I love the home openers. I've gone to every single one since the lockout. The energy is always the same, no matter the results of the away games that lead up to it. It's like a clean slate. You welcome the team with open arms, hoping they feed off the positivity in the building. The boys did not disappoint beating rivals San Jose Sharks 1-0.
-- I don't know what it is about Toni Lydman and the Ducks psyche, but they play with so much more confidence when he's in the line up. He had a solid game except for this moment...
-- ...that lead me to say Jonas Hiller. Dude. Good Lord, I missed him.
-- In the ladies restroom after the game, I overheard a couple ladies talking. One of the women said, "What a great game. Even Getzlaf shot the puck." She was correct. He should keep that up. Hit a couple posts tonight.
-- Still shocked by this: the penalty kill is really strong with an 86% success rate. What?! This is weird.
-- As much as we've lauded the third line (guys, we really need a name for them), I am becoming emotionally attached to Andrew Gordon. I love the way he plays. He even earned the trust of Carlyle to be on the ice for 3:27 minutes during the penalty. While it's early, I'm starting to think he may be the steal of the off-season.
-- I am loving the fourth line of George Parros, Maxime Macenauer, and Brandon McMillan. Thanks to a sick pass by Georgie, Max was able to score his first NHL goal and the only goal of the game. If these guys and the third line can keep it up - watch out. We might surprise people with our depth.
-- Luca Sbisa was a beast. He needs to keep up the physical play. He was destroying people left and right.
-- Jason Blake had about a zillion (or five, you pick) scoring chances. As much as we bag on Blake for his unreal cap hit, he plays incredibly hard. For a tiny guy, he's not afraid to throw his body around, even if he takes the brunt of the punishment.
-- The ice was AWFUL tonight. I love when we sell out the game, but the more bodies, the warmer the arena is. We already have crappy ice, the body heat didn't help.
-- Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Bobby Ryan probably had their best game so far this season tonight. They were throwing the body around, and taking their scoring chances. They just haven't found the chemistry yet. I found myself saying after a few shots "they would have made that at the end of last season". It will come, I'm not worried.
-- The power play has yet to gel. They found it difficult to get set-up or keep the puck in the zone. Like RPG's chemistry, I'm not concerned. They'll get there.
-- Sheldon Brookbank has the weakest slapshot (or schlagschuss, if you were at the game you'd get that).
-- Joe Thornton owed Getzy in the face-off circle winning 7 of 9 draws.
-- Blake had a great game. I hate to see it end the way it did. In the third period, Brent Burns stepped on Blake's forearm/wrist with his skate. Helene Elliott of the LA Times posted this article that has a picture of the incident as it happened. Puck Daddy has posted the video. I am waaay to squeamish to actually watch it, so you have been warned. As of late this evening, the cut was described as "severe" and I'm hearing lots of blood. Blake was transported to UCI Medical Center for sutures and from there, doctors will determine if he needs surgery.