedly frustrating blog to write so I will most likely try to keep this short. Let's be brutally honest and say that if Anaheim plays like they did tonight then they will not make it by this series. All together, there weren't many Anaheim players that stepped up in ways that may be mentioned when playing other teams, however against the Kings it is simply not enough.
-5: Offense in General (Last Ranking: NR): All around the offense looked largely lifeless, especially the line that involved the twins. The only goal was on the power play, and even with the Ducks leading in shots and scoring chances the offense was not the caliber we have all grown to expect.
-4 Ben Lovejoy (Last Ranking: NR): I will admit that this one hurts. Putting Loveyjoy this low on the list makes me cringe because he has done so well in the post-season so far. However, Lovejoy is clearly to blame for Los Angeles' first goal by Gaborik. In short, Anaheim's #6 was downright outskated and that led to the first goal by the Kings.
-3 The Twins (Last Ranking: NR): When it comes down to the last two periods and the Ducks need a game-tying goal, you turn to your hotshots, namely Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. Yet the duo known as the Twins was held entirely silent tonight with only a single assist between the two (the assist credited to Getzlaf). Seriously, these two had a lackluster and depressing game earning them a collective spot at -3.
-2 Matt Beleskey (Last Ranking: NR): When your team is trailing by a goal, the worst position to put them in is a short handed scenario. Beleskey was the culprit of Anaheim being short handed not just once, but twice when they were in desperate need of a goal. Beleskey forced the Ducks on the defense when they were in dire need of some offensive power.
-1 Power Play (Last Ranking: NR): This might be a low blow considering there was a power play goal in favor if Anaheim, however the only goal was on a 4-on-3 powerplay, and was the only goal that Jonathan Quick had let in in 19 power play chances, and now the cycle restarts. Quick thwarted several more PP attempts considering Anaheim was just 1/4 with the extra attacker.
Even 0 Penalty Kill (Last Ranking: Even 0): One of the few decent parts of Anaheim's game tonight was the penalty killing unit. When forced shorthanded, the Ducks were perfect in all three penalty killing scenarios. Hiller ended up coming up big with some impressive saves, yet still the shorthanded attempts were at the very least decent, albeit sloppy.
+1 Andrew Cogliano (Last Ranking: NR): Even in Anaheim's darkest hour, there are certain players you can trust to just fight. Cogliano is one of them. Every time that he hit the ice, Cogs brought the energy, the determination, and his trademark speed. Maybe it was just me, but every single time that #7 hit the ice, I found myself more optimistic and holding on even tighter hoping for a goal even harder than at other moments of the game.
+2 Devante Smith-Pelly (Last Ranking: +4): Maybe I am just a fan of Anaheim's resident wrecking ball, Devante Smith-Pelly, or maybe he is just proving why he deserves a permanent spot every time he skated into the play. DSP tied for the team lead in hits with seven and was trusted with ice time both on the power play and the penalty kill. In the darkness that was Game 2, Smith-Pelly was a faint glimmer of light.
+3 Patrick Maroon (Last Ranking: NR): the brightest spark of hope came from Anaheim's brute force beast, Patrick Maroon, who scored the lone goal for the Ducks, and continued to fight to get the puck in the net even after he succeeded once. Maroon, a semi-enforcer, ended the game tied for the team lead in shots with a total of five, and was entrusted with last four minutes of power play ice time. Boudreau was clearly just as impressed with Maroon's determination and gritty play as I was. To him I tip my metaphorical and digital hat.
I think I'm giving up. There are no more positives for this game. No one did that well and because of that I have to cut this off at a +3. No one seriously deserves the strongly positive rankings and even to this point it was somewhat of a "pick your poison" situation so I'm waving a white flag, ladies and gents. Let's all hope that the Anaheim team that we know and love comes out to play in game three, but come on. This team has not proven that it is worthy of the post-season, let alone round two.
All around, I am seriously disappointed with the effort put forth by the Ducks, so let's hope there's a serious change between now and Thursday. Let's Go Ducks!