All good things must come to an end, and I can't say that I'm mad about this one. Sure, it's a bummer to stop the five game win streak, but honestly, the streak snapping couldn't come at a better time. The Ducks officially begin their All-Star break on their flight back to So Cal. While many may think this loss will sit in the back of the players' minds until they take the ice again, I think a little differently.
As I said in the open, the guys are going home (with the exception of Corey Perry) to recharge their batteries. They don't have a reason to sit and stew over this loss because they played really hard pretty much the entire game. Of the goal that was given up, it was a fluke. Wrong place, wrong time, and an unfortunate deflection for Cam Fowler that Jonas Hiller was helpless to stop. Plus, Dallas' Kari Lehtonen played out of his mind, once again, saving everything the Ducks threw at him. (Note to self, in prior to next game versus Stars, give Lehtonen and Loui Eriksson a "Forget Me Now".)
You can't win 'em all, but the Ducks just might have to if they want to make a run at the playoffs when they get back to work.
-- Jonas Hiller. He may be hitting his stride later than usual, but at least he's hitting it. For a while it looked like we'd never get "Old Jonas" back. The one goal tonight isn't on him. Of the 16 shots he faced, he had a few that nearly made me do a spit-take. He kept the Ducks in the game.
-- The Ducks did not give up. Many times this season we've seen them hang their heads, barely making an effort to stay in, let alone catch up, in a game. Of course the confidence of winning the last five games gives them confidence, but even has there were seconds left in the game, they were still battling. So many times times they were inches away from a goal, and when it didn't go in, they didn't get completely discouraged. A positive attitude does wonders for the mind.
-- Saku Koivu has become the team's replacement for Todd Marchant on the critical face-offs. Multiple times Koivu was put on the ice - along with Ryan Getzlaf - to take the draw. Getzy had shown signs of improvement on the dot over the past few games (not tonight), but it's been Koivu that has earned Boudreau's trust. Only knock on Saku is that he was out of position for the final shot of the game.
-- The old guys doing work, trying to create offense. Jason Blake - 5 shots; Francois Beauchemin - 4 shots; Koivu, Teemu Selanne, and Niklas Hagman - 3 shots each.
-- I'm pretty sure I've heard "Getzlaf misses a wide open net" at least 20 times in the past week. We all wanted him to shoot more, and now that he is, maybe I want to take that back. Tonight, statistically, was a baaaad night for Getzlaf. 3 giveaways, 0 hits, and a 30% success rate in the face-off circle. I firmly believe that his play on the ice is tied to how physical he decides to be during the game. The more hits he has, the more quality scoring chances and higher face-off percentage he has.
-- Power play was starting to pick up and then it stunk tonight going 0-3. Dallas was able to skate or poke the puck away from their zone multiple times during each PP. If it wasn't for Lubomir Visnovsky being able to keep up with the speedy Dallas skaters and the magic of Hiller, the score would have been much worse due purely to shorthanded goals.
-- I thought this was one of the weaker games Corey Perry has played this season. He was being tested by Ott (more on that later) and he reacted. On the stat sheet, Perry had 1 official shot and 4 missed shots. I could tell by the end of the game he was getting frustrated with himself that his shots weren't going in. As we all know, Pears went HeMan on us after the ASG break last year. Here's to hoping this year's break has the same effect.
-- Steve Ott is still a douche and he gets at least one, if not all, of the RPG line to bite each game.