It’s such a shame the Ducks lost this game in overtime. For 60 minutes Jonas Hiller was...wait for it...incredible. Yeah! That came from me. From the very beginning of the game he was tested. While he wasn’t overly pummeled with shots, he definitely saw quality scoring opportunities.
Jen, who’s still on East coast time [Ed. Note: back in So Cal, my brain, however, is not], had this to say about the game via email, "They played so well. I kind of don’t feel mad about this."
I can’t argue with her. For the first time in a long time, I felt like Anaheim was out on the ice to win a game. They didn’t look like the scrambled mess of eggs that usually shows up to play. More importantly, they were looking confident and solid ON THE ROAD.
I’ve got a few more thoughts in the GBU:
-- Apparently injury does a Hiller good (oh please, Hockey Gods, don’t punish me for this...). It was fantastic for him to get the shutout and oh so disappointing to see him lose in overtime. He definitely wasn’t happy about that and I totally feel his pain.
-- Defensive goods. Between great plays throughout the game from Cam Fowler, Luca Sbisa, and Niklas Hagman on that final penalty kill, the Ducks looked solid giving up few shots on net.
-- The Ducks weren’t one of the two teams currently on the ice effected by a trade that went down involving their own players. I suppose this is all relative depending on how you feel about what the Ducks are doing, or not doing, in terms of trades. [Ed. Note #2: Mike Cammalleri was traded from Montreal for the currently suspended Flame Rene Borque. There were picks and other players involved.]
-- The team as a whole definitely had quality scoring chances. Unfortunately, they were also victims of premature whistles, kicking motions, crazy bounces, bad camera angles and a goal tender who just happened to be in the right places at the right time. I guess you can say Kipper was on his game.
-- Despite the loss, the Ducks at least got a point.
-- While they had their even strength chances, no scoring is still no scoring. I would have loved to see Corey Perry capitalize on that crazy on-the-ice-wrap-around attempt he had. After the first period where it seemed the Ducks might be set on playing to their old routine, they definitely picked it up in the final 40 minutes.
-- Few power play’s with even fewer chances. When the whistle gets put away, you’ve got to take advantage of the few opportunities you’ve been giving. Anaheim couldn’t make that happen.
-- They didn’t win. I know that seems like an obvious ugly, but the Ducks definitely need all they can get. More importantly, losing after such a hard fought game can crush the sprits of this team that is in desperate need of positive energy. I hate to see them lose, but I hate to see them disappointed even more. They’ve got to find a way to look at this game as a positive and disregard the outcome. I know that will seem easier said than done, but moving on from this loss is a must.
Also, I want to add...
I wish I could be around for game time comments more often. I must say, the group of fans and writers who show up here to discuss the game is first class. You’re all smart, opinionated and well spoken (written?) hockey fans who really enhance this site. I urge you all, after every game, to throw out all of your good, bad and uglies. It’s always a pleasure!