To quote John Tortarella: WE SUCKED FROM HEAD TO TOE. Unfortunately I have to go into more detail.
First Period Recap: From the first shift of the game the Ducks were completely out-played, out-worked, out-smarted, out-gunned and out-whatever else you can think of. Eventually it led to Ben Lovejoy getting called for hooking Dustin Brown. I didn't like the call, but the refs get ZERO responsibility for the result of this game. The PK was decent until Mr. Game 7, Justin Williams, picked up a rebound left by John Gbison and opened the scoring just 4:30 into the game.
For the next few minutes the Kings refused to let the Ducks through the neutral zone, partially due to good positional defending, partially due to terrible passing and skating away from the puck by the Ducks. The top line did get a cycle shift going, but couldn't get anything to the net and as such, they were caught on the ice for a long shift and turned the puck over at the blueline. Jeff Carter out-muscled and out-skated Hampus Lindholm to get a breakaway inside the zone, deked Gibson and scored on the backhand. 2-0 Kings 8:48 of the first period.
The Ducks' only real chance to get back in the game came with about six minutes left in the first. Perry blocked a Drew Doughty shot at the blueline and jumped on it for a break away. Live in the arena it seemed like Doughty was all over him, but in fact he really just got a piece of Perry's stick. Doughty complained about it for a good 30 seconds, and now that I see the replay, rightfully so. But Hockey Karma was served I guess, when Perry was pokechecked by Jonathan Quick.
Almost immediately after the penalty shot, Mike Richards scored on a really soft play by the defense and Gibson. Richards carried into the zone with Cam Fowler and Francois Beauchemin ahead of him. He drop passed it to Dwight King who threw it on net. As the shot was released, Fowler and Beauch let Richards walk right between them to poke in a rebound sitting right in front of Gibson. That goal held up to be the game winner, which was fitting, considering there was clearly no coming back from a 3-0 deficit against the Kings after 20 minutes. But it got worse.
Second Period Recap: Two minutes into the second period, Bryan Allen turned the puck over to Kyle Clifford as the useless defenseman exited the zone, it got tipped into the middle of the ice by Doughty where Anze Kopitar and Dwight King went in on a 2-on-1 and Kopitar snapped it past Gibson, ending his night and his season. Frankly I was surprised that Gibson wasn't pulled after the third goal, or even to start the second period.
Slava Voynov went off for high sticking Mathieu Perreault, who went down in a heap, but apparently couldn't bite his lip hard enough to draw blood. Four seconds later, the old, frustrated Corey Perry reared his ugly head and boarded Jake Muzzin to negate the power play. Perry did get a breakaway from the Kings blueline in as he exited the box, but to no avail.
About halfway through the period/game, the top line, now with Jacob Silfverberg on the left, had a few good forechecking shifts that resulted in some shots on Quick, but nothing all that dangerous.
Kyle Palmieri was called for goalie interference at the 12:44 mark and, who else would score but the bane of the Ducks' existence in this series, Marian Gaborik.
With a 5-0 lead the Kings fans began chanting "This is our house!" Which was simply painful to listen to. Fortunately it was short lived as Palmieri squeezed a puck between Quick and the post, barely crossing the line. It took a while for anyone to realize it was across the line, and adding insult to injury even though the ref had clearly signaled goal and the Ducks were giving high fives along the bench the VAST majority of Ducks fans didn't realize it was a goal until the in arena production crew started flashing "GOAL!" across the scoreboard. And for some reason they didn't play Bro Hymn until the puck was just about to be dropped. A sloppy celebration for an even sloppier game.
The building finally had some life though, as the fans tried to urge the team on to a miracle, especially after Silfverberg took a dive to draw a tripping call against Dustin Brown (ironic) at the end of the period.
Third Period Recap: The carry over power play was ok, and even got one puck behind Quick, but it shot out the other side of the crease. Kopitar and King had a shorthanded 2-on-1, but Fowler was content to take away the pass and give King a wide open shot that was of no consequence at all.
A few minutes later Andrew Cogliano and Voynov got tangled up behind the play and were sent off for some 4-on-4 hockey. During said 4-on-4 Lindholm freed up the puck for Getzlaf in the zone and the captain made a beautiful backhand pass to Perry in the high slot for a one timer over Quick's blocker and in. Beautiful goal, but WAY too late.
After that Palmieri elbowed Doughty in the face, and took two minutes off the clock. The Ducks showed a bit of a push after killing the Palmieri penalty, with Lindholm and Sami Vatanen in particular jumping into the play to hold the puck in and get shots to the net. Everyone on the ice for the Ducks was getting in front of Quick and playing desperately, but couldn't get anything to go. It would have been frustrating to see that type of play and ask, where was that in the first period, but a lot of it was created by the D jumping into the play, which simply wouldn't have been the case had the Ducks not been down so many goals.
Nick Bonino took a really dumb slashing penalty in the offensive zone, but even on the kill the Ducks controlled the puck in the Kings' zone for a good minute and a half, getting some solid scoring chances. Once the Kings did get set up it took Corey Perry making a save in the crease on what would have otherwise been an empty net to keep the score at 5-2.
With the Ducks pushing to get back within two goals, there were bound to be counter attacking opportunities for the Kings and that's exactly how Tanner Pearson scored. He and Carter had a ton of speed going down the ice and not even Vatanen could catch Pearson to tie him up as Carter's pass came across and he tipped it in a wide open net behind Hiller.
The rest was just running time off the clock. Well, as far as I'm concerned after the second goal, it was only a matter of time, but even the players realized it after the Kings' sixth goal. What a horrific way to end a great season.
The Good: Teemu got a few nice ovations as the game wound down and after it ended, but that's of very little consolation to a game this awful.
The Bad: No bad tonight, just Ugly.
The Ugly: Everything. The Ducks simply didn't show up for this game, even the token push that they made in the third period was a f***ing joke. The Kings may be the most difficult team in the league to play from behind and from the first drop of the puck they completely outplayed the Ducks in every way shape and form. Corey Perry's penalty shot was really the Ducks' only chance to get back in the game and it was all but sealed when trailing 3-0 at the end of one. All year the theme was "Unfinished Business" based on the team not performing in a Game 7. They talked a good game, but when it came down to it, that's all it was. This was exponentially worse than last year.
Everyone was so terrible that there really isn't a point in doing Iceholes. Instead, here are the Ducks I feel most sorry for, going through that mess.
#4 Jonas Hiller - His Ducks career really ended when John Gibson started Game 4, but to have to sit through the other games and then be put into the game well after the result was in hand because the rest of the team sh** the bed anyway, must have sucked.
#3 Saku Koivu - We're not 100% sure whether he'll retire or not this summer, but it seems pretty likely. That's a terrible way to go out, for a guy who had a wonderful career and still never made a Conference Final. Speaking of which....
#2 Bruce Boudreau - What does it take to get this guy a Game 7 win? I really don't blame him at all for this game, the players simply gave him nothing from the start. That can be put on the coaching staff at times, but in a Game 7 it is the players' responsibility to go out and play some f***ing hockey. I don't know why, but this seems to happen a lot. Remembering back to last year and the Pens/Caps series of 2009.
#1 Teemu Selanne - Obviously. He got a nice ovation at the end of the game, during the handshakes and even afterward, but he clearly was upset.
He was on the ice for the last shift and Ryan Getzlaf (I think, I'm sure as hell not going back to check) passed him the puck in the final seconds, but he didn't want anything to do with it. After the handshakes the Kings waited on the ice to see him off, until they realized that the Ducks were waiting for them to leave so that they could salute the crowd. Then after the center ice salute, Teemu tried to sneak into the middle of the pack, but was pulled aside for an interview with Brian Engblom. Being Teemu, he stayed and did it, and many fans including myself stayed until he left the ice for the final time. The jumbotron camera stayed on him from the final horn until he turned the corner into the dressing room. Seeing him make that final walk, alone, was pretty difficult to watch.
His last regular season game was such a beautiful send off, in time I hope that is the memory that remains and not this, but it will be tough. Stars fans seem to have repressed the final season of Mike Modano in Detroit pretty well, but something tells me that this will be harder for us Ducks fans.
He has meant so much to this organization and will continue to forever, really, It's difficult to put into words. This is probably the only instance where I know for a fact that I speak for literally all Ducks fans when I say, THANK YOU TEEMU.