Pretty much everyone that writes about hockey is going to use this next line: "Do you think the Detroit Red Wings miss Nicklas Lidstrom and Pavel Datsyuk?" Uh, yeah.
The Red Wings didn't look like the Red Wings tonight. Actually, they looked more like the Ducks. Joey MacDonald played good, not great, and he certainly didn't get any help from the guys in front of him. It was weird. I kept waiting for the Ducks to do something dumb to get the Red Wings right back in it and it didn't happen. Not a bad way to start the last dozen games of the season. At least they'll go out fighting.
-- Well hello there, Kyle Palmieri. I made it no secret that I think Palmieri would be faaaaantastic trade-bait. My argument was that he couldn't score at the NHL level. Kyle, like everyone associated with the Ducks, reads this blog and was out to prove me wrong. Tonight he did it, scoring not one but two (!!) goals in the game. The second goal was a beauty, reminiscent of a young Bobby Ryan.
-- Speaking of Bobby Ryan, he and Ryan Getzlaf had the monster games we've been waiting for them to have. I was really impressed with Getzlaf tonight. He was hustling, making smart plays, and throwing his body around. The RPG ine - sans Corey Perry plus Kyle Palmieri - accounted for 11 of the Ducks 24 shots tonight. All three guys lead the team with a +3 rating. Hopefully this isn't a flukey game and they can pull it together again on Friday.
-- Love to see Teemu Selanne keep crawling up the NHL record charts. Tonight he scored his 660th goal and 1400th point. He's always happy when he scores, but he's ecstatic when his teammates score. Jari Kurri was in attendance at the game and he said that Selanne should keep playing. If Jari, Teemu's idol, say it, it must be followed.
-- Francois Beauchemin is a beast and the defensive MVP. 8 blocked shots tonight. Holy cow.
-- Jonas 'effing Hiller. By far, he was the best player on the ice tonight. Had his play been like this earlier in the season, the Ducks would be in a playoff spot and he would be getting Vezina consideration. Tonight was his 30th straight start in goal and his 4th shut out of the season. And holy crap, Henrik Zetterberg had 8 shots on goal. Pretty amazing.
-- Did anyone else notice Lubomir Visnovsky not taking his usual one-timers at the point? There were many opportunities for him to take a slapshot that he passed on. This further fuels my conspiracy theory that he's still hurt in some way.
-- None of us expect Matt Beleskey to be an offensive force, which is good because he's the least accurate of all the Ducks and whiffed a couple times tonight. He is still the subject of one of my favorite Bruce Boudreau quotes of all time, "If he could hit the net, he'd be great."
-- Even without Lidstrom, the Ducks power play couldn't beat the Wings penalty kill. Everyone's summer homework is to make the power play better.
-- Conspiracy theory #2: I think Corey Perry is hurt worse than the team is letting on. His x-rays may have come back negative, but that doesn't mean there isn't something else wrong. Perry is practically indestructible and for him to not be out there is huuuuge. Think about it, the last game he missed due to injury was when he had a thigh laceration years ago. I go back to the Ryan Getzlaf ankle injury from two seasons ago. His x-rays were negative, but we later found out that he had partially torn tendons in his ankle.