All good things must come to an end at some point. For the Ducks it took just one game to stop playing the 60 minute, hard working hockey game that earned them a win on Wednesday.
The one thing that drove me the most crazy tonight was that the Ducks forgot how to beat Ray Emery. I'm not talking about the Ray Emery from the 2007 Stanley Cup Finals, but the Ray Emery from last year. Sure they shot on him in practice and picked up on some of his shaky areas, but he probably wasn't going full tilt. I mean the Emery of the playoffs against Nashville. Almost every goal scored on Emery was due to his inability to quickly move laterally in his crease. The Predators would set someone up on the far post just waiting for a quick pass across the front of the net to shoot right in the open side. He did have a sore groin in the playoffs, but I think that reconstructed hip joint of his has hampered his ability to push off. The Ducks did not test this at all.
FInally, the Ducks should look into trying to fly into fun cities like Chicago the day of the game or in the middle of the night. The looks and played the way I feel when I wake up in Vegas. I'm not accusing anyone of partying the night away, just pointing out that every time the play IN Chicago with a day off beforehand, they look like they're dragging themselves up and down the ice. Ok, enough with my conspiracy theory, lets get on to the good (?) stuff.
-- Teemu Selanne is 107 years old. He doesn't give up, even when the game is obviously out of hand. The score was 4-0 in the third period when Teemu scored the team's only goal with a shade under two minutes left. We are saying this too much this season - he should not be the one carrying the team.
-- The new "top line" of Ryan Getzlaf, Corey Perry, and Niklas Hagman have seemed to found their mojo. Well, I think Perry and Hagman together have clicked; whereas, Getzlaf is nowhere to be found. Perry had a team high 6 shots on goal and Hagman - I didn't know this was possible - lead the team with 8 MISSED shots and 3 official shots on goal. How do you even keep track of that?
-- We all know that Bobby Ryan falls down A LOT. The good thing is that he's learned to turn his usual falls into something that looks like a penalty. The game's first powerplay came from a tripping call on Duncan Keith. Who tripped (but really was just falling)? Bobby.
-- Boudreau started to pair Francois Beauchemin and Luca Sbisa and I liked it. Both guys are heavy hitters, Luca especially leading the team with 6 hits. Sbisa can stay back while Beauch goes a little further in to the offensive zone for one-timers.
-- Congrats to Teemu and Toni Lydman for being the only players in the plus category tonight with +1.
-- Another reason to be happy for realignment? The Ducks have to go to Chicago once, not twice. They are horrible in Chicago.
-- I am extremely biased, but I think we can all agree that Saku Koivu is greatly missed. (Koivu is on the IR with a groin injury and did not make the trip with the team. Should he be well enough, he would likely meet the team in Dallas next week.) Selanne, Bobby Ryan, and Andrew Cogliano aren't clicking. None of those players are going to grind in the "dirty areas" like Koivu does. Teemu can play with anyone. Bobby has played with everyone. Cogliano is the reincarnation of Jason Blake without the work ethic. Cogs certainly has inherited Blake's uncanny ability to miss wide open nets and shoot directly into the goalie's midsection.
-- I love that Boudreau wants to evenly roll four lines to keep everyone fresh by playing lower minutes. There is only one little problem I have. That first power play saw the normal PP unit and then the second unit came on. The winger on the unit I was shocked to see - George Parros. I adore Georgie, but he should not be on the power play - ever.
-- Sheldon Brookbank decided to throw down with 6'8" John Scott. Sheldon was lucky he kept his helmet on through the fray because Scott was destroying him with hits to the back and side of the head. Also, Matt Beleskey went at it with Jamal Mayers after Mayers annihilated Cam Fowler. I guess that could fall under good for having Bels stick up for Cammy, but Matt is such a bad fighter.
-- Tonight there was a called-off goal, in the most recent game versus Nashville there were two called-off goals. This is a do-over from the Hockey Gods that the Ducks aren't taking advantage of. Even with the disallowed goals, the team shrinks back into its "woe is me" posture, unable to grasp the obvious swing in momentum that should go their way.
-- Wednesday's game versus the Coyotes say 10 different Ducks get points (yay!). Well, tonight 11 Ducks were in the minus (boo!).
-- In 3 games versus the Ducks this season, Patrick Sharp has 5 goals.
-- Non-game note: What happened to Dan Sexton? Yet another player Bob Murray signed to an extension (albeit to avoid arbitration) and buried in the minors. Money well spent.