Teemu Selanne is the perfect example of what a professional athlete should be, regardless of the sport. He's accessible to fans, loyal to the organization, genuinely loves to play the game, humbled by his own success, and ecstatic for his teammates'. With that in mind, the reception he received for his first return to Winnipeg since the 1996 trade to the Mighty Ducks is no surprise. In true Selanne fashion, he soaked it all in with a coy smile and many "thank yous" along the way.
Many fans in attendance donned the Jets original jerseys with Selanne's #13 on the back. Mixed amongst them were Selanne's wife and four children. They beamed as the patriarch of the family was constantly cheered throughout the game (even as his teammates were booed). Based on the reaction to Selanne alone, you would have thought it was a Ducks home game, but even the denizens of Honda Center aren't that loud. This isn't a knock on our fans. It's a point that's made to show just how lucky we are to have spent a majority of Selanne's career right along with him. We're just used to him being there. Winnepeg had barely three years with him and it's like he spent his entire career there. Although the Ducks lost the game 5-3, the media made Selanne the 3rd star of the night just so he could do what he said he never got a chance to - say "good bye".
Stick-tap to Dave at Illegal Curve for this post game audio of Perry, Ryan, Getzlaf, and Boudream (a gem), and audio of Teemu's post game presser. Nice to know The 'Peg is allowing bloggers into their media ranks.
-- When the Ducks went down 0-2 in the first, they didn't give up as they had multiple times earlier this season. Who else would get the scoring going but the man of the night, Teemu Selanne. Followed up by a guy that could've had a hat trick tonight had his "try to convince everyone the puck went in the net" celebration of a goal that wasn't worked, Corey Perry. It's earlier than last year, but it's time for Perry to put on his HeMan undies and destroy again.
-- While it wasn't a 60 minute effort, I was really impressed by the Ducks tenacity. They didn't get down when the controversial goal by Andrew Ladd was scored (more on that later). They kept pushing and pressuring. I like seeing that; however, sometimes I think they're hyper-focused on the pressure that they forget to play defense.
-- Best game for Nick Bonino and Kyle Palmieri since both of their call ups. For Palmieri, it seemed that having Bonino on the ice with him made him more confident. Bruce Boudreau said the call up of Bonino was specifically for the benefit of Palmieri. Instead of having the monumental task of playing with Perry and Ryan Getzlaf, he played with a guy that he knows he can produce with. This won't make Crunch fans happy, but the Ducks should call up Patrick Maroon as well. The three played together in Syracuse and found much success. (I also want to incorporate Alex from CHGA's nickname for them into our posts - The Palroonino Line.) Remember that one time we brought up an entire line from the minors? They did alright. I believe they were called The Kid Line (Perry, Getzlaf and Dustin Penner).
-- Of all the players we've swiped off wires, Niklas Hagman has been a great addition. Before you start to complain, yes, he missed the net a lot versus Chicago, but is that worse than Andrew Cogliano missing almost all the time? He had another goal tonight, and I believe is riding a five game scoring streak.
-- Ryan, Perry, Getzlaf, and Selanne combined for 18 the teams 36 shots on goal. It's never a bad thing to have those guys shooting a lot.
-- I have been extremely critical of Getzlaf lately, but he had a pretty solid night tonight. He assisted on each of Perry's goals (natch), had a 67% faceoff percentage, 4 shots on goal, tied Andrew Gordon with a team high 3 hits, and lead the team with 23:55 minutes of ice time. With Koivu out, he needs be better than average each night. Keep up the good work, Getz.
-- Bobby Ryan and Lubomir Visnovsky had pretty bad games, even though they had 5 and 4 shots on goal, respectively. Both men also had 3 giveaways each. Bobby didn't redeem himself until the 3rd period when he decided to wake up. I was hoping that a fully healed Lubo would get him back to where he was last year, but it appears he's just back to where he was earlier this season. Yikes.
-- Dan Ellis was marginal verging on bad tonight. The final goal by Zach Bogosian is what I like to call a "Typical Dan Ellis Goal". He is good for at least one of these every single game. It looks like it should be the easiest stop in the entire world, something very Goaltending 101, and he muffs it.
-- Of the team's 14 giveaways, the defense were responsible for 8 of them.
-- Andrew Cogliano might be a worse center than Bobby Ryan. 3 wins and 10 losses on the face off dot for a whopping 23%. I am beginning to lose patience with Cogs. (Note to Bob Murray: Lubo has been your only winning trade with Edmonton. You can stop now.)
-- Multiple times on here, I've said that I don't like it when we complain about bad calls or those that are based specifically on reputation alone. I run this site, so I get to be hypocritical when I want to - here we go! Winnipeg's fourth goal scored by Andrew Ladd was bullshit. Flip this situation around and put Corey Perry in where Nik Antropov was. Not only would that goal waived off, reviewed and confirmed as no-goal, but Perry would get a minor for goalie interference. I got into an argument on Twitter that any goals where there is the slightest bit of doubt in the refs mind is reviewed. Perry's fake celebration goal was reviewed and it was pretty clear the puck was hidden under
Steve Chris Mason's butt. I am aware that goals cannot be reviewed for penalties, but the puck hitting off the foot of Ladd can be reviewed. I don't know what difference that would have made, but the whole situation was screwed up. I should write a strongly worded letter to the NHL.
End of rant.