If you happened to miss tonight's 4-2 loss to Detroit, don't despair. You've probably seen this exact same game during one of our other 10 losses this season. It goes something like this:
After digging themselves an early hole (Henrik Zetterberg scored 76 seconds into the game and Detroit added two more early in the second), the Ducks finally decided to start pushing back after the first 30 minutes had passed. A flurry of effort and activity pulled Anaheim within one as they entered the third period, but the Ducks failed to find the net during the game's final 20 minutes. The final few minutes of the game played out almost exactly as the previous game against the Kings did, with the Ducks pulling Jonas Hiller during a late PP for the extra attacker, only to watch Detroit hit the empty net.
Did the Ducks have chances tonight? Yes. But once again, they waited until the game was half-over and were down by several markers to get it going.
G/B/U coming up.The Good
- The second line continued to put forth the team's best effort as they were responsible for the only even-strength goal. Andrew Cogliano has flourished alongside Teemu Selanne and Saku Koivu, and it was his speed that backed off Detroit's defense enough to set up the team's first goal.
- Although they looked flat at times, the top line showed flashes of the brilliance that many Ducks fans expect. There were several instances where RPG did everything possible but find the back of the net and it feels like it's bound to come at any point.
- Jonas Hiller once again kept the Ducks around with several timely saves. None of the goals could rightfully be laid at his feet and he made several key saves, including a huge stop on a Todd Bertuzzi breakaway in the third period.
- Bobby Ryan cannot buy a goal. He appeared to score midway through the second (replays were inconclusive on the matter) and he also had several other near misses. Bobby has perhaps been the most snakebit of Anaheim's forwards this season and one has to wonder what effect this might ultimately have on his psyche.
- Early in the first period, the power went out at Honda Center. Normally, this wouldn't be that big of a deal, but since the same thing happened during the last home game, it doesn't look good. Everyone is blaming the City of Anaheim for this one (unlike Thursday's incident), but it's just sort of embarrassing to have this kind of thing happen during back-to-back home games.
- The power play continued to struggle, with both units laboring to gain entry into Detroit's zone. Although the Ducks did score a PP goal, Anaheim did not generate many other chances with the man advantage, ending with only five shots through 8:43 of PP time. For a team that struggles to score, they have to get more from their power play if they're going to have any chance of turning this season around.
- Brandon McMillan had a disastrous game. His fumbling of the puck directly led to Detroit's first goal and he also took two bad penalties. For a player that was something of a revelation last season, McMillan has really struggled this year. He's already been called out by Randy Carlyle and it's probably only a matter of time before he finds himself on a flight to Syracuse.
- Once again, the Ducks failed to show up early in the game. In what has become a far too familiar refrain, Anaheim didn't seem to turn it on until they were already down by three goals and 30 minutes had passed. It doesn't seem to matter if they've had several days to rest or if it's the second game of a back-to-back, they just look unprepared for the first 20-plus minutes and it has consistently caused problems for them.