Exhale. I didn't jinx anything with all of my hate on Dany Heatley. Actually, I forgot the guy was even playing until they flashed to him sitting on the bench.
The really good news about the match-up with the Minnesota Wild, aside from the two points in regulation, was the continued contributions from the guys we all expect to see lighting up the scoreboard. Throw in some great work on the power play to keep things alive and continued good work by the young guys on the penalty kill to ensure the Ducks come away with a victory and I've got little to complain about.
Trust me, that's unusual.
The good, bad and ugly coming up...
- Teemu Selanne just keeps chugging along. 3 points in tonight's contest and he's moving up the all time points leader board and I'm not complaining one bit. (1349 points, tied for 26th overall).
- It was mentioned in the comments section of the game thread and I'm going to thank JuMowbray ahead of time...and then steal his work:
Check out the TOI’s for the top four and their # of shifts.
Getzlaf – 19:41, 25 shifts
Perry – 20:58, 29 shifts (extra 4 for PK)
Ryan – 17:04, 24 shifts (amazing considering what he did in limited time)
Teemu – 19:25, 24 shifts
Cogs, Gordon and McMillan all had 24, 24 and 25 shifts respectively, which eased the load for the top two lines.
Quite frankly, the more evenly spread the playing time is for the Ducks forwards, the better off they'll be in the long run.
- The top defensive pair of Lubomir Visnovsky & Toni Lydman played their sharpest game of the season in my opinion. Lydman in particular had a few outstanding plays. Ultimately, it was nice to see Lubo taking big shots and moving around the ice with ease that I don't think we've seen from him yet this season.
- 4th line contributes in the little ways. Tonight's drawn penalty by George Parros got the Ducks on the board with their first power play goal from Corey Perry. It's little things like that which will help to make those bottom 6 forwards successful.
- I had been worried about moving Bobby Ryan away from the top line. I'm glad tonight's experiment proved to be successful. Just as I was really started to warm up to the idea, Bobby scores a big goal. [Ed. Note: We need to come up with a name for the Koivu-Selanne-Ryan line]
- The top line audition for Patrick Maroon hasn't been awful. Even if that doesn't become his permanent role, I'm enjoying his play and it never hurts to have a guy of his size on the ice.
- While Maroon isn't a bad option, I was far happier with the few shifts Matt Beleskey played with Ryan Getzlaf and Corey Perry. He seemed very comfortable with them and had a few nice plays to set them up. Obviously his prior experience with the twins will help with that immensely.
- The kids are looking fantastic on the penalty kill! Maxime Macenauer, Andrew Gordon and Brandon McMillan were outstanding hustlers and even provided themselves with a few short handed opportunities.
- Finally, Getz wins face-off, Getz game winning goal. Shocking, isn't it? (FYI, his overall numbers are still disgusting...tonight he was 7 for 19; 33%)
- Bobby, dude, brutal penalties tonight. Yea, yea, that roughing penalty call was a bit weak and that trip was, well, a trip, but still. Dude. We need you on the ice.
- Some bad penalties ended the Minnesota's power play drought and unfortunately ended the Ducks fantastic penalty killing streak.
- Defensively the Ducks looked sharper in many areas tonight. While I'm still not a fan of the Cam Fowler & Francois Beauchemin pairing, I was happier with their play tonight. That being said, they did struggle from time to time clearing the zone.
- I'm feeling hard pressed to come up with anything too brutal from the game. The Ducks actually played a pretty focused game and I wasn't yelling at the television nearly as much as I expected to. Sure they were a bit sluggish there in the second period, but nothing like we were accustomed to seeing last season.
But I do have one. Shots on goal...OUCH!
4, 7, 5 = 16 SOG. Awful. Thankfully 3 of those went in!