Game 3 Player Rankings Accentuate the Positive

Harry How

The Ducks avoid falling into a chasm against the Kings, thanks to big contributions throughout the roster.

Let me start out by saying that I missed the first five or so minutes of the game while I was trying to find a working stream, so all intangibles during that time period won't be included. Thanks for nothing, Montreal and Boston.

Secondly, the Ducks just beat the Kings in Staples Center and effectively salvaged their series hopes. I can't speak for everybody, but that makes me pretty happy. Like Liz limited her positive contributors from Game 2 (rightfully so), I'm just going to keep any shortcomings to a minimum here and focus on the optimistic perspective, because WE BEAT THE KINGS TONIGHT!

Even: Francois Beauchemin (last ranking: NR) - Beauchemin had stretches where he would be extremely useful, or extremely frustrating. He'd break up potentially dangerous plays that may have led to an LA goal, yet move the puck in ways and to places that he shouldn't. He'd be in the right place at the right time to make a good play on a man or the puck and then he'd be in the wrong place at some more inopportune times (especially in the third). Also got incredibly lucky to get away with a high stick late in the game as the Kings were making their push to tie the it.

+1 Corey Perry (last ranking: -3... sort of) - Perry broke yet another playoff dry spell by potting the first goal of the game. When goals against Quick are few and far between, I believe that warrants a plus ranking in and of itself. While he did make the much needed improvements in his play from the first two games, DON'T MISS THAT OPEN NET!!! I know his stick broke and that caused him to misfire, but shooting wide on a 4x6 freebie and seeing the Kings pull within one about 10 seconds later will make my blood pressure rise.

+2 Matt Beleskey (last ranking: -2) - He's somewhat established himself as one of the team's main hitmen on Drew Doughty for this series, and during the first period he established his best piece of work by absolutely DESTROYING the lesser #8.

Beleskeyhit_game3_medium

via 1.cdn.nhle.com

Against a physical team like LA, having a guy who likes to throw his body around is incredibly useful to level the playing field a bit. He was also a pest around Quick on occasion throughout the night, which is a necessity when you're going up against a goalie like that.  Unfortunately he left the game with an injury in the middle of the third period.

+3 Sami Vatanen (last ranking: NR) - The Norfolk call-up was a force on defense tonight, snuffing out King opportunities while offering a few of his own from the blue line. Just over 20 minutes of ice time tonight gave him plenty of opportunities to do so, but the more the merrier, right? Please keep him on the West coast, Bruce.

+3 Ryan Getzlaf (last ranking: -3 also) - Captain Duck played to his role tonight, constantly getting his team going on the breakout and generating a lot of chances for his boys inside the offensive zone, including a nifty stretch pass to spring Teemu Selanne on what was almost his second goal of the night. Getzy is an offensive talent who's very, very good at discerning when to take matters into his own hands or when to dish the biscuit; it seems like just about every shot he takes is a potential goal. If he has to set up a teammate, he gives them the position and feed to make things happen in their own right. Like any good bearer of the 'C', he reads the situation so well, and this awareness has consistently made him one of the primary threats to the Kings.

+4 Frederik Andersen (last ranking: NR) - The rookie goaltender must have already shaken his quarterfinal play from his memory, as he was back to his calm, cool, and collected demeanor in LA tonight. His 3.40 GAA and sub-.900 save percentage against Dallas was replaced by a very strong .956 before getting injured halfway through the final stanza. Props to Jonas Hiller for coming in to close out a tough onslaught for the final 10 minutes as well.

+4 Power Play (last ranking: -1) - You know how Los Angeles is so good on defense, and how awesome they are because it's really hard to score on them? 100% on the man advantage tonight. Boom. The second power play in particular, a 4-on-3, was screaming out the foreshadowing of a goal. The way the power play unit backed the Kings' penalty kill into a compact area while white jerseys slowly closed in on them was a thing of beauty, and you knew that they were going to light the lamp on that possession.

+5 Ben Lovejoy (last ranking: -4) - One of the team's best defensemen has made one glaring mistake in this series to the hands of Marian Gaborik, and it unfortunately played a big part in the Game 2 loss. Redemption is sweet, though, as the Reverend buried the ever-so critical insurance goal turned game-winner late in the third amidst heavy Kings pressure to repeat the events of Game 1. Who was the defenseman that was supposed to defend, and failed to shut down, the eventual goal? No one other than our friend Doughty.

[Ed. Note:  That's a bit of an under sell on the game winner in my book.  Amazing play defensively on Drew Doughty, great awareness to pass it up to Andrew Cogliano and jump into the play followed by a PERFECT shot.  Love. Joy. Indeed. Watch it again. -CK]

+5 Teemu Selanne - This man will not retire without a fight. The vintage Flash is still making occasional appearances in this series in the form of aggressive backchecks, setting up potential scoring chances, and now, scoring his second goal in round 2. Granted, Nick Bonino should get most of the credit for this goal, as it was an amazing feed, but when it comes to these gimme opportunities for the future HoF-er, especially in a potential series-deciding game, he's still no Swedish, but all Finnish (I'll show myself out).

But if I should put someone in the minus...

-10 Advanced Stat Fanatics - Let's look at the Fenwick charts for the last few games, otherwise known to some diehards as the General Certainty of Victory charts:

Game 1:

Fenwick_chart_for_2014-05-03_kings_3_at_ducks_2__ot__medium

Game 2:

Fenwick_chart_for_2014-05-05_kings_3_at_ducks_1_medium

Game 3:

Fenwick_chart_for_2014-05-08_ducks_3_at_kings_2_medium

To be fair, the first game's chart makes sense. The Ducks were dominating for most of the game until LA's last-ditch efforts were rewarded, as you can identify on the chart. However, in the last two games, there's been a very evident Fenwick advantage... by the losing team. EXPLAIN THAT, NERDS.

On to Game 4! Go Ducks!

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